Synopsis by Michael Betzold
A rare comedy from director John Ford, this story about a WWII soldier trying to gain some respect is based on the published war memoirs of Sy Gomberg. Bill Kluggs (Dan Dailey) is the first man in his small West Virginia town to enlist, and his father Herman (William Demarest) and the locals give him a big sendoff. But Bill returns from boot camp, assigned to be a gunnery instructor at a new air base in his hometown. While other boys go off to war, Kluggs becomes a local laughingstock. When a bomber pilot falls ill, however, Kluggs replaces him on a secret mission. He falls asleep on the plane and bails out over the French countryside. Found by Resistance fighters, Kluggs accompanies them on a dangerous mission to take pictures of a German V-2 base. To get him out of the country, the Resistance fighters then stage a mock wedding between Kluggs and the fetching Yvonne (Corinne Calvet), whom Kluggs hates to leave behind when he flees to London. Returning home after only a few nights away, Kluggs is attacked by his own father, who mistakes him for a spy. The townsfolk suspect that he deserted the service and heap more scorn on him.
war, agent [representative], America, attack, AWOL (Absent Without Leave), boot-camp [military], conflict, courage, escort, father, France, Germany, group, helpless, home, homecoming, hometown, humiliation, hypocrisy, instructor, landing [plane], leader, mission [quest], Nazism, officer, partisan, Pentagon, politician, President, questioning [police interrogation], recruit [soldier], rescue, resistance, resistance-fighters, responsibility, secrets, small-town, soldier, suspicion, training, truth, wedding, window, fighter, march [military], plans, town