When Willie Comes Marching Home (1950) Movie Script

This is Punxatawney, West Virginia.
It isn't a very big town,
and I guess it isn't a very small town.
It's just, well, a town, I guess.
My hometown.
It's Sunday and, like in hundreds
of other American towns...
people are on their way to church.
That man taking up the collection
is my pop.
And that's my mom.
That's Marge Fettles.
The Fettleses live next door to us.
I guess I like Marge
more than any girl in town.
I've liked them all in my time,
but I guess I liked Marge more than any other.
I'm not with her there,
because on Sundays after church...
me and the gang always have band practice
in the back of Gilby's drugstore.
- We always practice there, well...
because Oscar's old man
owns the drugstore.
It's not really much of a band-
not good, and not bad.
We play at the school dances
and on the local radio station.
Next year we hope to get
an audition on The Big Time.
Get me. I'm the guy with the trombone.
Somebody stole his gal
Somebody stole his pal
Somebody came
and took her away
She didn't even
say she was leavin'
Those kisses you love so
He's getting now
we know
Oh, gee
- I know that she
- We know that she
- Would come to me
- Would come to he
- If she could see
- If she could see him sittin'
here cryin' in his beer
Brokenhearted lonesome pal
I'll take it
Somebody stole my gal
- Hey! Hey, Billy! Listen to me!
- You're late. Sit down.
- It's war! Hey, fellas! I'm telling you, it's war!
- Will you-
- Are you on the level?
- It just came over from Washington.
The Japs have attacked Pearl Harbor!
Dive bombers, they sank the Oklahoma-
If you're kiddin' us, I'll personally
kick you every step of the way home!
- But it wasn't a joke.
It was the real thing, all right.
They suddenly dive-bombed...
attacking Pearl Harbor,
the great navy base...
the army's Hickam Field
and Ford Island.
A report expressed the belief that there
had been heavy damage done in Hawaii...
and there has been
heavy loss of life.
- This was subsequently confirmed.
Like all the other guys in town,
I forgot about the band...
and Marge and Punxatawney.
Let's go.
Let's go.
- Take it easy.
- This is the first one, Mr. Mayor.
- Bill, my boy.
- Hello, Mr. Mayor. Judge Tate.
- I wanna enlist and join the army right away.
- Well spoken, son.
I've known Bill here since the day he was born.
I've watched him grow.
And now I see him a man,
the first to fight from Punxatawney.
And I wanna tell you
that there's no one better suited...
to be the first soldier
of our town...
than the son of
the junior vice commander...
of the American Legion
Punxatawney post.
Those are pretty big words,
Mr. Mayor.
- Save it, Kluggs. Come here and watch the birdie.
- What's the idea?
- A picture.
- A picture for the Bugle.
- Oh.
- Now, as the first man to enlist in Punxatawney...
have you anything to say
for publication?
Well, all I've got to say is...
the sooner we get at it,
the sooner we get it over.
Hold it!
Good-bye, Mr. Fettles.
Good-bye, Mrs. Fettles.
Good-bye, Bill.
I guess this is it.
So long, Mom.
- Take care of yourself.
- Take care of yourself, son.
I will.
Don't you worry, Mom.
- So long, Pop.
- Good-bye, son.
Don't forget to send me
one of those Jap swords for a souvenir.
- I'll send you one you can shave with.
- All aboard!
- Marge.
- Bill! Hey, Bill!
- So long, Charley.
- I tried to get in, too, but they wouldn't take me.
- Said I had to wait a year.
- Take care of your sister, kid. I'll do the fighting.
- Send me one of them Jap machine guns.
- Stick to a cap pistol.
- Charley, please get lost. We're saying good-bye.
- So long. Good luck.
- So long, kid. Keep the band going.
- I was only-
- Charley Fettles!
- So long!
They shipped us out to Fort Wayne in Missouri.
And they didn't waste any time
putting us through our basic training.
That army taught us dumb johns
everything from "A" to "Z."
Yes, sir, from "A"-
to "Z."
To the rear, hut! To the rear, hut!
To the rear, hut!
To the rear, hut!
One, two, three, four.
After basic, I applied for the army air forces...
and trained to be a pilot.
I'll never forget my first solo.
Yes, sir- l- I mean, no, sir.
I'll never forget my first solo.
Set it down!
Set it down, you idiot!
Somehow or other,
I just couldn't get the hang of it.
Gunnery was something else again.
It was a lead-pipe cinch for me.
Everybody in Punxatawney knew
I'd been the best duck shot...
since I was old enough
to be knocked down by a recoil.
Just like shooting ducks.
I was up there just leading.
That was the end
of shooting at targets.
No more training.
And when they shipped us out,
we knew this was it.
They wouldn't tell us
where we were going...
but a rumor started flying.
Sarge, if I didn't know better,
I'd almost swear that this was my hometown.
All these jerkwater burgs
look alike.
All right, you guys!
Front and center!
This is where you get off!
- Go on.
- Sarge, look at that.
- Something's screwy. You made a mistake.
- Aw, turn it off, Kluggs.
This is my hometown.
There's never been any Loring Field here.
- There wasn't a month ago, but there is now.
- How long are we gonna be here?
- Not long enough to blow your nose.
- Think the C.O.'d give me a pass?
Who knows?
Listen, pick up those bags!
Get the lead out!
Thanks, Joe.
Cut it out. Nix on that.
What do you think I am, a Nazi sympathizer?
I was only gonna pay you.
You think I'm gonna charge the first guy
that enlisted in this town?
Nothin' doin', Bill.
From now on you ride in this cab free.
What do you know!
A real patriot.
I'd have been in a uniform, too,
if it hadn't been for the wife and kids.
Stick with 'em.
Us guys'll take care of this war.
Mom! Mom?
Where is everybody?
Fine homecoming this is.
Hey! Pop! Pop!
Oh, my boy! My boy!
Well, I'll be doggoned.
- How are you, Pop?
- Why didn't you let us know you were coming?
- I didn't even know it myself.
- You sure look fine, son.
That army grub
must be agreeing with you.
- Ma, look! Decorations!
- You call this decorations?
A sharpshooter's tag and a Good Conduct Medal.
Boy Scout stuff.
That's right.
Wait till they really start decorating him.
When they start shooting,
I'll have so much tin it'll spoil my posture.
- Let me fix you something. I bet you're starving.
- All right, Mom, fix dinner.
I'll tell you all about everything then.
I want to see Marge.
- All right.
- Bring her back with ya!
Hey, Marge!
Marge, honey!
Hello, Mr. Fettles, Mrs. Fettles.
I bet you're surprised to see me, aren't you?
Well, I'm surprised to be here.
- We got a sergeant on a train-
What happened to her?
Hello, William. It's good to see you.
Welcome home.
- Did I do something, Mr. Fettles?
- It's the uniform.
This is an American uniform.
- Charley.
- Charley?
- He wants to join the navy.
- He's too young.
No, no, they'd take him
for pilot training.
- They want young fellas for wings.
- Little Charley?
Yeah. So every time Clara sees a uniform
she thinks of Charley and...
that's the way it goes.
- Sit down, William. I'll get Marge.
- Charley.
- William's here.
- Oh! Bill!
- Marge!
You big meanie.
You make me cry like this.
- I didn't make you cry.
- This postcard!
Oh, that. I thought
we were going overseas.
- I had no idea we were gonna stop at Loring Field.
- Loring Field?
- That's only five miles from here.
- Yeah, I know.
- Maybe they'll keep you here.
- Are you kidding? I'm the top gunner in my outfit.
- Well, maybe.
- Not a chance. They'll put me on
the first fortress to England.
They don't waste guys like me, honey.
I'm a sharpshooter!
Bill, have you any idea
when you're leaving?
Well, there's no telling.
Secret orders, you know.
Could be right now or...
could have been five minutes ago.
Son! Hey, son!
Mess call!
- Hurry up. We gotta get down
to canteen by 8:00 sharp.
- Okay, I'll be right there.
Oh, Bill.
- Wow!
- Welcome home, Private Kluggs.
Did you do this?
Holy smokes!
Take it easy, folks.
What did you expect us to do, sit back while
you're gettin' shot down in enemy territory?
Friends, attention, please!
Please. Pl-
We have an unexpected pleasure,
in fact, a great honor tonight.
One of our own boys,
the pride of Punxatawney-
Has returned to us.
Not for long, mind you.
Perhaps only 12 hours.
And then he'll be on his way
to meet the enemy.
It gives me great pleasure
to introduce to you the first to fight...
Private First Class William Kluggs.
- Quiet, please.
- Quiet!
William- Bill-
it gives me great pleasure to present to you,
as a token of esteem from your hometown...
this solid gold, 14-karat
identification bracelet...
so that no matter where you are...
you'll always know
that we are thinking of you.
- Speech!
- Speech!
- Who is this guy, General MacArthur?
- I don't dig it.
Uh, thank you.
This whole thing kind of
took me by surprise.
I certainly never expected
anything like it.
I don't really know what to say
except, well, thank you.
If you can't say it, sing it!
- Remember "You've Got Me This Way"?
I'll play the first two on the piano.
You fellas pick it up on the chorus.
I say hello
to the people I know
In a vague sort of way
Baffled and blue
I go wandering
Through the day
Don't ask me
what ails me
What I'm thinking of
One look reveals
that I'm head over heels
In love
You've got me this way
What are you gonna do about it
What are you gonna do about it
You've got me this way
Crazy for you
You kissed me one day
Then, seein' that I was
true about it
What did you
go and do about it
You left me this way
Bluer than blue
You thought it was funny
My fallin' so hard
I'm laughin' my sides off
You're really a card
You've got me this way
Now that I'm in a stew about it
What am I gonna do about it
I'm just gonna stay
crazy for you
You've got me this way
What are you gonna do about it
What are you gonna do about it
You've got me
this way
Crazy for you
You've got me this way
What are you gonna do about it
What are you gonna do about it
You've got me this way
Bluer than blue
- You thought it was funny
My falling so hard
I'm laughing my sides off
You're really a card
You've got me this way
Now that I'm in a stew about it
What are you gonna do about it
- I'm just gonna stay crazy for you
- Me too
- For who
- For you
I'm just gonna stay
Crazy for you
- Pretty sharp, huh? Solid gold too.
- It oughta be platinum.
I know, honey,
but it's the thought that counts.
- Well, good night.
- You don't have to go in yet, do you?
Well, I don't want to,
but Mom'll be worried about me.
She's too busy
worrying about Charley.
I guess she is at that.
These are precious moments. Fella's just
got the time left, he has to see his girl.
- This may be our last night together.
- You're gonna miss me after I'm gone, huh?
- Terribly.
- I know what you mean.
- But I'm not gonna sit around and mope.
I'm gonna be fighting this war
on the home front through the Red Cross...
and in the canteen
and in air raid warden-
Not tonight, honey.
Not tonight.
Good night, William,
and good luck overseas!
- You said it, killer.
- Good night.
Yeah, good night, Mrs. Barnes.
Night, Andy.
So long.
- You know, I'll always remember tonight.
- Me too.
For the first time I've realized
there aren't enough hours in a lifetime-
Hours? We haven't got hours.
Just minutes.
- The last few minutes could
mean so much to a guy, you know.
- You're not holding out.
- You're not leaving tonight.
- When you're a soldier, you never know.
- You've had your orders. You've gotta tell me.
- No, I haven't had my orders.
But if I did, there's something
I'd want you to know before I left.
We've grown up together,
you know, Marge.
- We've always sorta been a twosome.
- Yeah.
But now it's different.
I don't know.
Maybe- Maybe it's you. It may be me.
Maybe it's the war.
I don't know.
All I know is,
I'm real stuck on you, Marge.
I've always loved you.
Somehow that stopover at Loring Field...
began to stretch out
like a visiting mother-in-law.
Hogan. Hughes.
Irwin. Isaacs.
Jones. Kelly.
King. Kaplan.
Libby. Morgan.
Those men whose names
have been called, right face!
Forward, march!
The rest of you men, dismissed.
The war went on, and I didn't.
They shipped soldiers east
and they shipped 'em west...
but you'd have thought
I had a long-term lease.
Yes, Kluggs?
- I'm sorry to bother you, sir.
- What is it? Speak up.
I've got to ship out of here. It's my turn,
and I'm one of the best aerial gunners you've got.
The best, Kluggs.
You know I can't spare you.
But, sir, I've got to get out.
I want combat duty. I'd like to get overseas.
There's more to a war than fighting.
What kind of army would we have
if somebody didn't teach these rooks to shoot?
- But if the lieutenant please-
- Kluggs, you're wasting your time and mine.
I'd be glad to send you, but
I don't run this army... yet.
Yes, sir.
- However-
- Yes, sir?
You're being hiked to corporal.
And, Kluggs, I'm recommending you
for the Good Conduct Medal.
Thank you, sir.
Hi, Mrs. Barnes.
What's bitin' her?
It's hard for her to understand
why you're on a weekend pass...
fighting the battle
of Punxatawney...
while her son Andy
is beach-heading in New Guinea.
Why take it out on me?
I've told you time and again, I've tried.
Yeah, I know.
But she doesn't, that's all.
But, sir, you don't understand.
It's not only that I've been here over a year.
- But this is my hometown!
- Sorry, Kluggs.
But the people in this town
are beginning to think I'm chicken.
I'm gonna be about
as popular as Hitler, sir.
I understand the dilemma,
but there's nothing I can do about it, Kluggs.
You have the highest rating
of any instructor we've ever had.
You can't be spared,
and that's final.
Yes, sir.
- However-
- Yes, sir?
I've put you in for sergeant, and I'm
recommending you for the Good Conduct Medal.
Thank you, sir.
After that, things really got rugged.
They all but threw rocks
at me in town.
Not that teaching didn't have
a couple of thrills now and then.
Get Kluggsie outta there!
Hey, Kluggsie! Kluggsie!
Get him in the jeep!
Get him outta here.
Come on, buddy!
- Come on! Come on!
- Hurry up! Hurry up!
Well, we walked away from that one.
Well, you can't kill a goldbricker, I always say.
And if I don't get shipped to combat overseas,
sir, there's no telling what l-
What's the matter with you,
Kluggs? Gone yellow?
Yellow? Sir, I said
I wanted to go to war!
You wanna get a soft berth overseas so you
can pick up a lot of ribbons and tin!
- Major, sir, I wanna fight!
- Get your hands off that desk!
Don't spill that around here.
I've been in this man's army too long.
You're one of those smart guys who knows only
10% of enlisted personnel ever face the enemy.
What's wrong?
Things too tough here at Loring?
Afraid to fly with these kids
just because it's dangerous work?
- Sir, you just don't understand.
- I understand, all right!
Now, look, Kluggs,
knock off the bellyaching.
You're a good man, and I need you.
Just attend to your job
and don't give me any of this hero stuff.
Yes, sir.
Oh, Kluggs.
Yes, sir?
If it'll make you feel any better,
you're in for master sergeant.
Thank you, sir.
Yep. Same old story.
It got so I had the Good Conduct Medal
with oak leaf clusters.
Hi, Pop.
- You here again?
- What do you mean by that crack?
So you can't talk them
into sending you overseas.
But do you have to hang around here
all the time where people can see ya?
- But this is his home. He lives here.
- You're telling me?
What do you want me to do,
write a letter to the secretary of war?
I sure didn't have any trouble getting over
to Chteau-Thierry back in 1918!
Right. They shipped your father
over three months after he was drafted.
They're coming home.
Now what's the matter?
- She got a telegram.
- Bad news?
- Charley. He's coming home from the Pacific.
He's arriving this afternoon.
- That's great! That's wonderful!
- Then what's she crying about?
- Because Charley can only stay a week.
He's lucky at that. Lots of guys
don't get furloughs. Others don't get a week.
And others are home all the time.
Oh, l- I didn't mean you, Bill.
Uh, Marjorie's in the kitchen.
Well, about 4:00.
We're giving a big do for Charley
tomorrow night at the canteen.
Oh, I want you
to be sure to be there.
You will? That's fine.
Thanks a lot.
Isn't it wonderful about Charley?
He'll be here this afternoon.
- I heard. That's wonderful.
- Do you realize he shot down 14 Jap pilots-
Hello, Myrtle?
Myrtle, this is Marge.
Guess what.
Oh, you already know.
Genevieve told you, huh?
You'll be there, won't you? That's fine. Bye.
- I gotta get back on the field.
- All right, darling. I'll see you tomorrow night.
- I don't think so.
- Oh, darn it-
- You don't think so what?
- I won't be there.
Well, but, darling,
it's for Charley.
- I know, but-
- Don't you wanna see him?
Sure I wanna see him. Can't I see him here?
Does it have to be at the canteen?
Oh, Bill.
Don't do that to yourself.
People are giving me those sidewise glances.
I've been around too long.
- I better get lost.
- Bill.
- Can you get a pass?
- Yeah.
Then you'll be there. It's not your fault
you're stationed in Punxatawney.
You're a soldier,
and you've got to obey orders.
- You don't understand-
- You've done a wonderful job,
and a dangerous one too.
We've had more forced landings and crashes at
Loring Field than Charley ever had in his Hellcat.
Bill, you just got
no right to be ashamed.
And I won't have you
slinking out of here like this.
I'll be there.
- Go on with the story about Tarawa.
- That was a pretty rugged beach.
- They put up a fight, huh?
- We flew 14 hours.
- Fourteen hours you flew?
- Takeoff. Flight. Land.
Maybe a little jamoke.
And was the weather dirty.
That's the way it was
at the Argonne.
Slogging along, rain and mush,
heinie snipers throwing lead!
- It got so even the Nip infantry was shooting-
- The Nip infantry?
- Bill!
- Charley Fettles, the giant killer!
Hey, Bill! How's about it, boy?
Holy smoke, am I glad to see you!
- You're looking great, Lieutenant.
- You too!
I sure thought a lot about you, but I never
expected to see you till it was all over.
- You on leave too?
- Well, no, not exactly.
When'd you get back?
Well, the truth is-This'll hand you a laugh-
I haven't been anywhere.
- I got stationed here at Loring
Field teaching aerial gunnery.
- Well, that's how it goes.
I'd rather fight dawn patrol in an F-6
than fool around with a bunch of rookies.
- Pretty dangerous stuff.
- Yeah, well, all in a day's work.
- Go on. You were telling us.
- Well, I wouldn't like to three-sheet, Mr. Kluggs.
Go on, go on!
What happened?
On the second day, I was burning up
the 50-calibers when some Nip starts ricocheting-
Know just what you mean. A bullet ricocheted
off my helmet at Chteau-Thierry.
- I'll show you the dent sometime.
- I couldn't get my wheels-
Same thing happened to me. Hydraulic system
went out. Crash landing on the belly-
Son, please. We're talking about combat.
Go ahead, Charley.
- Then the motor conked out.
- Here's your ice cream, Charley.
Thank you, ma'am. So I came down
on the beach and belly-whopped.
I was gonna ditch it,
but it seemed better in the sand.
Couple of marines hauled me out. One hour later
I was flying a new Hellcat, strafing all over.
Hey, Bill-
Tell us about Truk.
- Truk was the same as Tarawa,
only the chow wasn't so good.
- Know exactly!
Pardon me.
I'm sorry.
- Hey, who's that?
- That's Bill Kluggs.
- Is that drip still around?
- He must live here!
- He'll be here forever.
Well, soldier-
At ease, at ease, for heaven's sake.
- Oh, it's you, Kluggs!
- Yes, sir.
There's nothing wrong,
is there, Sergeant?
I've had trouble enough for one day,
and it's still early.
To tell you the truth, Colonel Butterworth,
something is very wrong.
I hate to bother you with it, but it's urgent.
It's absolutely essential.
- The fact is, sir, I'd like to be transferred.
- Huh! So would I.
But I've been here two years. I've gotta get
into the fight. I've gotta get overseas.
- Is it my fault that I've
been stationed in my hometown?
- Mmm, sorry, Kluggs. No dice.
I'll tell you what I'll do.
- I'll recommend you for the Good-
Send them in.
Is he all right?
- No, sir. Acute appendicitis.
- Emergency surgery, sir.
- Oh, no!
- Sorry, sir.
- That fortress is 20 minutes
behind their squadron now.
- Twenty-five!
They can't go into a combat zone without
a full complement, without a belly gunner.
- We need a replacement, sir, right away.
- Replacement. Yeah.
Call Captain Blake and-
Wait a second.
- Kluggs.
- Yes, sir?
- Do you know anything about a B-17 belly turret?
- Everything, sir.
See that ship out there? She's bound for
England in one hour if you're aboard her.
- If you still wanna go overseas.
- Yes, sir. Thank you, sir.
I'll never forget you for- Excuse me.
I'll never forget you for this, Colonel!
God bless you. Sir!
- Hey, Kluggs! Just a second!
- Not now. I'm in a hurry.
Kick in, Kluggs.
There's 60 cents on this meter!
You'll get it. Besides, I want you to wait
and take me back. I'm on my way overseas.
This I gotta see!
Hey, Marge!
- Pop, I'm on my way! I'm going overseas!
- What, again?
This is true! I saw Colonel Butterworth.
This guy's got appendicitis-
- You haven't got appendicitis, have you?
- No, Mom! It's happened!
- Where's the pain?
- I could tell you.
- I'm going to war!
- Oh, no, Bill!
- Don't be dramatic.
- I'm really going! I'm flying in a fortress! Now!
- Have you got that part that has the notice about-
- Will you both listen to me!
I'm going overseas!
- What's the matter?
- I'm so glad you were home.
I was just coming right over.
- Is there something wrong?
- The war. You know.
- Willie's going overseas.
- Oh, really?
- Is that all you've got to say?
- Oh, no, darling.
She's tired of repeating herself,
that's all.
- Well, isn't that just great!
- What's got into you?
Fella comes home to say good-bye to his girl
and his family, and they give him the bum's rush.
Now, that's unfair!
- I thought something had really happened.
- Something really has happened!
- There's a cab out front.
In one minute I'm gonna walk out of this house,
maybe forever, and get into that cab.
In 30 minutes, I'm gonna climb into
a B-17 and take off. Understand?
We're gonna do some egg-dropping
over Germany, and I'm the belly gunner!
Don't say "belly," dear.
- Oh, Bill. He's really going.
- You mean it?
- Wait a second, son.
- I can't stay. I gotta get back to the field.
We fly at 1400.
- They didn't give you warning.
- I went in and demanded combat duty.
- No! You'll be killed!
- I'll watch it, Mom. So long, Pop.
- He demanded combat duty. That's my boy.
- You mustn't go!
I gotta go, Mom!
It's the works.
I gotta blow.
Good-bye, honey.
Good-bye, Mom. Good-bye, Pop.
- Don't forget to write.
Takeoff was on the nose at 1400 hours.
We took a northeast heading
for the great circle route to Europe.
We made a brief refueling stop in Newfoundland,
then headed out over the North Atlantic.
That's when things really got tense.
Radio silence, a great, big ocean...
and us six hours
behind our squadron, alone.
Pilot to crew. We are entering the combat zone.
Take your positions
and check your guns.
Well, this is it, huh?
This is what?
And then things went snafu, and we hit the soup.
We didn't realize
how serious it was then.
We were all dead tired.
We'd been in the air a long time.
Busy Bee to Rooster.
Busy Bee to Rooster. Over.
Busy Bee to Rooster.
Busy Bee to Rooster. Over.
- Here's your ship, Colonel.
- Busy Bee from Rooster.
We're tracking you on radar.
Your bearing is 210 degrees.
Field here is closed. Zero.
You're ordered to land at Field H-22.
Bantam. Over.
We can't go anywhere. We've been bucking
headwinds for the last thousand miles.
We lost an hour over Glasgow.
Busy Bee from Rooster.
What's your petrol supply?
We're on fumes now.
Can you bring us in?
Give me the weather
on all emergency strips in this area.
Cancel H-22 orders.
Stand by.
Stand by on what, sir?
We're burning the sludge as it is!
- We have to put 'em down at A-6.
- But they're closed in as badly as we are.
I know. But they can use the glide path
transmitter for an instrument landing.
Here are your instructions.
Make an instrument landing at Field A-6.
Compass heading from present position
is 68 degrees. Keep in constant contact.
That's out of the question, sir.
Our glide path receiver is out of order.
We can't make an instrument landing.
- Stand by.
- Well?
- No good. Fog at the north base.
- What have you got?
They've got 100 feet at Station George.
That's 70 miles away.
They can't make it. Circle and await instructions.
We'll hold on as long as we can, sir.
Give us a chance!
There's not a field open
within their range.
- We can talk them down here.
- How? They've got no flare path.
You can't see them. They can't see you.
How you gonna tell 'em where to sit her?
No chance in this soup, sir.
- What do you want to do?
- We haven't any choice.
There are eight men up there.
- Scratch a B-17.
- As you say, Colonel. No choice.
Busy Bee to Rooster. How about it?
Here are your orders.
Take a heading of 180 degrees,
set the automatic pilot, then bail out.
Bail out?
This is a brand-new airplane!
We haven't even used her yet!
We'd like the chance at bringing her in!
Busy Bee from Rooster.
Now get this, and don't be a hero.
There's not a field open.
No place to roost.
That 180 degree heading
will ditch your ship in the Channel.
If you get out in a hurry,
you'll land on the field.
We track you almost directly overhead.
Now bail out!
That's an order.
Over and out.
Wilco and out.
Pilot to crew. Now hear this.
We are ditching the ship.
All hands will check in with me,
then bail out at once. Over.
Nav to pilot.
Roger and out.
Williams to pilot.
Roger and out.
Swanson to pilot.
Roger and out.
Murphy to pilot.
Roger and out.
Harris to pilot.
Roger and out.
- Okay, Andy, let's hit the silk.
- Kluggs didn't check.
Pilot to belly gun!
Pilot to Kluggs!
Pilot to Kluggs!
Pilot to belly gun!
Did you hear me, Kluggs?
We haven't got all day!
Roger, sir. Roger.
Roger and out.
Hey, Sid, let's go!
So long, sweetheart.
Belly gunner to pilot. Belly gunner to pilot.
I see land right below us, sir.
Belly gunner to pilot.
Can you hear me, sir?
Belly gunner to pilot.
Testing. One, two, three, four.
One, two, three, four.
Testing. Can you hear me, sir?
Answer, sir.
Belly gunner to pilot.
Belly gunner to pilot, sir!
Hey, fellas!
"William Kloogs."
No, that's not "Kloogs."
That's Kluggs. Like in, uh, "jugs."
Do you know what-
No, wait, miss-
- Give me that. S'il vous plat.
It's impossible, monsieur.
That's quite a filing cabinet
you got there.
Hey, you spoke En-
You spoke English.
- Yes, I speak English.
- But you're French.
- I worked in a bistro on 53rd St.
- That makes you practically a native.
- You know 53rd Street?
- Sure!
The Stork Club.
Maybe you caught me there. I sing.
- No, I don't think I did, no.
- You know Winchell?
Winchell? Walter Winchell! Yes!
No, no, no. I don't exactly know him.
- But you say you're an American.
- Well, sure!
But lots of Americans don't know
Walter Winchell personally.
Take a gander at the uniform.
That's American!
- What did she say?
- Answer some questions.
- All right, but I'm no quiz kid.
Who is Dick Tracy?
A flatfoot. A cop.
A gendarme!
- What does Lone Ranger say?
- Who?
The Lone Ranger.
Hi-ho, Silver!
- That's the way you have to say it.
Who is Joe DiMaggio playing for?
This year?
Uncle Sam.
- How do the Yankees stand in the Nation-
- Who? I didn't-
- The Yankees.
- Oh.
- H-H-How do they what?
- How do the Yankees stand
in the National League?
I think they're about
third from the-
Who are you trying to kid?
The Yanks are on the American League.
- They're neck and neck with the St. Louis Browns.
- "Neck and neck"?
Even stephen.
- They have the same number
of games they won, you see?
- That's right.
Where do you come from, Willie?
My name is Bill.
I come from Punxatawney, West Virginia.
If any Nazi could make up a name like that,
he's on the wrong side.
- Vive l'Amrique.
- Vive l'Amricain.
- Vive l'Punxatawney.
Where's everybody go-
Uh, if I'm, uh-
Baby, this is very dangerous. You must do
just as Yvonne say. You must not doubt, just do.
- Sure. I'll do anything. Just give me the word.
- Okay. Take off your clothes.
- What'd you do with the uniform?
- We burn it.
- You got the wrong one.
- What's going on? Air raid?
- Shh. Be quiet.
Holy smoke!
What was that?
- Nothing.
What do you mean, nothing? That thingamajig
is the granddaddy of all blockbusters!
- Hey!
Bill, you'll get us all killed.
Come on!
Those are heinies out there.
Uh, how long have we been down here?
I don't know.
Maybe four hours.
How much longer do you think
we ought to stay?
I don't know, Willie.
Maybe all night.
You couldn't have picked a more
convenient place to freeze to death.
- What's he talking about?
You don't worry! Don't you worry.
- No, no, no, no.
What's going on?
Where are they going?
- They are going to arrange a wedding party.
- A wedding?
- Who's getting married at a time like this?
- We are.
- Did you say we are?
- Yes.
- Well, not really. I mean, it's just a trick.
- I don't follow you.
Now listen, Willie.
There must have been a leak someplace because
the Germans found our headquarters.
So we cannot smuggle the film
through the underground.
- We have to let it in the open.
- How 'bout me?
- You are going to take it out.
- How?
We are going to the village.
There is going to be a wedding party there.
You and I are man and wife.
We have a lot of drink,
a lot of food.
You have too much wine.
We pretend you are drunk.
- I get it. Too drunk to talk.
- That's right.
Maybe that way, we get a pass to get
to the coast and keep our rendezvous.
- Let's go.
- Willie, wait! Do you know French song?
French song?
Yeah, I used to know one when I was a kid.
- Try to remember.
- Let me see. It was, uh-
What about, uh-
No, I'd know it if I heard it.
It's good, huh?
Ding, dong, dong
How's that?
Willie, you too drunk
to sing too. Come on.
Bill, please, you will get sick.
You don't know your boy.
I was raised on apple cider and elderberry wine.
Yes, but this wine is strong.
Back in Punxatawney,
they used to call me Bill the Blotter.
Well, thank you very much.
There's one thing I must say, and that is
the French can make wonderful wine.
- That I must say.
- Don't speak English. Be quiet.
- Cognac.
A pleasure.
Are we goin' on a picnic?
Let's take some wine.
Where are we goin', Charley?
Yvonne! Yvonne!
You don't feel so good,
Willie, do you?
- Yeah, I don't feel so good.
- Mal de tte?
Yeah, and I got a headache too.
Come on, Bill.
Come on.
- Now, listen, because this is most important.
- Yeah, what?
- You must take this through.
- Yeah.
- Inside the film is a map.
- What?
- A map.
- A map. Yeah.
Yes. When you get to London,
take it to headquarters. Okay?
If you don't get through, eat it.
- I don't think I can keep it in my stomach.
- Willie!
- What?
- You're a swell guy.
Come aboard, Yank.
We're late as it is. Let's push on.
- What is this, a submarine?
- Nah. Motor torpedo boat.
Well, Principal Cook,
how's the patient?
- Peckish, sir.
- Peckish, eh?
- Well, just a bit seasick. Give him an issue of rum.
- Thank you. I don't-
- A spot of rum, that'll do the business for you.
I don't want any rum.
You see, l-
- What's that?
- Jerry, trying to pop us.
- But don't worry, sir. They can't hurt us.
- I wish they could.
Jerries spitting again.
That's all. Right.
From Dover, they rushed me to London.
It wasn't as bad as the Channel,
but it had a movement all its own.
- What's happened, sir? Sir?
- Uh, Jerry. Air raid.
- Who? Oh.
- All right, soldier. Let's go.
- Yes, sir.
Sit down, Marshall. Go on!
Go on, soldier. Let's have your story.
This is Sergeant William Kluggs, sir,
84th Bombardment Group.
Never mind the details!
Is this film genuine?
Yes. I saw one of those things
with my own eyes, sir.
You actually saw one in operation?
Yes, sir, I did.
Now, please, General, can I get some sleep?
George, put this film through SHAEF,
top secret. Twelve prints.
- Right away, sir.
- This man has got to get
to Washington immediately!
- I'll ship him out in a P-38 fighter.
- A fighter, sir?
We've got one rigged up
for piggyback out at Dorrell.
Tell Major Crawford he's to fly Kluggs
to Washington tonight...
and I want him airborne at 1800.
- That's an order.
- Yes, sir.
Please, General.
B- Begging the general's pardon, sir.
I've given you all
the information I have, sir.
General, sir, you don't seem to understand, sir.
I'm not a well man.
- With the general's permission, sir-
- Permission denied!
- Butch, have you any whiskey here?
- Yes, I have.
Kluggs, you don't seem to realize
the gravity of the situation.
This film is the first actual confirmation
we've had, so far, on the German rocket.
If you're telling the truth, you've seen
something no Allied soldier has seen before.
- Try a slug of that scotch.
- Well, thank you very much, sir. L-
- Drink it!
- I can't, sir.
- That's an order!
- Yes, sir.
The P-38 is a twin-engine fighter...
having four machine guns,
one cannon, extra gas tanks...
and one seat.
Rough night, eh, Kluggs?
Bad night to have to ditch.
You all right, Kluggs?
Airsick, eh?
Too bad.
I got just what the doctor ordered.
Try a whiff of this cognac.
It'll cure anything.
We made that crossing
in five minutes over 11 hours...
and I still don't see how anything so fast
could have been so slow.
They didn't waste any time
rushing me over to the Pentagon building.
- You say this girl called herself Yvonne?
- Yes, sir.
- And she was very pretty?
- Yes, sir, she was.
See if you can recognize her
in any of these photographs.
Sir, that's her.
That's Yvonne.
That would be Yvonne L'Ete,
the French singer.
One of the best
Maquis operatives, sir.
- Yes, sir. She said she was a singer.
- Ten-hut!
- Ten-hut!
- At ease. Well, Chester?
- Very vital information, sir.
- I came at once. Let's have it.
Okay, Sergeant, once again,
right from the beginning.
- Well, we took off in a B-17, sir.
- When?
- Three days ago.
- Where?
Well, uh, from Loring Field,
Punxatawney, West Virginia.
- Destination?
- We were bound for England, sir,
but we never got there.
- Who was your pilot?
- Well, I was a replace-
The copilot
called him Junior, but-
Then they put me on a boat.
Then I got to London.
Please, sir,
couldn't I just rest a little while?
This is top priority stuff,
In view of the impending situation,
we'd better inform General Merrill.
- I've already taken the liberty, sir.
Carry on, gentlemen.
I've just left the president.
Eisenhower called from London.
Says G-2 reports
the film is genuine.
The Maquis have since reported
the launching sites by radio.
- Is this Kluggs?
- Yes, sir.
All right, soldier.
The whole story, right from the beginning.
Begging the general's pardon, sir,
I've already told the story five times.
This will be the sixth.
Take off, Sergeant.
Begging your pardon, sir,
but this man is near exhaustion.
Yes. Exhaustion.
Kluggs, you may not know it,
but your exhaustion is nothing...
to what will happen if we do not
pin down this information.
We're close to
the invasion of Europe.
The Hun is planning to use those rockets
against our bases and our jump-off.
It is essential that their sites
be verified and destroyed.
The war itself depends on it.
Anytime, Kluggs.
- Wake up, Kluggs!
- Give him a nip of bourbon to pick him up.
In the second drawer, Larry.
Uh, medicinal, sir.
I keep a bottle
for just such emergencies.
Take it.
- Get a doctor!
- Blast it! I am a doctor.
Well, do something!
- He's coming around, sir.
- Kluggs!
Yes, sir. Then we took off on a B-17
three days ago from Punxatawney, West Virginia.
- And I was-
- That won't be necessary, Kluggs.
I've examined your five other statements,
and they hold up.
You've rendered a great
service to your country, Sergeant.
Unfortunately, something
we cannot talk about. Carry on.
Harold, get this man to a hospital
and see that he has a month's furlough.
Instruct him regarding security.
- I have an appointment with the president at 2400.
- Yes, sir.
- Sergeant, this is top secret.
- Our destination was England-
You cannot say a word about this again outside
of this room to anyone. Do you understand?
- Not exactly, sir.
- You've been nowhere. You've seen nothing.
You absolutely refuse to answer
any questions whatsoever. Is that clear?
- Yes, sir.
- He's all yours, Chester.
Yes, sir.
- Kluggs. I'm sending you to the hospital for a rest.
- Yes, sir-
After that, you're going
home on a long furlough.
- Home? Oh, no.
- You'll see he's taken care of, won't you?
- Right, General.
- And remember, Kluggs, not a word to anyone.
Not a word to anyone.
- Remember, Kluggs,
not a word about this to anyone.
We're sending you to the hospital
for a nice, long rest.
- Yes, sir.
- All right, men. Get this man to a hospital.
What do you want?
This is rather a skimpy
sort of admittance card, soldier.
Yes, sir.
They were in a hurry, sir, all of them.
All of whom?
Oh, all of the... generals
and colonels and-
The generals?
What are you talking about?
Nothing, sir.
Uh, how is General Reeding?
He's fine.
- I'm the one that's not feeling so well.
- Mm-hmm.
- I tell you what you do, soldier.
- You see this room across the hall here?
- Yes, sir.
You go over there and see Lieutenant Handley.
He'll take care of you.
Thank you, sir.
I don't want
any more excuses, Bagley.
In the future, do your job
and don't pass the buck.
This army runs on efficiency.
Wait a minute!
London- three hours ago...
every airplane
in the Allied Air Forces...
lashed out against
the French invasion coast...
in the most violent
bombardment of the war.
Over 20,000 aircraft
have been flung into the dawn attack.
From Cherbourg to Dunkirk, the French
coast is aflame with bursting bombs.
Washington is rife with rumors.
Some say the Allies have located
the sites of the Nazi secret weapon...
and are trying to wipe them out.
- There's a prowler at the Kluggs'.
Telephone the police.
- Bill!
- My boy!
- Darling!
- Herman, what have you done?
What have I done? What is he doing,
sneaking in the back window like a spy?
My boy. My boy.
- You've got a lot of explaining to do.
- Oh, Bill.
What are you doing home?
You're supposed to be overseas.
My poor boy.
Is your head all right?
Never mind his head.
I barely dusted him.
Go on to the bathroom, dear.
Poor boy!
My poor, poor little boy!
I'll get you a nice glass of milk.
- Quiet! Quiet!
- Quiet yourself, Herman!
I want to know what you're doing,
crawling in here like a deserter.
- Deserter? Oh, hi, Pop.
- Oh, Bill.
Bill, you're not a deserter!
Huh? Oh, hi, Marge.
No. Ooh!
No. Uh, no.
I'm not exactly a deserter.
- Oh, Mr. Kluggs!
- Now will you tell us-What's going on?
It's a military secret,
and I really shouldn't tell you.
But I've been in Europe.
I had to parachute and came down in France.
Well, they caught me, see?
- They?
- Yeah, the French Underground.
Their leader was
a beautiful French girl.
Wait a second. Wait a second.
What are you giving us?
The whole time I was in France,
I never saw a good-looking mademoiselle.
I'm telling you, Pop, she was beautiful,
and she helped me escape.
And she gave me some movie film.
When I landed in London, they rushed me
right to Eisenhower's headquarters.
- Oh, Bill!
- You can trust us, son.
Well, then they flew me
to Washington, see?
'Cause I had to get this dope
to General Marshall right away.
Then they sent me to a hospital...
and somebody tried to put me in a straightjacket,
so I escaped, and here I am.
You flew out of here Sunday.
This is Thursday.
In four days, you've flown
the Atlantic twice...
seen Eisenhower,
advised General Marshall...
and stopped over in Punxatawney?
It's the truth, Pop.
You gotta believe me.
I believe the part
about the straightjacket.
Stop giving me all this malarkey
and start leveling!
I'm your father. You can trust me.
Now, what happened really?
Are you A. W.O.L.?
Are they after you? What did you do?
Bill, you've got to tell your father.
I've told him everything I know, and you too.
If you don't wanna believe me, that's your affair.
You ought to be ashamed of yourself,
picking on the boy.
He's not well, and all you do
is ask him a lot of silly questions.
Mrs. Kluggs, we're just doing it for his own good.
We've got to know what's wrong.
I don't care what's wrong!
I know my son.
I know whatever he's done,
it's right. Now, here.
Here, Willie, you drink this, baby.
Drink it. Drink it right down.
Precious, oh.
Drink it right down.
Oh, Mr. Kluggs!
Look, they've come to take him away!
What's the trouble here?
Kluggs in trouble again?
- What is it?
- They've come for him!
- Oh, Bill!
- Oh! Oh! The neighbors.
What'd he do, desert?
Did he go over the hill?
- Let 'em in.
- Let 'em in?
- Sure, let 'em in.
- What's the difference?
Pop thinks I'm yellow,
and Marge thinks I'm a deserter.
Oh, I do not!
I do not!
Oh, I love you. Oh, I love you, darling,
and I don't care what you did.
I know you didn't mean to do it.
But what did you do?
I punched a second lieutenant
in the nose.
You did?
But that's a shootin' offense.
Quiet! Shut up! Bill, you get upstairs.
You two go with him.
I'll handle these dogfaces.
Not the first time I socked an M.P.
- It's no use, Pop. Let's face it.
- Look, son.
Maybe I've been pickin' on you and all that,
but I know my boy...
and I know no matter what's happened,
you did your duty!
- Sergeant William Kluggs?
- You mean Willie?
He's here, sir.
- There he is, sir.
- Sergeant Kluggs?
I'm afraid you'll have to return
to Washington with us at once.
We have a plane waiting at Loring Field.
You can change into a fresh uniform there.
- Just a second!
- He couldn't do anything bad.
I don't care what he did.
He's innocent.
I'm afraid there's
a misunderstanding.
Sergeant Kluggs is not under arrest.
We're proud to inform you that your son
has performed a great service for his country.
He has?
What he did while making his way
through enemy-occupied territory...
cannot be made public
until after the war.
- Oh, Bill! Darling, why didn't you tell us?
- Huh?
But for his bravery,
his enterprise and his gallantry...
above and beyond the call of duty...
he's being recalled to Washington
to be personally decorated...
by the president
of the United States.
Well, isn't that nice?
- Congratulations, Kluggs.
- Thank you, sir.
- Good luck, Kluggs.
- Thank you.
- Congratulations, Kluggs.
- Thanks.
- Well, had a good trip, I see.
- Yes, sir.
Kluggs, this is the new commandant
of the post, Brigadier General Lamson.
An honor to meet you, Sergeant.
Congratulations. Carry on.
Uh, wait a minute.
Hi, Marge!
- Nice lad, Kluggs.
- Yes, sir.
Uh, remind me to recommend him
for the Good Conduct Medal.