****Stars: Robert Wagner, Dana Wynter, Jeffrey Hunter
Director: Philip Dunne
The film traces the progress of three Marines on shore leave during WWII, in the Pacific. One of the men, Nico (Jeffrey Hunter), is a gung-ho patriot; the second, Frankie (Robert Wagner), is a perennial goof-off; and the third, Alan (Bradford Dillman), hopes to prove his worth to his wealthy father.
Nico, Frankie and Alan come to San Francisco on a furlough from the war. Nico proposes to his pregnant girlfriend Andrea (Hope Lange). A drunken Frankie fights with Charlie Stanton, his hateful stepfather, who thinks him a coward. The wealthy Alan catches his fiancee, Sue (Dana Wynter), with another man.
Lorraine (Sheree North), who is in love with Frankie, has joined the military as a WAVE. She introduces his friend Alan to her roommate Kalai (France Nuyen), a nurse of Hawaiian-French heritage. They all go to Lorraine’s apartment, where Frankie first passes out, then wakes up screaming at the thought of returning to the war. Lorraine decides to leave him.
The three men return to the Pacific front, where they end up engaged in a frightening battle. Frankie shows cowardice and Nico tries to slap sense into him. Frankie is honored for his heroism, but Nico is killed while single-handedly confronting an advancing tank.
Alan learns that Sue has attempted suicide. He returns to Kalai, who is in love with him. Frankie, now promoted to sergeant, brings Nico’s last love letter home to Andrea, who has given birth to their child.