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A bumbling soldier and his scheming friend take France by storm.
A short time after the D-Day invasion, as the Allied forces move across the Normandy peninsula toward Paris, an American unit, the B Battery of 352nd Field Artillery, becomes separated from the caravan when its artillery truck gets stuck in the mud. Unable to catch up with the caravan, Corporal Marion Hargrove, the commander of the gun crew, leads his battery to the small French town of Mardenne, which has just been liberated from the Germans. When the townspeople see Hargrove and his men approaching, they mistake them for their liberators and hail them as heroes in a huge celebration. The mayor of Mardenne, Ouidoc, extends a warm welcome to Hargrove and proudly introduces him to his attractive young daughter Jeanne. Jeanne later takes Hargrove on a private tour of the town, but Hargrove, who wishes to remain faithful to his girl friend back home, carefully resists any romantic entanglement with Jeanne. Meanwhile, another member of Hargrove's unit, Private Thomas Mulvehill, stirs up trouble by exploiting the town's hospitality and subjecting some of the residents to his confidence schemes. When the day comes for Hargrove and his men to leave Mardenne, the town sends them off with a huge farewell ceremony. Despite Hargrove's success in fostering good will between the French citizens and the Allied forces, he is later demoted for his actions and sent to work digging a garbage pit as punishment. Hargrove's fortunes soon change, however, when the Army encounters difficulties securing the trust and cooperation of the people of Mardenne, and sends his unit back to help set up a military government. Hargrove is again given a warm welcome by the townspeople, especially by Jeanne, who greets him with a big kiss. When Jeanne resumes her romantic pursuit of Hargrove, Hargrove expresses his concerns to his superiors and asks permission to tell Jeanne about his girl friend. The request is denied, however, because the Army fears that Hargrove's admission will undermine the delicate relationship between military police and the town officials. Mulvehill, meanwhile, continues to press his confidence games on the townspeople with little success. Mulvehill himself falls victim to a confidence scheme when watchmaker Marcel Vivin sells him a fake map detailing the exact location of valuable watches that are supposedly buried in a Paris cellar. When Mulvehill realizes that his unit is being forced to remain in Mardenne because of Jeanne's infatuation with Hargrove, he secretly arranges to have her leave town to join the French WACS. With their services no longer required in Mardenne, Hargrove and his division are sent to rejoin the Allied troop movement toward Paris. A short time later, while en route to the supply depot, Hargrove and Mulvehill get lost and wind up in Paris. Mulvehill insists that they look for the hidden watches, but no sooner do they start digging than they are caught by military police officers and are arrested for going AWOL. Mulvehill later wins their release by lying to the military chaplain and telling him that Hargrove left his post to see his fiancée. The plan backfires, however, when the chaplain finds Hargrove and Mulvehill consorting with Jeanne, who makes it known that she is not Hargrove's fiancée. Fed up with Mulvehill's tricks and lies, Hargrove returns to camp alone and asks to be reassigned away from him. Hargrove later has a change of heart, though, when Mulvehill fails to return to camp and is believed to be missing. After finding Mulvehill in Paris, Hargrove and Scramps return him to their unit in time to participate in a successful military offensive.
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||Premiere Info:||not available|
|Release Date:||1945||Production Date:||
|Color/B&W:||Black and White||Distributions Co:||Loew's Inc.|
|Sound:||Mono (Western Electric Sound System)||Production Co:||Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.|
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