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A green recruit has a series of madcap adventures in the Army.
Just after his managing editor, Brodie S. Griffith, lectures him on his sloppy reporting techniques, young journalist Marion Hargrove receives his draft notice. On the bus to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where he is to receive his training as a field artillery specialist, Hargrove meets fellow recruits Orrin Esty and Mulvehill. Hargrove, Esty, Mulvehill and a fourth recruit, Bill Burk, become fast friends, forming their own unit within their assigned battery. Although Hargrove is anxious to become a good soldier, his careless, forgetful nature continually gets him into trouble, and he spends much of his time cleaning trashcans for K.P. duty. Hargrove is also a poor marksman, leading his sergeants, Cramp and Heldon, to wonder whether he will ever graduate from basic training. When Hargrove receives a sympathy check from Griffith, to whom he had submitted an article about his military experiences, the wheeling-dealing Mulvehill decides that Hargrove's writing could be a source of added income for them all and encourages him to continue. One evening, outside the camp's service club in Fayetteville, Hargrove spies Carol Holliday and is instantly smitten. Seeing an opportunity, Mulvehill tells Hargrove that Carol is a member of his newly formed Date Bureau and offers to set him up for five dollars. Hargrove eagerly accepts Mulvehill's deal and, believing that Carol is expecting him, shows up at her house that Saturday night. When a surprised Carol finds out that Hargrove paid five dollars to date her, she becomes furious and prepares to throw him out. Feeling sorry for the bemused private, Carol's uncle George convinces her to forgive Hargrove, and she and Hargrove enjoy a romantic evening together. The lovestruck Hargrove makes plans with Carol to see each other the following Saturday, just before Carol, who lives in New York, is to return home. Over the next week, Hargrove's military performance greatly improves, but on Saturday, his typewriter accidentally falls on top of his commanding officer's head during an inspection and he is given street cleaning detail. To save Hargrove embarrassment, Mulvehill and Esty tell Carol he has contracted measles and is under quarantine. Despite the privates' efforts to distract her, Carol sees Hargrove cleaning the street, but forgives him for missing their date and kisses him. Later, after Carol has left for New York, a depressed Hargrove announces that he is through with writing. When Mulvehill reminds Hargrove that the only way he can afford to go to New York during his furlough is to keep writing, however, Hargrove relents. Hargrove then surprises his battery by scoring the most points during an artillery drill and is promoted to corporal. Hargrove's success is shortlived, however, as he leads Mulvehill, Burk and Esty to the wrong headquarters during a field exercise. Sure that his furlough will be denied, the demoted Hargrove spends all of his cash entertaining his friends and is mortified when he learns that his furlough request has been honored. Mulvehill then makes a deal with Hargrove, in which he, Esty and Burk will lend Hargrove enough money for his furlough in exchange for a percentage of his future earnings. The now-flush Hargrove races up to New York, and over the next week, cements his relationship with Carol. Soon after Hargrove returns to Fort Bragg, Mulvehill convinces him that they should apply for a transfer to a public relations office, where Hargrove's journalistic skills can be put to use. Before they receive word about their request, the battery is shipped to another camp, and the men are subjected to more grueling training. Hargrove then learns that an autobiographical manuscript that he had submitted to various publishers has been accepted by one. As agreed, the four privates divide up Hargrove's $300 advance, but when word comes that Hargrove and Mulvehill's transfer has come through, a disgusted Esty and Burk reject the money. Hargrove and Mulvehill move to their comfortable quarters at the camp's public relations office, where a guilt-ridden Hargrove churns out copy for the Army. As soon as the privates hear that their platoon is being shipped overseas, they request to be transferred back, and receive their new orders moments before the battery's train leaves for the coast.
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||Premiere Info:||New York opening: 21 Mar 1944|
|Release Date:||1944||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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