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When Johnny Comes Marching Home

When Johnny Comes Marching Home(1943)


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War hero Johnny Kovacs returns home to a hero's welcome, but all the private wants to do on his furlough is eat a hot dog and sleep for a week. Instead, he is kept on a day-and-night personal appearance schedule. When he learns that the mayor's daughter, Diana Wellman, has falsely announced their engagement to the press, Johnny is given permission by his commander, Major Donaldson, to go into hiding for the remainder of his leave. He moves back into Nora Flanagan's boardinghouse using his old stage name, Johnny O'Rourke, and immediately draws the attention of Marilyn Benton, the teenage girl friend of Nora's son Frankie. Johnny, however, is more interested in Marilyn's older sister Joyce, who has taken his singing spot in Phil Spitalny's orchestra. At the Coronet Club, Johnny is surprised to learn that Phil now has an "all girl" orchestra, having lost his musicians to military service. Matters become further complicated for Johnny when he must hide from Joyce's boyfriend, Lt. Tommy Bridges, who was part of the military contingent that officially welcomed him back to the United States. Later, Joyce tries to get Johnny to perform with Phil's band at an Army-Navy relief benefit, while, at the same time, Donaldson calls Johnny to warn him that the Wellmans are looking all over town for him. The boarders overhear Johnny's end of the conversation and mistakenly assume that he is a military deserter in hiding. Afterward, Joyce will have nothing to do with Johnny until Marilyn convinces her sister that he needs her help to overcome his cowardice. Later, Joyce warns Johnny that the police have been to the boardinghouse, having traced Donaldson's phone call, and she asks him to give himself up. Rather than tell her why he is really wanted, Johnny becomes upset that all his closest friends think he is a coward. Still trying to make things right, Frankie goes to see Trullers, Wellman's secretary, and asks that his act be included in the benefit. Trullers agrees to cast Frankie's act if it will include Johnny. Before the show, Frankie confesses all to Johnny, and the singer tells the teenager that he has finally decided to "turn himself in." Thinking that Johnny is about to be arrested, Joyce rushes to his side and proclaims her love, only to learn that he is really Johnny Kovacs, the war hero. Tommy then tells Joyce why Johnny was in hiding, and she and Johnny are reunited.