1952 movie directed by John Ford starring James Cagney as Captain Flag, a 'tough-as-nails' Marine company commander in World War One. Just after returning from the front line trenches to rest and refit his company, he receives a new top sergeant, Sergeant Quirt played by Dan Dailey, to get his new replacements ready for the next tour on the lines. Sergeant Quirt is probably the best in the Marines, but he's also a wild rival to Captain Flag and they soon show their stuff after Quirk's arrival with a quick fistfight in Flag's office.
The Marine company is full of senior battle-hardened veterans portrayed in an entertaining manner by numerous actors including William Demarest (Uncle Charlie from "My Three Sons") and Henry Morgan (Colonel Potter from "M.A.S.H."). A youthful Robert Wagner stars as one of the newly assigned juniors who falls in love with a local girl during the company's training period.
John Ford did masterful job rolling in humor, drama and romance. The film is well balanced and portrays the Marines as colorful hard-core types that do more than their share for the war effort, as well as play hard in their off time. There's good action when the company returns to the front and captures some elements of hardship in World War One's trench warfare. It's a romantic and entertaining feature that rivals Ford's other well-known feature "The Quiet Man."
The DVD edition is finally here and it's a nice improvement over previous VHS formats.