When Willie Comes Marching Home

Synopsis: Willie Kluggs enters the service with hopes of going overseas, but his uncanny marksmanship keeps him at home as a shooting instructor... much to his embarrassment.
Genre: Comedy, War
Director(s): John Ford
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination.
82 min

This is Punxatawney, West Virginia.

It isn't a very big town,

and I guess it isn't a very small town.

It's just, well, a town, I guess.

My hometown.

It's Sunday and, like in hundreds

of other American towns...

people are on their way to church.

That man taking up the collection

is my pop.

And that's my mom.

That's Marge Fettles.

The Fettleses live next door to us.

I guess I like Marge

more than any girl in town.

I've liked them all in my time,

but I guess I liked Marge more than any other.

I'm not with her there,

because on Sundays after church...

me and the gang always have band practice

in the back of Gilby's drugstore.

- We always practice there, well...

because Oscar's old man

owns the drugstore.

It's not really much of a band-

not good, and not bad.

We play at the school dances

and on the local radio station.

Next year we hope to get

an audition on The Big Time.

Get me. I'm the guy with the trombone.

Somebody stole his gal

Somebody stole his pal

Somebody came

and took her away

She didn't even

say she was leavin'

Those kisses you love so

He's getting now

we know

Oh, gee

- I know that she

- We know that she

- Would come to me

- Would come to he

- If she could see

- If she could see him sittin'

here cryin' in his beer

Brokenhearted lonesome pal

I'll take it

Somebody stole my gal

- Hey! Hey, Billy! Listen to me!

- You're late. Sit down.

- It's war! Hey, fellas! I'm telling you, it's war!

- Will you-

- Are you on the level?

- It just came over from Washington.

The Japs have attacked Pearl Harbor!

Dive bombers, they sank the Oklahoma-

If you're kiddin' us, I'll personally

kick you every step of the way home!

- But it wasn't a joke.

It was the real thing, all right.

They suddenly dive-bombed...

attacking Pearl Harbor,

the great navy base...

the army's Hickam Field

and Ford Island.

A report expressed the belief that there

had been heavy damage done in Hawaii...

and there has been

heavy loss of life.

- This was subsequently confirmed.

Like all the other guys in town,

I forgot about the band...

and Marge and Punxatawney.

Let's go.

Let's go.

- Take it easy.

- This is the first one, Mr. Mayor.

- Bill, my boy.

- Hello, Mr. Mayor. Judge Tate.

- I wanna enlist and join the army right away.

- Well spoken, son.

I've known Bill here since the day he was born.

I've watched him grow.

And now I see him a man,

the first to fight from Punxatawney.

And I wanna tell you

that there's no one better suited...

to be the first soldier

of our town...

than the son of

the junior vice commander...

of the American Legion

Punxatawney post.

Those are pretty big words,

Mr. Mayor.

- Save it, Kluggs. Come here and watch the birdie.

- What's the idea?

- A picture.

- A picture for the Bugle.

- Oh.

- Now, as the first man to enlist in Punxatawney...

have you anything to say

for publication?

Well, all I've got to say is...

the sooner we get at it,

the sooner we get it over.

Hold it!


Good-bye, Mr. Fettles.

Good-bye, Mrs. Fettles.

Good-bye, Bill.

I guess this is it.

So long, Mom.

- Take care of yourself.

- Take care of yourself, son.

I will.

Don't you worry, Mom.

- So long, Pop.

- Good-bye, son.

Don't forget to send me

one of those Jap swords for a souvenir.

- I'll send you one you can shave with.

- All aboard!

- Marge.

- Bill! Hey, Bill!

- So long, Charley.

- I tried to get in, too, but they wouldn't take me.

- Said I had to wait a year.

- Take care of your sister, kid. I'll do the fighting.

- Send me one of them Jap machine guns.

- Stick to a cap pistol.

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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