A Naval Capt., Frank 'Spig' Wead, finally returns home after 2 years of being stationed away from home. One night, he falls down the stairs and breaks his neck, paralyzing him. After a risky surgery, he's given a 50/50 chance of living.
Spig's best friend, 'Jughead', visits him every day and encourages him. Together, they will Spig's body to move.
Spig feels useless. Encouraged by books and stories read to him by Jughead and the nurses, Spig tries his hand at writing. Meanwhile, with months of hard work, Spig regains the use of his body and is even able to walk with two canes and braces on his legs. Another of Spig's friends learned of his writing. He visits Spig with the news that a producer friend of his wanted a story about the Navy to turn into a movie and he volunteered Spig.
Spig was discouraged after dozens of rejection letters, but on that same day one of his stories was accepted and published. He writes a story that becomes a big movie. He goes on to write plays and become a famous writer. Still longing to be a sailor, he gets returned to active duty. However, after medical problems arise he's informed that he doesn't have long to live and is forced to retire.
This report prepared by Brandon Swenson
John Wayne plays Frank "Spig" Wead, a World War I flying ace. This is a biographical story based partially on Frank Wead's life. Wead is much admired by the men and known for being a little reckless. After the end of WWI, his wife played by Maureen O'Hara hopes that now they can stop moving all over for once and settle down and take care of their too daughters. But Spig puts his career ahead of his family and gets involved in racing airplanes. Two years go by before he visits his family again. While there, he falls down the stairs when he hurried out to try to get to his crying daughter. Wead ends up paralyzed in the hospital, where his old friend Jughead (Dan Bailey) encourages him not to give up. Rehabilitation takes some time. While recuperating at the San Diego Naval Hospital he is approached to write war stories for Hollywood. He becomes a playwright. Finally he is ready to settle down with his wife, who has lived apart from him by now for several years. But once again, they are pulled apart by World War II, when Wead is compelled to re-enlist. It takes his friend's injury and a heart attack before he can finally stop his career..
This report prepared by BethG