Heston is a major in the Army, a stern disciplinarian who is always berating his troops and who makes the error of shooting off his mouth to Newsweek, a deed which gets him called on the carpet by his commanding officer, Stone. The hierarchy in the service demands Heston be relieved of
his post so he's given one more chance and sent to Santa Barbara, where he is to whip up the ROTC program at a military school. Upon arrival, he learns that the school is run by nuns, led by Bryant, and that his cadets range from six to 15 years of age. The school is on probation and in danger of
losing its ROTC certification. When Heston meets his "men," he is shocked and proceeds to treat them in the same way he handled his soldiers before. Naturally, the kids think he's a creep. The school's doctor, Adams, examines Heston when he is hurt during a drill. He'd like to ask her out but the
Army has been his life and he has no idea of how to deal with a woman. He finally works up enough courage, but their first date is a disaster when she brings six-year-old Hovey along. The cadets are so fed up with Heston that they write a complaining letter to Washington. Heston goes back to meet
with Stone, who happens to be Bryant's brother. Heston wants to come back to the service but Bryant has been writing to Stone about the way Heston has treated the kids and Stone is not convinced Heston is ready to lead men if he can't even lead boys. Heston returns to Santa Barbara, where Adams'
watch has been stolen. Heston tracks down the culprit and learns that it was Considine, a mechanically minded cadet who just wanted to take it apart and put it back together to see how it worked. Instead of reading him the riot act and clapping the boy in irons, Heston is patient and lets him go.
Considine tells the other lads how Heston has changed, but by this time their letter has reached Washington and Heston is called back again, throwing a monkeywrench into his burgeoning love affair with Adams. Heston goes to the hospital to say goodbye to some of the boys, then learns that he has
been exposed to their measles, resulting in his being thrust into quarantine. The Army brass arrive to see if the school will still qualify and the kids come through with a first-rate drill, impressing the Army men as they shout "Rah for Major Benson." In the end, Heston marries Adams, the school
keeps the ROTC program, and Heston is reassigned to Fort Dix. There are some very good lines in the script (which garnered an Oscar nomination for Best Motion Picture story) and the kids are wonderful, particularly Hovey and Considine. If you want your heart warmed, try watching this. Even Heston
gets off a few quips without murdering them.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: Heston is a major in the Army, a stern disciplinarian who is always berating his troops and who makes the error of shooting off his mouth to Newsweek, a deed which gets him called on the carpet by his commanding officer, Stone. The hierarchy in the service… (more)