The story opens in an Allied Forces hospital in Burma, 1945, on the last day of the war. Those patients who can travel are going home, but five remain (including one played by Ronald Reagan). The head nurse (Patricia Neal) tells the men that a Scottish soldier (Richard Todd) is going to be joining them and asks for their help. He has only a few weeks to live and is too ill to travel; since he has no family, she asks the men to befriend the solider in his last days - but not to tell him he's dying.
This is a touching drama with many moments of humor. The soldiers are all believable and their camaraderie is heartening. Star Richard Todd does a great job with the Scottish accent. He plays a tough, bitter man who never knew how to make friends and when he finally does shed his defenses, he "shares a moment with kings." The lovely Patricia Neal is perfect as the compassionate nurse who helps the soldier find peace and Ronald Reagan is quite likable as the wise and easy-going "Yank."
The story really made me think about what I would want were I in this soldier's predicament. To know or not to know? To try and go half-way around the globe to die in an empty house or stay among new friends? It's a wrenching dilemma whatever the decision, and the film doesn't sugar-coat it. Top-notch acting and thoughtful script. Recommended.