Chicago Nightclub - New Year's Eve 1944...
Lt. Mike Clarke celebrates the night before shipping out to Europe as a fighter pilot. After far too
many drinks he meets a stranger, Vito Massucci, who suckers him into making a $1,000 bet. The
terms dictate that Mike must become a "war ace" by shooting down at least five enemy aircrafts.
After sobering up, Mike realizes the figure was changed to $10,000 (enough to buy a nice house in
those days) and also that Vito's uncle, who witnessed the contract, was none other than the
notorious Al Capone.
Somewhere over Europe - April 1945...
Mike and his co-pilot, Lt. "Twicky" Twickenham, become lost while returning to England from a
nighttime combat mission. Low on fuel, they land in a remote field (presumably enemy territory) and
are met by two pitchfork wielding farmers.
Mike asks if they speak English. The older one, Paddy O'Dea replies: "Aye. This is very common here
in Ireland." Mike and Twicky, both shocked and relieved, spend the night at Paddy's cottage. The
next morning, Mike stumbles downstairs and bumps into Otto "Dinky" Dinkelgruber (a German lad
decked out in a Luftwaffe uniform), who is having breakfast with Paddy.
Mike - who is not the kind of guy who appreciates rules of engagement during wartime situations -
jumps Dinky and a wild fight breaks out. When calm finally prevails, Paddy discovers that Twicky is
one of those bloody damn "land grabbing Brits." This triggers another fist fight between Paddy and
After consuming many pints of Guinness, they all become friends. It seems that Dinky, tired of
Hitler's nonsense, had defected the night before in his Messerschmidt (German turbo jetfighter
Soon Mike and Twicky meet a bunch of colorful Irish characters. But Mike - highly stressed in that
he's only shot down four German planes - desperately needs number five. He must go back to his
base in England and rejoin the war. But the only phone in the entire village is out of service, so
there's no means of communicating with the outside world.
Normally the only one who ever visits here is Constable Thaddius McCafferty who makes his rounds
once a week from Dublin. So Mike and Twicky will have to wait for him. And meanwhile there are no
single women around...although Paddy did mention something about having a granddaughter.
In that the Republic of Ireland has remained neutral during the war, Mike and Twicky are officially
considered under arrest by Paddy O'Dea. If there was ever a nice way to be interned as a prisoner,
this is it.
Paddy indeed does have a granddaughter; Maggie is young, beautiful and very strong-minded. Upon
meeting Mike, she promptly turns his world upside down. And before long they fall hopelessly in love
-- though not without a good deal of cultural and religious miscommunications.
The locals like and support Mike (the crazy Yank) as he schemes to bag one more enemy aircraft.
Mike convinces Dinky to fly the Messerschmidt so that he (Mike) can "carefully" shoot him down and
allow him to parachute safely. If Mike can pull it off, he will be credited with his fifth enemy aircraft
hit and avoid a fatal rendezvous with Al Capone and his thugs back in Chicago.
Constable Thaddius is set to leave Dublin in a police-issued motor car to conduct his weekly country
rounds. Dieter "Klugie" Kluge is a "visitor" to Ireland who bribes Thaddius with a bottle of whiskey so
he can join him during his tour of the Ring of Kerry. Needless to say, in due time we learn that Klugie
is actually a Gestapo Agent who has been dispatched from Germany to exterminate poor Dinky.
Twicky is bed-ridden with the flu, which leaves Mike to find a new co-pilot to maintain his aircraft on
a steady course while he attempts to shoot down Dinky in the Messerschmidt. With less than forty
people living in the small village and all of the young and able-bodied men away for the war effort,
Mikes options are limited.
The next problem is weaponry. Mike and Twicky exhausted their plane's ammo during their last
mission. Other than Mike's .45 pistol, the only weapons found in the village are a rusty old WWI rifle
and a crossbow. Mike chooses the rifle.
Facing slim pickings for a flying mate, Mike reluctantly selects Maggie as his co-pilot. At the break of
dawn they take off. Shortly into the mission, Maggie takes a quick evasive action to avoid hitting a
seagull which causes Mike to drop the rifle into the angry Irish Sea. The incident leads to an argument
and Maggie begging for another chance. But Father Quinlan, who is senile, is Mike's next choice for
Mike and the priest take off. Unfortunately - having missed his mandatory morning cup of tea -
Father Quinlan falls asleep at the controls. Mike takes over and struggles for dear life to safely bring
the plane down.
Mike and Maggie get into another major spat and Mike's pistol is inadvertently destroyed in the
aftermath. This means the weapon of choice is down to one, a crossbow.
With very little fuel remaining, Mike has one final chance to accomplish his goal. Logic would suggest
that he give Maggie (who dearly wants to fly again) one more crack at it. Yet to everyone's
astonishment, Mike picks Eammon Muldoon, a very old WWI veteran -- who is blind!
Though the mission isn't very pretty, Mike and Eammon manage to succeed. After getting wounded
with the crossbow and "shot" down, Dinky bails out of his plane, which veers off over a cliff before
being swallowed up by the Irish Sea.
In the end...
The village phone service is finally restored. When the postmistress phones Dublin, she's surprised to
learn that the war ended several hours earlier. Bottom line -- shooting down the Messerschmidt will
not qualify Mike as an ace.
Making matters worse, Klugie shows up that night. Still, because he is a consummate professional,
Klugie would never kill Dinky if someone could convince him the world was at peace. Mike haggles
with Klugie and finally convinces him the war has ended. The village members cheer, as Mike-the-
Yank has saved Dinky. But just at that moment Father Quinlan absentmindedly causes a physical
blunder, which leaves poor Klugie painfully wounded (think about the crossbow) in a very
embarrassing part of his body. He is administered an Irish sedative (a good dose of whiskey) by the
local doctor and patched up. Meanwhile Mike internalizes with the thought that he needs an "Irish"
miracle to get credit for his fifth kill and thereby avoid the wrath of Al Capone.
Then, a miracle happens -- Mike is awarded his fifth kill in a totally unexpected manner. Next another
miracle, of sorts, occurs -- Mike caves in and proposes marriage to Maggie; although, the blessed
event will be deferred until Maggie can go to America.
Things are capped off with a raucous engagement party at the village pub. Drinks flow, music blares,
singing and dancing breaks out as Mike-the-Yank, Twicky-the-Brit, the two Germans and a gaggle of
Irish villagers raise hell while they forge lifelong friendships. [D-Man2010]
Chicago Nightclub New Years Eve 1944. Lt. Mike Clarke is a fighter pilot and is celebrating the night
before he is scheduled to ship out to Europe. After too many drinks, he meets a stranger, Vito
Massucci, who suckers him into making a $1,000 bet. The terms dictate that Mike must become a
war ace by shooting down at least five enemy aircraft. However, after sobering up Mike realizes
the figure was changed to $10,000 and also that Vitos uncle who witnessed the contract -- is none
other than the notorious Al Capone! [D-Man2010]