British drama film directed by John Boorman, sequel to his Oscar-nominated HOPE AND GLORY. This time, it is 1952. Bill Rohan is 18, dreaming his life away at the family’s riverside home, waiting to be called up for two years conscription in the Army. He swims each morning and yearns for a pretty girl who cycles past at that time on the tow path across the river. This idyll is shattered by the harsh realities of boot camp. He meets Percy, an amoral prankster, and together they plot the downfall of Sergeant Bradley, their rigid tormentor. Percy and Bill are rivals and antagonists, but gradually forge a deep friendship in the claustrophobic environment of a closed, prison-like training camp. The pressure is briefly relieved by excursions into the outside world where Bill falls in love with the wrong girl, but finds the right one in the end. The hard-headed Percy also falls head over heels for Bill’s older sister on her return from Canada with her two children. Finally, Bill is confronted with the shattered lives of wounded boys returning from Korea.