During World War II, 19-year-old Russian soldier Alyosha wins a 10-day leave and tries to make it home. Along the way, he meets several civilians, and his cheery presence is like a wartime tonic for them, uplifting their lives. But, as he uses most of his free time to help others, he's left with few moments to spend with family. Carefully shot (in black and white) by director Grigori Chukhrai, the film earned as Oscar nomination for its script.

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