Lt. Cmdr. Duke E. Gifford (John Wayne) still carries a torch for his ex-wife, Navy nurse Mary (Patricia Neal), but his efforts to win her over take a backseat to malfunctions with his submarine, the USS Thunderfish, whose torpedoes are failing to fire. Further complicating matters is Mary's relationship with a Navy pilot (Philip Carey) who happens to be the brother of the submarine's commander (Ward Bond).

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