Beery at his most butch is a swaggering, multi-hashmarked Marine sergeant major in the Philippines near the start of WW II, growling at his men, getting things done. His terrible secret, one that plagues him, is that he's a peacetime patriot who's never seen combat. When his unit ships
out to see action in China, Beery is refused permission to go with them. Dejected, he drinks and starts an altercation with some merchant sailors. Committed to the brig, and with wife Bainter urging his retirement, he complies with her wishes and turns disgruntled civilian. When the Japanese--the
"mustard-colored monkeys," as he calls them (remember, this was shortly after Pearl Harb...