Jack Nicholson in his very best in this highly-acclaimed dramatic comedy about three sailors on the loose. Two hard-boiled career petty officers, Buddusky and Mulhall, are detailed to take a young sailor, Meadows, from a Virginia Naval Base to a New Hampshire Naval Prison to serve an eight-year sentence for a trivial offence. Buddusky and Mulhall take a liking is Meadows and are determined to show him a food time on their journey north. Their escapades begin in Washington where they narrowly escape a bar fight, then get blink drunk in their hotel room. In New York City, they tangle with some Marines, and in Boston, Buddusky takes Meadows to a brothel for his first sexual experience. Finally, after reluctantly turning in Meadows, Buddusky and Mullhal realise they are as much prisoners of their won world as Meadows now is of his.