Acting luminary Charles Laughton stars as stalwart Anzac soldier Jocko Wilson in this saga set between the World Wars. The bighearted Jocko impulsively adopts a pair of war orphans in the closing days of World War I, intending to raise them with his singing sweetheart, Aggie (Binnie Barnes). Jocko succeeds in smuggling the orphans out of Belgium, but Aggie is left stranded, so he raises the pair alone in his native Australia. The boy, Nipper (Richard Carlson), becomes a lightweight boxing champion while the girl, Mary (Donna Reed), attends boarding school. Jocko buys a hotel with winnings from Nipper's matches and Aggie, now a rich widow, reenters his life. To Jocko's disappointment, rekindling their romance is the last thing Aggie has in mind. In the meantime, Nipper is driven to abandon the family, breaking both Jocko's and Mary's hearts. It takes the start of World War II and a Japanese invasion to bring the Wilsons back together - but at what cost?