Two veterans of the D-Day landings, Cyril (Leo McKern) and Amos (Alec Guinness) return to Normandy for the first time in 50 years. Amos, who took some shrapnel in the skull during the battle of Normandy, has been mentally scarred ever since.
Cyril has brought Amos to visit the grave of their wartime buddy, Briggsy, but is also keen to catch up on another wartime friend. Staying at the same hotel, just above the famous Normandy beaches, is a small American party – Waldo (John Randolph), who is also revisiting the war graves, with his daughter Beverley and her husband, Ralph.
At the same hotel is a solitary and sorrowful American, Lisa, who attaches herself to her compatriots when they offer her a lift in their car.
Cyril sets off to the village in a quest to find Angelique, a girl who had befriended the Allied soldiers in ’44. Walking on the other side of the road, in the same direction, with the same aim, is Waldo. It emerges that both men were rivals for Angel’s affections – and still are. Congeniality quickly turns to hostility.
Where is Angel, their former French sweetheart? Who exactly is Lisa and what is the guilty secret she appears to be nursing?
Secrets will be revealed, rivalries stoked and memoires evoked at the Normandy cemeteries as the parties converge to pay their respects.