Jack and Kay Walsh are typical of many couples of the 1940s, where he is the breadwinner and she the housewife dependent upon him to do the man’s duties around the house. Jack believes one of their neighbors in the housing complex in which they live in Los Angeles is white trash – he letting her know so at every opportunity, while Kay is quietly curious about her. That neighbor is streetwise Hazel Zanussi, an aspiring singer who does get a chance to sing on occasion at the club managed by her casual boyfriend, Biscuits Toohey, although he relegates her to being one of the taxi dancers more often against her wants, while he cheats on her behind her back despite truly having feelings for her. Hazel just wants to make an honest living. Their worlds are turned upside down on December 7, 1941 when the US enters WWII with the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. Jack immediately enlists in the Navy, and while he will send money home, his decision leaves Kay largely to fend for herself.
Nice movie depicts the way it was back home in WW II.
When you have 24-hour jobs in any industry, the 3 shifts are commonly called Day shift, Swing shift, and Graveyard shift. This movie deals mainly with the relationships of a cast of characters working the swing shift in a military airplane manufacturing plant on the west coast during World War Two. Since most of the able bodied men went off to war, the ladies were given the construction jobs.
The movie has another item of interest, it was made about the time that Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn began their long relationship which persists today, about 23 years later.
Goldie Hawn is Kay Walsh, young housewife whose husband Jack (Ed Harris) goes into the Navy. With no skills at all, she begins working in the factory. She learns fast and does well, and after the bravely pushed a co-worker out of harm’s way when an overhead engine was falling, she was promoted to ‘leadman.’
Kurt Russell is ‘Lucky’ Lockhart, a trumpet player who is 4F but also working the swing shift. Even though Lucky knows Kay is married, he persists in a romantic pursuit.
Another swing shift member is played by Christine Lahti as Hazel, part time club singer. She, Lucky, and Kay work together and become fast friends. Her love interest also goes off to war, Fred Ward playing ‘Biscuits’ Touie. A young Holly Hunter is Jeannie , another member of the work crew.