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Patrick, a sensitive French teenager in post World War II France, swears to friend Marie-Jose that they will run off to USA when they are grown ups. In 1959 they turn 16 and Patrick spends most of his time at the exotic world of the military base and live jazz. Bighearted sergeant Will provides Patrick a drum set and Patrick sits in with the jazz quintet that entertains the troops. But his father forbids him to play.

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