Cast & Crew
Despite the disapproval of her father, an army general, Drue Van Allen falls in love with Leonard Arner, a European emigre with left wing political views, who makes inflammatory speeches on college campuses. When Drue announces her intentions to marry Arner, General Van Allen tricks her into boarding an airplane bound for Mexico with her Aunt Betty. Desperate to return to Arner in Washington, D.C., Drue escapes from the watchful eye of her aunt and tries to stretch her meager resources by gambling, but ends up losing everything. In a bar, she meets an American soldier named Jeff, who recognizes her from her newspaper photo and dubs her "Red," while she disdainfully refers to him as "Uncle Sam." Jeff refuses to drive Drue across the border, but when they realize that they cannot pay their bar tab, they end up running out on the bill, stealing a government car and illegally crossing the border into Texas. They elude the border patrol, but Drue crashes the car into a tree, and Jeff decides to leave her on her own and return to his fort. He changes his mind, however, when Drue reminds him that he will now be wanted for desertion in addition to car theft. They spend the night in a barn and the next morning encounter P. J. Rooney, a henpecked farmer who is only too happy to drive them across the country in order to escape his nagging wife, Edith. To Drue's dismay, they head west so that Jeff can catch a boat bound for China. During the ride, Jeff and Drue continue to argue over politics. In the meantime, General Van Allen, furious that Drue has taken off with an enlisted man, is deluged with phone calls from the press. With two soldiers in tow, Edith also takes to the road in search of her wayward husband. When Rooney spies Edith and the soldiers at a bend in the road, he quickly makes a U-turn and heads east, much to the delight of Drue, who is anxious to return to Washington for Arner's upcoming May Day speech. The trio elude the police and soldiers, but a cyclone blows the roof off the trailer and they are forced to seek refuge in a deserted lodge inhabited by an elderly caretaker named Baldy. That evening Drue and Jeff dance cheek to cheek, and Jeff confesses that he has fallen in love with her, but Drue, frightened, hurries off to her room. Soldiers later surround the lodge and Jeff is taken into custody for going AWOL. Edith takes Rooney home. In military prison, Jeff reads about Drue's engagement to Arner in the newspaper, while, back in Washington, General Van Allen discovers that Arner is a propagandist being paid to spread leftist views among young Americans. When the General cannot dissuade Drue from marrying Arner, he gets Jeff out of prison and enlists his aid. In his May Day speech, Arner criticizes the military and Jeff rises to take a bow. A smug Arner invites Jeff to the stage, and Jeff delivers an eloquent and moving speech on patriotism, after which a brawl ensues. Arner is taken away by the police to be deported, and Drue realizes that her heart belongs to Jeff and his true blue American values. To Jeff's and Drue's delight, Rooney shows up in a brand new trailer, having once again escaped his nagging wife, and the happy couple get on board to begin their honeymoon trip.
Harry M. Goetz
J. H. Mccloskey
John Ducasse Schulze
The working title of Red Salute was Arms and the Girl. The film was re-released as Runaway Daughter and appeared on television as Her Enlisted Man. Modern sources indicate that Constance Cummings was originally cast as Drue and that many of the film's references to Communism were cut for re-release and television. Modern sources include the following in the cast: Ben Hall (Student), Joe Dominguez (Rubio, chauffeur), Jack Cheatham (Border patrolman), Tom London (Navy officer), Harry Bowen (Prisoner), George Reed (Butler), Eddy Chandler (Jailer), Lester Dorr (League speaker), Jack Mower (Immigration officer), Fred Kohler, Jr., Alan Cavan, Selmer Jackson, and David Newell.