Jack Dunne (Winkler), an amnesiac Vietnam veteran most likely suffering from a severe case of PTSD , escapes a mental ward in New York City intent on starting a business as a worm farmer in Eureka, California.
At the bus station, he accidentally meets Carol Bell (Field), a woman unsure of her engagement to a man toward whom she has confused feelings. Initially annoyed by Jack, Carol gradually warms to him as they set off on a trip through middle America towards Northern California: during the journey she has time to reflect on her impending nuptials as Jack tries to locate his three war buddies hoping to enlist them in his dream to start a worm farm.
It becomes clear that the first two friends Jack and Carol locate are in too poor condition to do much work of any kind. When a visit to the parents of the third results in the disclosure that the friend had died in the war, Jack, who knew as much but was in denial, relives the battlefield trauma of his buddy's death. Finally, Carol's compassion and caring enable Jack to come to terms with reality.
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