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A Guy Named Joe (1943)

Passed | | Drama, Romance, War | March 1944 (USA)
A dead World War II bomber pilot named Pete Sandidge, becomes the guardian angel of another pilot, Ted Randall. He guides Ted through battle and helping him to romance his old girlfriend, despite her excessive devotion to Sandidge's memory.

Director:

Victor Fleming

Writers:

Chandler Sprague (story), David Boehm (story) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Spencer Tracy ... Pete Sandidge
Irene Dunne ... Dorinda Durston
Van Johnson ... Ted Randall
Ward Bond ... Al Yackey
James Gleason ... 'Nails' Kilpatrick
Lionel Barrymore ... The General
Barry Nelson ... Dick Rumney
Esther Williams ... Ellen Bright
Henry O'Neill ... Col. Sykes
Don DeFore ... James J. Rourke (as Don De Fore)
Charles Smith ... Sanderson
Addison Richards ... Maj. Corbett
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Storyline

Maj. Pete Sandidge is a very able pilot who seems to have a streak of luck as far as flying goes. World War II is raging and Pete has come out of it pretty so far. He even has a beautiful girlfriend Dorinda Durston, herself a qualified pilot who ferries aircraft to different bases. When Pete is killed however, he finds himself in heaven and learns that every pilot has a guardian angel. He returns to Earth where, unseen by anyone, he coaches a pilot-in-training Ted Randall. Ted is a pretty good kid and is coming along nicely but when he's shipped to New Guinea he runs into Dorinda who has remained faithful to her lost love. As Ted pursues her, Pete will have to decide what he wants to do about it. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A GUY - A GAL - A PAL - It's Swell!

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War | Fantasy

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

March 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Guy Named Joe See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,627,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although she appears to be wearing an RAF uniform and pilot wings, Dorinda (Irene Dunne) is actually wearing the uniform of a third officer in the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA), as can be seen by her wings and shoulder rank flash. The ATA was a civilian organization whose pilots were not qualified for combat, either through disability or because they were women. They were charged with ferrying airplanes around for the British military, freeing up line pilots for combat duty. Their uniforms were modeled on the RAF, but they were not strictly speaking military. See more »

Goofs

When Nails is standing at the bar having a drink with Pete and Al, he sits his almost full glass down before handing them their orders to Scotland. In the next shot as Nails is walking towards the door, his glass is almost empty - having never taken another drink from it. See more »

Quotes

Pete Sandidge: Either I'm dead or I'm crazy.
Dick Rumney: You're not crazy.
See more »


Soundtracks

I'll Get By
(1928) (uncredited)
Music by Fred E. Ahlert
Lyrics by Roy Turk
Played on harmonica by Ward Bond, sung by Irene Dunne and danced by her and Spencer Tracy
Played also in a juke box
In the score often as a leitmotif for the love between Irene Dunne and Spencer Tracy
See more »

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User Reviews

A wonderfully subtle study of the nature of love
20 September 2004 | by BetterInBlackAndWhiteSee all my reviews

Some reviewers have complained that certain parts of the movie are unbelievable--agreed. However, "A Guy Named Joe" isn't a documentary. It's a riff on the nature of love and loss.

I've seen many Spencer Tracey movies, but none in which he is so subtle, charming, and heartbreaking. I won't give away his final line at the end, but it is a very simple line, delivered simply. But in his understated way, he encapsulates the most complex of human emotions.

Irene Dunne, a truly fine actress, is at her best here. Yes, her style does take a little getting used to for modern audiences, but she, too, has some incredibly difficult work to do in this film, and she meets the task impressively. And Van Johnson, whom I've never really given much thought, turns in a fine performance here, early in his career.

It is obvious that these three actors had a healthy rapport together. The lines of communication had to have been wide open for them to have turned in such gentle, subtly nuanced performances.

I can't say enough about this film. It may sound corny, but if you have ever loved anyone, and if you have ever lost anyone, you will immediately recognize the characters in this film. It's also worth mentioning that the screenplay contains some of the most beautiful poetic language I've ever heard in a movie. If you've never seen "A Guy Named Joe," I strongly recommend it; it will do your heart good.


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