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Tyrone Power is a pilots' pilot, but he doesn't believe in anything beyond his own abilities. He gets into trouble by flying a new fighter directly to Canada instead of to New York and letting it be towed across as the law demands, but is offered a new job ferrying bombers to war torn England. While on a layover he finds Betty Grable, an old flame, has joined the RAF as a WREN in her attempt to fight for democracy. Power joins up to impress her and in the course of his several missions begins to develope an understanding of what they are fighting for. Written by
John Vogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The scenes with the Spitfires were filmed in the UK. The Spitfires were from 602 Squadron under the command of Squadron Leader Sandy Johnstone. The unit was resting in early 1941 in Scotland after fighting in the Battle of Britain. See more »
When Baker gets into his Spitfire it carries the squadron code 'LO', but the shots of the Spitfires taking off show them with the code 'SH' (used by 64 Squadron) and shots in the air show the code has returned to 'LO'. See more »
Well, I haven't looked at another girl since you left.
Well, I've looked at other men.
Maybe, but I'll bet you didn't look at them the same way you looked at me that first night in Kansas City. Remember?... You were going east, and I was going west; then we saw each other, and I was going east!
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In the only time that Darryl F. Zanuck teamed his two leading adult stars in the forties, Tyrone Power and Betty Grable co-star in A Yank in the RAF. I think the title explains all in terms of the location.
Power plays one of his patented hero/heel types, a lot like Dion O'Leary in In Old Chicago. If you'll remember Alice Faye was being courted by the two O'Leary brothers, sober and industrious Don Ameche and devil may care Tyrone Power.
Now it's Betty as an entertainer over in the United Kingdom to entertain and otherwise help out in the war effort. She meets Ty who is also over there as an American volunteer in the RAF. Ty's someone who really isn't that crazy about military and other kinds of discipline, but he's one charming rogue and Betty can't get her fill of him.
Taking the Ameche part is very British and very stiff upper lip John Sutton. He's totally flipping out over Grable and who could blame him. Still it's Tyrone who powers the Grable engine.
John Sutton would co-star again with Ty Power after World War II in a vastly different part in Captain from Castile. He plays the cowardly and malevolent Diego DeSylva and that particular part from him might have been his career role. In my book it's one of the most evil villains the screen has ever had.
Reginald Gardiner and a whole flock of other British actors from Hollywood's British colony lend support. The RAF flying sequences were shot over in the war theater and were nominated for Best Special Effects.
Betty sings some forgettable tunes as an entertainer by Leo Robin and Ralph Rainger. But heard throughout the film is the standard These Foolish Things. That song, as popular in Great Britain where it originated as in the United States, is one of the best ballads ever written. Why Zanuck didn't have Betty sing it is a mystery.
It's by no means clear who Betty winds up with in the end. I could make a case for either Power or Sutton. You'll have to see the film and make your own mind up. One thing for sure is that Ty is far from reforming. You'll have to see the film to see what I'm talking about there.
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