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.
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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
Van Johnson was critically injured in an automobile accident on 31 March 1943 and MGM was set to replace him, reportedly with either John Hodiak or Peter Lawford, but Spencer Tracy insisted that they shoot around him during his convalescence. Johnson didn't return to work until the first week in July of 1943, more than three months later. See more »
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 »
You're the prettiest girl in all the world. You're even prettier than a P-38.
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Interesting comparison with "Always" by Spielberg.
As many viewers I saw "Always", actually several times, before I even learned about "A Guy Named Joe." It is factual that the later film was a remake of the earlier one, but being in more modern times a significant story difference was depicted. I have no reason to compare the two against each other, for each one is a fine film on its own.
Set in WW II England, "A Guy Named Joe" gets its title from a comment made by one of the British children waiting to talk to Pete after one of his bombing runs over Germany. He told one of the other children, "that's what all American soldiers are called, guys named Joe." There was no actual character named Joe in the film.
I had never seen Spencer Tracy in his prime, and he was quite a handsome actor. Now I understand why he was so popular. He plays Pete, the pilot who takes unapproved chances to get difficult jobs done. In "Always", Dryfuss as Pete does the same for putting out forest fires. In both films Pete dies during a heroic mission and in heaven is sent to help a novice pilot, who ends up romancing his old girlfriend, Drinda.
I understand that at least one viewer who was in WW II thinks this is not a very good or realistic film. Maybe not, but it is still entertaining, and for me interesting to see a film made the year before I was born. Worth seeking out, for anyone who also enjoyed "Always" to see where it came from. Two different films from two different times, both excellent.
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