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Yanks (1979)

R | | Drama, War | 14 September 1979 (UK)
During WWII, the United States set up army bases in Great Britain as part of the war effort. Against their proper sensibilities, many of the Brits don't much like the brash Yanks, ... See full summary »

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Writers:

(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 6 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Jean Moreton
...
Helen
...
John
...
Danny Ruffelo
Wendy Morgan ...
Mollie
...
Mrs. Clarrie Moreton
Tony Melody ...
Mr. Jim Moreton
Martin Smith ...
Geoff
Philip Wileman ...
Billy (as Philip Whileman)
Derek Thompson ...
Ken
Simon Harrison ...
Tim
Joan Hickson ...
Mrs. Moody
...
Henry
...
Red Cross Lady
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Storyline

During WWII, the United States set up army bases in Great Britain as part of the war effort. Against their proper sensibilities, many of the Brits don't much like the brash Yanks, especially when it comes to the G.I.s making advances on the lonely British girls, some whose boyfriends are also away for the war. One Yank/Brit relationship that develops is between married John, an Army Captain, and the aristocratic Helen, whose naval husband is away at war. Helen does whatever she needs to support the war effort. Helen loves her husband, but Helen and John are looking for some comfort during the difficult times. Another relationship develops between one of John's charges, Matt, a talented mess hall cook, and Jean. Jean is apprehensive at first about even seeing Matt, who is persistent in his pursuit of her. Jean is in a committed relationship with the kind Ken, her childhood sweetheart who is also away at war. But Jean is attracted to the respect with which Matt treats her. Despite Ken ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Love during wartime.

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

14 September 1979 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Yanks - Gestern waren wir noch Fremde  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(archive footage)| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Closing credits: All of the characters and narrative of this film are fictitious. Characters and events are not intended to refer to actual persons or events and any similarity is unintentional and entirely coincidental. See more »

Goofs

In the restaurant with the slot machine, her Coke bottle has a painted 'CocaCola' painted on the bottle. That bottle was introduced in 1957. Before that it was only molded in the glass. See more »

Quotes

Danny: [naked in an uncovered exterior shower, watching the Red Cross trucks pass] That's the Red Cross...they only do it for officers.
Matt: If you don't put your uniform on, they'll never tell the difference.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The names in the opening credits are divided into two categories: The Americans and The British. See more »

Connections

References Song of the Islands (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

Deep in the Heart of Texas
(uncredited)
Written by June Hershey and Don Swander
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User Reviews

 
Schlesinger's perceptive nostalgia piece
6 August 2002 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

"Yanks" tells of a peaceful invasion in wartime. In preparation for the Second Front, the closing phase of World War II, more than a million American military personnel were stationed in Britain. The film studies the effect of this invasion on one community in Northern England. Let me say at the outset that I have long regarded this largely forgotten film as one of the most important cinematic works of the '70's. The not inconsiderable director, John Schlesinger (he already had to his credit "A Kind of Loving", one of the least dated films of the British '60's "New Wave"), looks back from the vantage point of 35 years of history to a specific place in time to study attitudes of xenophobia that are still prevalent in Britain today. In doing so he always strives after balance so that neither culture is wholly right or wrong. There is a remarkable scene where the shopkeeper's daughter (Lisa Eichhorn) who has been dated by a GI (Richard Gere) cannot understand why he stands by and does nothing when a fellow GI turns on a black soldier for dancing with a white girl. Her response, which he equally cannot comprehend, is to dance with a black guy once order has been restored. It has to be admitted that the quest for balance is very nearly the film's undoing. On paper it may have seemed fine to have two affairs running simultaneously to represent class differences, that of the shopgirl and the army chef and that of the lady-of-the-manor figure (Vanessa Redgrave) and an American officer (William Devane). Both women have to square their consciences with their existing attachments, a fiance on active service at the front and a naval officer husband away at sea. The problem is that the Redgrave/Devane sequences rather border on cliche - son forced to attend a public school he detests but must endure because of family tradition, mother dividing her energies through playing the 'cello in an amateur orchestra and serving newly arrived GI's with refreshments. The Eichhorn/Gere scenes on the other hand work wonderfully. Both play their parts with tremendous sensitivity. There is a marvellous scene where the mother (another fine part by Rachel Roberts) finally agrees to Gere being invited to Sunday tea. Her transformation from suspicious bigotry to what is almost warm understanding of Gere's unforced politeness has a moving quality that reminds me of some of the great moments in "The Best Years of our Lives". There is a beautifully orchestrated grand finale where the Yanks depart that is the very stuff of great epic cinema. Here Richard Rodney Bennett's marvellous score melts into Anne Shelton singing "I'll Be Seeing You Again" as backing to the credits. John Schlesinger's singular achievement in "Yanks" is to recreate the type of experience we so often got from America in the '40's and add to it that element of reflective wisdom that is the most perceptive byproduct of nostalgia.


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