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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 »



(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 overview, first billed only:
Jean Moreton
Mrs. Clarrie Moreton
Martin Smith ...
Philip Wileman ...
Billy (as Philip Whileman)
Derek Thompson ...
Simon Harrison ...
Mrs. Moody
Red Cross Lady


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


We'll meet again. Don't know where don't know when. See more »


Drama | War


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |


Release Date:

14 September 1979 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Yanks - Gestern waren wir noch Fremde  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:


(archive footage)| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 »


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 »


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 »


Referenced in American Masters: Woody Allen: A Documentary (2011) See more »


Auld Lang Syne
Traditional tune, lyrics by Robert Burns
Heard at the New Year's Eve dance
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User Reviews

Schlesinger's masterful tale of two cultures
29 July 2001 | by See all my reviews

This is a beautifully judged and paced 1979 film by John Schlesinger, which explores wartime romance and a unique culture clash, with sensitivity, wit and an affectionate eye for the period in which it is set. The time, 1943/4; the place, a small town in the north of England; the parties, the US Army gathering for the invasion of mainland Europe, and the locals grateful for the military assistance but watchful for the virtue of their wives and daughters.

Richard Gere's Sergeant-Cook, Matt, is surely still one of his best and certainly most sympathetic roles. His love affair with shopkeeper's daughter Jean (Lisa Eichhorn) - together with another on/off romance further up the social scale between William Devane's Captain and Vanessa Redgrave's upper class lady - highlight the painful choice between love and loyalty which war often presents. Meanwhile, the sunnier, trouble-free pairing and marriage of boxer Danny (Chick Vennera) and happy-go-lucky Mollie (Wendy Morgan) demonstrates that war can offer fresh starts as well as tragic ends.

Though Schlesinger bases most of the film on the moral (and cinematic) values of the time in which it is set, he reminds us in one sequence of the segregation and race problems in the US Army, which would not be resolved until after the war (and of wider race problems in the US generally, which are still not resolved). Rightly, the movie makes no attempt to avoid emotion; and the ending with the troops, including Matt, Danny and the Captain, moving south to an uncertain future with the invasion force is genuinely moving.

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