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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

The two lines of prophetic poetry that Pete recites to Dorinda while they are by the fireplace (For men must work, and women must weep)are from the English poet Charles Kingsley's "Three Fishers", written in 1851. The poem tells the story of three fishermen who go out to sea, and lose their lives in a storm. It describes the tragic loss of the fishermen to their loved ones. See more »

Goofs

While Dorinda was an experienced twin engine ferry pilot, flying the P38 without training would be a huge stretch. Even for those trained in the type it was a complex machine and there were so many steps required to get into battle mode during flight that many pilots were shot down when jumped. In addition, some of the switches were difficult to flip and there was a pair of fuel levers that were completely out of sight and very difficult to turn. Without any training, Dorinda would not have even known they were there. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in The Heavenly Kid (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

The Army Air Corps Song
(uncredited)
Written by Robert Crawford
Played during the opening credits and partially sung by an off-screen male chorus
Played as background music often and at the end
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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