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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

The gun sight that Ted (Van Johnson) uses in his P-38 is the old ring-and-bead sight. The P-38 used a reflector-type gun sight. See more »

Quotes

Ted Randall: You're the prettiest girl in all the world. You're even prettier than a P-38.
See more »


Soundtracks

I'm A Ding Dong Daddy From Dumas
(uncredited)
Written by Phil Baxter
Performed by Don DeFore
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Girl Named Irene, A Guy Named Spence, and Another Guy Named Van
24 April 2005 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

This is a wonderful romantic picture set in World War II and I have to say Spencer Tracy has almost as much chemistry with Irene Dunne as he does with Katharine Hepburn.

During his career Spencer Tracy was basically two types of character, the cryptic tough guy adventurer and later on a wise father figure. In A Guy Named Joe his Pete Sandidge gets to be both. But he has to get killed before he morphs into his second character.

Spencer Tracy is an ace pilot who's over in the European Theatre and his girlfriend, Irene Dunne is also a pilot, a la Amelia Earhart. She's forever worried about the risks he takes and then her wishes turn into reality as he gets himself killed.

Of course he's not quite ready to enter the pearly gates. It seems as though Heaven has an Air Corps advisory program for ghosts to advise living pilots and Spence's first assignment is Van Johnson. Wouldn't you know it, Van's the guy that's getting Irene on the rebound. Tracy's not enough of a ghost yet that the old green-eyed monster isn't grabbing hold of him. So.............................

With Tracy being dead, the possibilities of endings are limited. But it's at this point that Tracy grows into the father figure character we know him better from in his later work.

Van Johnson's career got a big boost from this film. He's previously been in mostly B films, a lot of them as successor to Lew Ayres in the later in the Dr. Gillespie series. He was injured in a motorcycle accident during the shooting and Spencer Tracy threatened to walk off the picture if Van was replaced. Van healed and the film started him into the upward path of his career.

Irene Dunne who did almost as many musicals as straight drama in the 1930s got to sing in this film. That's always a plus. Here she sings a great rendition of I'll Get By which was enjoying a revival of popularity in the World War II years.

Rounding out the supporting cast are Lionel Barrymore, Ward Bond, James Gleason, Barry Nelson, and Don DeFore all performing to their usual standards of excellence.

A really great romantic film like they don't make any more.


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