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
This film was first telecast in Los Angeles Friday 1 February 1957 on KTTV (Channel 11); it first aired in Seattle 7 March 1957 on KING (Channel 5), in Kansas City MO 26 April 1957 on KCMO (Channel 5), in Portland OR 9 May 1957 on KGW (Channel 8), in Salt Lake City 22 May 1957 on KTVT (Channel 4), in Minneapolis 5 June 1957 on KMGM (Channel 9), in Phoenix 8 June 1957 on KPHO (Channel 5), in Philadelphia 2 August 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6), in Chicago 3 August 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2), and in Altoona PA 29 August 1957 on WFBG (Channel 10), but not in New York City until 4 February 1958 on WCBS (Channel 2), and in San Francisco 8 November 1958 on KGO (Channel 7). See more »
The Japanese bombers that the P-38s attack are actually Martin B-26 Marauders. See more »
Well-acted drama has a hot shot pilot (Spencer Tracy) getting killed during a WW2 battle leaving his fiancé (Irene Dunne) all alone. The dead pilot eventually comes back as a ghost to help a young pilot (Van Johnson) but soon his morals come into question when the young man starts dating his fiancé. This here seems to remain a popular movie considering how many times Turner Classic Movies plays it a year. The same can't be said for the Steven Spielberg remake, Always, which seems to have already been forgotten as one of the director's minor works. This film here is certainly sappy and predictable but the wonderful cast makes it very entertaining to watch even though the running time is a tad bit long. Tracy leads the way with a very touching performance that lets the actor show off various emotions ranging from anger to sweetness to even some nice comic tones. Tracy was also great at playing the tough guy with a heart and this here is no exception. Dunne is good in her role but I was surprised to see how blandly written it was. She basically just sits around (or stands) waiting for one of the men to come up to her and considering how star level at the time it's rather shocking to see her role not juiced up a bit. Johnson steals the film as the new pilot who mirrors Tracy's character too much. The naive innocence Johnson brings to the role is quite memorable. Lionel Barrymore, James Gleason and Ward Bond all offer up nice support. Barry Nelson and Esther Williams have small roles as well. The are a few battle scenes, which look extremely well including the main battle at the middle of the film when Tracy gets killed. The aerial footage was well shot and manages to be quite dramatic as well. The cinematography is another plus as is the music score. Again, the main problem tends to be in the screenplay, which really doesn't allow for too many surprises and that includes the ending, which isn't believable and really comes off rather silly. The great cast makes it worth watching though.
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