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
The P-38 Lightning, featured in this film, was considered one of the best planes of WW2 since it was faster than most Japanese planes, highly maneuverable and could accept heavy damage and still fly. It featured forward firing guns, including a 20mm cannon, rather than the angled wing guns on most planes. It had one bad feature. When bailing out a pilot had to roll the plane and fall out rather than crawling out and jumping since the horizontal stabilizer between the two tails frequently would hit the pilot as he jumped. See more »
Late in the movie Dorinda (Irene Dunne) is wearing the uniform of a Women Airforce Service Pilot (WASP), apparently still ferrying airplanes. However, WASPs never ferried planes to overseas locations, especially combat areas such as New Guinea, which is in the Southwest Pacific. Earlier in the movie she is in England; however, she was wearing a British uniform and women regularly ferried planes there and even encountered combat conditions. See more »
During WW2, fighter pilot Spencer Tracy (Pete) has a maverick streak which causes him problems and gets him sent to Scotland for reconnaissance flights and eventually back to the USA to train junior pilots. However, this is not before he is given a final assignment to sink a Nazi aircraft carrier alongside several destroyers. Well, as per usual he goes all maverick and it doesn't work out too well for him. Or does it? The message of the film is one of acceptance of your situation and Tracy is perfect to lead us through the proceedings as he does indeed help those junior pilots. He also helps his partner and fellow pilot Irene Dunne (Dorinda) to come to terms with her situation as she has to let go of confinement and share out the love.
It's a sentimental film that is sentimental in a good way with ghosts helping out. We have 2 locations – Earth and the halfway-house before Heaven which is presided over by deceased ace pilot Lionel Barrymore (The General). The film is a little long and the first 45 minutes is pretty dull, an exercise in setting the scene which dragged on a bit. However, the film gets going once Tracy is given his final mission and we see the introduction of novice pilot Van Johnson (Ted). It is at this point that we also get the humour going as there is amusing dialogue from the non-mortal Tracy as he walks around in the land of the living casting disapproving facial expressions. The film is also a story for Tracy to accept his fate as his true love Irene Dunne goes off with another.
Van Johnson tells an amusing story of someone who grew another foot and whilst I can see the attraction that he may have had for Dunne, I think that Esther Williams (Ellen), in a non-swimming role, was far more suited to him romantically. Ward Bond (Al) is good as Tracy's pilot pal who remains with the living but I'm afraid I cannot say the same for Commander/General James Gleason (Nails) who annoyingly barks his way through the film. Shut up Gleason!
Overall, a film with a nice story – you may get emotional. You may also start to wonder whose spirit is standing beside you, and whilst they may poke fun at you on occasion, they are ultimately there to help you along – your Guardian Angel. I met mine in a dream – there were two of them, a little boy and a little girl and when I asked them "Who are you?", the little boy turned around and said "I'm your Guardian Angel". And it was me at age 4 I'm my own Guardian Angel! So, there is definitely weird stuff that goes on in life. Or in my head!
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