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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Olivia de Havilland,
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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
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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