A Guy Named Joe

  • 1944
  • 2 HR 00 MIN
  • NR
  • Fantasy, Romance, War

A sticky, tear-jerking fantasy, A GUY NAMED JOE was one of the most popular movies during WWII, combining the considerable talents of Spencer Tracy, Irene Dunne, and Van Johnson in a big-scale production. Pete Sandidge (Tracy), a daredevil bomber pilot, dies when he crashes his plane into a German aircraft carrier (though, in fact, there were none in WWII),...read more

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A sticky, tear-jerking fantasy, A GUY NAMED JOE was one of the most popular movies during WWII, combining the considerable talents of Spencer Tracy, Irene Dunne, and Van Johnson in a big-scale production.

Pete Sandidge (Tracy), a daredevil bomber pilot, dies when he crashes his plane into a German aircraft carrier (though, in fact, there were none in WWII), leaving his devoted girlfriend, Dorinda (Irene Dunne), who is also a pilot, heartbroken. In heaven, Pete receives a new assignment: he is to

become the guardian angel for Ted Randall (Van Johnson), a young Army flyer. Invisibly, Pete guides Ted through flight school and into combat, but the ectoplasmic mentor's tolerance is tested when Ted falls for Dorinda. Ultimately, however, Pete not only comes to terms with their relationship but

also acts as Dorinda's copilot when she undertakes a dangerous bombing raid, so that Ted won't have to.

The film goes in too many directions at the same time, trying to combine its romantic fantasy line and a grim war outlook. But Dalton Trumbo's script is verbally wry--with the best lines going to wisecracking Tracy. Alas, Fleming was probably the wrong director for JOE; despite Arnold Gillespie's

special effects, the Fleming-Tracy-Johnson chemistry feels as heavy as combat boots. Incidentally, there is no character in the film named "Joe"; the title is derived from the Army Air Corps practice of calling a "right fellow" Joe. Remade by Steven Speilberg in 1989 as ALWAYS.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: A sticky, tear-jerking fantasy, A GUY NAMED JOE was one of the most popular movies during WWII, combining the considerable talents of Spencer Tracy, Irene Dunne, and Van Johnson in a big-scale production. Pete Sandidge (Tracy), a daredevil bomber pilot, d… (more)

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