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A Guy Named Joe

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. 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. 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.

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? So, there is definitely weird stuff that goes on in life.

Or in my head! Start your free trial. Find showtimes, watch trailers, browse photos, track your Watchlist and rate your favorite movies and TV shows on your phone or tablet! Keep track of everything you watch; tell your friends. Full Cast and Crew. 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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John Frederick as Lt. Frank Faylen as Major. Philip Van Zandt as Major.


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Blake Edwards as Flier. Marshall Reed as Flier. Robert Lowell as Flier. Michael Owen as Flier. Stephen Barclay as Flier. Neyle Morrow as Flier. Irving Bacon as Corporal. Peter Cookson as Sgt. Matt Willis as Lt. Jacqueline White as Helen. Bill Arthur as Cadet. John Bogen as Cadet. Herbert Gunn as Cadet.

Harold Landon as Cadet. Robert Sully as Cadet.

On Dvd & Streaming

Johnny Dunn as Cadet. James Martin as Cadet. Richard Woodruff as Cadet. Ken Scott as Cadet.


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  • Louis Hart as Cadet. Fred Coby as Cadet. Eddie Borden as Taxi Driver. Alan Wilson as Sergeant in Jeep. Leslie Vincent as Sentry. Elizabeth Valentine as Washerwoman's Child. Arthur Stenning as Fisherman. George Kirby as Fisherman. Mary McLeod Bethune as Hostess.

    Guy Named Joe - Coyote Grace

    Aileen Haley as Hostess. Oliver Cross as American Major. Wyndham Standing as English Colonel. Violet Seton as Bartender's Wife. Rebecca Bohannen as English Girl. Jean Prescott as Mother.

    A Guy Named Joe (Film) - TV Tropes

    Oliver Simon as Boy. Richard Graham as Crew Member.


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    Ted can't see Pete but he can subconsciously absorb Pete's advice, and Pete successfully guides him through Army flight school. Ted is then sent to New Guinea in the Pacific theater, and Pete goes with him, only to meet Dorinda again. Star-Making Role for Van Johnson.

    Lionel Barrymore has a small role as the Commanding Officer, in charge of all the ghost pilots up in heaven.