A Guy Named Joe (1943)

Article #724 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 3-9-2003
Posting Date: 8-6-2003
Directed by Victor Fleming
Featuring Spencer Tracy, Irene Dunne, Van Johnson

A pilot who dies during a mission spends his afterlife helping another pilot learn his craft.

This movie made by MGM, directed by Victor Fleming, and featuring an A-list cast was one of many movies that came in the wake of HERE COMES MR. JORDAN in which the spirits of the dead remain among the living to guide their lives; in fact, this movie features actor James Gleason (always a welcome addition to a movie), who also appeared in that earlier movie. There’s no doubt that the concepts here have a certain appeal; after all, Steven Spielberg felt compelled to remake this movie (as ALWAYS). There are some lovely scenes here, the acting is top-notch, and the special effects during the battle scenes are breathtaking. Unfortunately, I find the pace too leisurely, and it’s two-hour running time really starts to test my patience, though I strongly suspect that others may not feel this way. Nevertheless, I am of the belief that a good thirty-minutes could have been trimmed off of this movie, and the impact of what remained would be that much stronger. Nevertheless, this could be quite enjoyable to anyone who doesn’t mind a little bit of schmaltz.


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