A GUY NAMED JOE (1944) B/W 120m dir: Victor Fleming

w/Spencer Tracy, Irene Dunne, Van Johnson, Ward Bond, James Gleason, Lionel Barrymore, Barry Nelson, Esther Williams, Henry O'Neill, Don DeFore

From The Movie Guide: "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 a guardian angel to 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. ...

"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."

A GUY NAMED JOE was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay (David Boehm, Chandler Sprague).