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A Guy Named Joe


List Price: $21.99
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Product Details

  • Actors: Irene Dunne, Van Johnson, Ward Bond, James Gleason, Lionel Barrymore, Barry Nelson, Esther Williams Spencer Tracy
  • Directors: Victor Fleming
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Warner Archive
  • DVD Release Date: May 21, 2013
  • Run Time: 121 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00CVB6XZM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,335 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

The year was 1944. Overseas, the war raged. Back home, a war-torn population suffered the loss of loved ones. Along came A Guy Named Joe – a fanciful, heart-warming tale based on the legend that pilots never die but return to guide fledgling airmen – and the public welcomed it with open arms. Charming, daredevil hero Spencer Tracy, lauded by Daily Variety as “magnificent in every phase of his performance,” stars with Irene Dunne, Van Johnson, Ward Bond and Esther Williams. Director Victor Fleming (Gone With the Wind) previously teamed with Tracy in 1937’s Captains Courageous – for which Tracy received a Best Actor Oscar®. Dalton Trumbo, another Academy Award®-winner* wrote the fine script. With its masterful mix of fantasy and reality, it comes as no surprise that A Guy Named Joe is an all-time film favorite. See for yourself. *1956: Best Motion Picturre Story – The Brave One.

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Customer Reviews

A very good war story with a great cast.
DLinCA
Tracy, Dunne, and Johnson are all believable in their respective roles as well as what you expect them to be as actors.
Karen Joan
Both movies were great on their own and worth the time to view both and compare.
Weird One

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By R. Christenson / Lunamation on April 29, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
A Guy Named Joe is THE classic movie about a cracked up WWII bomber pilot (Spencer Tracy) sent back from Heaven as a ghost to provide guidance, like a guardian angel, to a new pilot trainee who turns out to fall in love with the ghost's girlfriend (Irene Dunne). I think this is the only movie in which Spencer Tracy played opposite Irene Dunne, who was one of the classiest leading ladies of her time (The Awful Truth, Penny Serenade, Life With Father, I Remember Mama, Anna and the King of Siam, The Mudlark, etc.).

The stellar supporting cast includes Van Johnson (Brigadoon, The Pied Piper of Hamlin), James Gleason (Here Comes Mr. Jordan, The Bishop's Wife), Lionel Barrymore (On Borrowed Time, It's A Wonderful Life), Ward Bond (Sgt. York, The Searchers), Don Defore (The Human Comedy, Ramrod), Barry Nelson (Airport, The Shining), and Esther Williams, soon to become a star in a class of her own (Bathing Beauty, Take Me Out To The Ball Game). Unfortunately remade as "Always" - nothing against Richard Dreyfuss, but he's no Spencer Tracy, and ditto the rest of the respective casts.

In addition to well-acted fantastic romance, there are some great air combat scenes, some of the best of its time. (Van Johnson also appeared with Spencer Tracy in Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo the same year.)

If you like fantasies like Heaven Can Wait, That's The Spirit, The Dust Factory, Beyond Tomorrow, etc., you must see this one. If you're a fan of Spencer Tracy or a movie buff who likes a lot of character actors, you must see this movie. If you're interested in old World War II movies with combat action, you shouldn't miss this one!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Karen Joan VINE VOICE on October 8, 2008
Format: VHS Tape
A GUY NAMED JOE is a wonderful, old-fashioned, patriotic film made in 1944 during WWII. Starring Spencer Tracy, Irene Dunne, Van Johnson, Ward Bond, and Lionel Barrymore, A GUY NAMED JOE is the story of Pete (Tracy), a hot shot bomber pilot, who dies when he purposefully crashes his disabled plane into a German aircraft carrier. Dorinda (Dunne), Pete's girl friend and a pilot with the Women's Air Ferrying Corps, is devastated, especially since she has just convinced Pete to take a safer assignment stateside teaching new recruits how to fly. In Heaven, which looks remarkably like an Army airfield only with soft, fluffy, white clouds on the ground, "The Commanding General" (Barrymore) makes Pete a guardian angel to Ted Randall (Johnson), a young, unsure Army pilot. Pete invisibly helps Ted through flight training and combat. Ted eventually picks of some of Pete's quirks and style, becoming quite a hot shot pilot himself. Of course, he eventually meets and falls in love with Dorinda, making Pete very jealous. Dorinda is still devoted to Pete's memory, but she, too, eventually falls for Ted. In the end, however, Pete lets Dorinda go, saving Dorinda, Ted, and even his own soul.

This sweet, sentimental film combines the war genre with romantic fantasy. Directed by Victor Fleming and written by Dalton Trumbo, the script is wry and witty with both Spencer Tracy and Irene Dunne delivering some great lines (hence the title of this review). Tracy, Dunne, and Johnson are all believable in their respective roles as well as what you expect them to be as actors. Barrymore is classic as "The Commanding General," and I loved Ward Bond as Pete and Dorinda's best friend. Considering this was filmed in 1944, the special effects are admirable and what you would expect from that era.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Paul J. Tomlin on September 5, 2008
Verified Purchase
Great story, great movie but this dvd version is not a major studio release. There are no extras except that the on screen menu consists of chapter search, only. There is no info on the cover other than screen credits. The sound is good but the picture is a little fuzzy especially on facial close ups.
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46 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Sam Damon Jr. on October 20, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
"A guy named Joe" (AGNJ) should not be compared to Spielberg's "Always", because they are different pictures. AGNJ in the first half is about flying and Spencer Tracy's love for IT, not so much Irene Dunne. Its highly amusing to see him die by crashing into a German aircraft carrier when the Germans never put one into service. In Always, you really do sense that Richard Dreyfuss loves Holly Hunter. Its Irene Dunne's character that is stuck on Joe, and its wonderful to see her in the movie maintaing her professional poise as a ferry pilot while Van Johnson is hitting on her. In fact, I know a young woman who reminds me exactly of her, who holds a deep loss in her heart but maintains a professional bearing.
Its Van Johnson who makes her want to live again, and in the best scene of the movie, she realizes he ain't gonna make it when he's assigned a suicide attack mission in his P-38. What's amazing is this in the 1940s, but Irene Dunne jumps into his P-38 and flies the mission INCLUDING dropping bombs and firing machine guns at the enemy. Its startling to see and you don't see any feminists rushing to praise this picture. Its because she's a professional, a sexy woman AND a warrior, not a bitter man-hater. Like I suspect many from "America's greatest generation" she knew the enemy had to be defeated or else tyranny would rule the earth and instead of complaining pitched in and helped. Her goal was to help not be a female version of a male "Top Gun" egotist. Ahhh, that we had more women like her today!
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