46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on March 19, 2005
My husband and I have watched Yanks many times on VHS. I am glad to see that it is finally available on DVD. Every time I watch this movie I marvel at the small touches that bring this era to life, from the tiny grocers shop with lines to the boredom of the men in the barracks.
All the actors have a freshness in their roles. I don't know if Richard Gere every played a more grounded, real character. Vanessa Redgrave has a bittersweet role as the married woman who enjoys a dalliance with dashing American William Devane.
From the arrival of the soldiers until their departure for the the D-day invasion, the movie sweeps through the changes wrought on the lives of English and Americans. The stories of the various characters intertwine, and it is not until the end that we realize how interconnected they hae become.
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
John Schleshinger's YANKS is more a slice of life, character study. Heavy on atmosphere, which is done quite nicely, and buoyed by good performances, the movie is low key, but resilient with the feelings of the British and the Yanks during this crucial time in WWII. Richard Gere is very good as Matt, the sensitive, polite soldier who finds himself falling for English shopkeeper Lisa Eichhorn, but is afraid of the commitment once the relationship becomes serious. Eichhorn is beautiful and parlays that fragile beauty into a sympathetic and engaging character. The movie's other romantic duo isn't given as much screen time, but Vanessa Redgrave does a marvelous job as the Red Cross volunteer who is becoming close to dashing William Devane. Redgrave's skills as a character actress enable her to bring more depth into the role than was written. Two other performances of note are Rachel Roberts as Eichhorn's mother and Wendy Morgan as the bus steward who ends up marrying one of the Yanks (a comic Chick Venerra). The movie handsomely captures the feel of war-torn England and it's beautiful countryside, and also the difficulty some Brits had with the Yanks. All in all, an engaging, if somewhat slow moving, love story.
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on June 19, 2000
Wow, I don't know where to begin. I always wondered where the days went, when a man would kiss a woman and she would lift her leg behind her. As a man who is married with two young kids, I found this movie to be beyond romantic. I pursued my wife in college with the same vigor as Matt (Richard Gere) pursued Jean (Lisa Eichhorn). In an odd kind of way my wife resembles Jean, a naive beautiful woman whom I decided that I could not live without. As a self-proclaimed romantic and one regularly read Frost, this movie captured my heart. I can't stop talking about the subtlness of the love between Matt and Jean. Also, I found Helen (Vanessa Redgrave) and John (William Devane) to be absoulety devine, their story touched my soul. Specifically, toward the end while she was in the church. The ending of this movie is a marvel, I can only hope that it is nominated or re-nominated for an Oscar... Thank you Matt, Jean, Helen, and John, thank you for allowing Love to be so Real.......
Frost once said, " Love is the irrestible desire of being irrestibly desired". I'm a life long fan...Thanks
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on July 6, 2005
I've always liked this film. It's not for those who like their movies full of cyborgs blasting one another with death rays, or for anyone craving fantasy escapism in a yarn peopled with gnomes and mad magicians. This is a leisurely, realistic film that haunts the mind long after you've seen it with its atmospheric settings and its depictions of love under stress. The acting is uniformly excellent, with Lisa Eichhorn standing out as the pretty English girl torn between two men, one her hometown boyfriend, now fighting in Burma, the other a US Army sergeant newly stationed in England, played by Richard Gere. Then there is the often repressed, adult relationship between US officer William Devane and musician Vanessa Redgrave, both of them married, yet finding in one another a much-needed, if temporary, attachment. These affairs are woven together with cinematic class and ease, and no doubt reflect the experiences of many American men and English women during the war. That it doesn't end with a conventional resolution to anything speaks well for it.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on September 19, 2002
This is full out one of the most moving romances ever made - the last scenes are so gripping, so heartfelt, so overpowering in their romantic feeling.
It also succeeds superbly as social history of the impact of American soldiers on a British town in W.W.II.
I completely agree with the reviewer below about falling in love with the American actress Lisa Eichhorn playing a northern English shopkeeper's daughter in love with Richard Gere- I've been smitten ever since. Her beauty, reserve, intelligence, grace are extraordinary - she can somehow project vast depth in her character. (She does the same in her other movies - check out her name in imdb.com to rent them).
Gere is awfully good - unassuming, usually courteous, sweet -I like his dashing self in most other movies but he's just right here. Vanessa Redgrave is superb - Devane is ok - I might have preferred someone a bit more like Cliff Robertson in look, voice, gesture and manner to play the American officer so at ease with an English upper class woman - borrowing books, opining on English public schools, listening to her play the cello. Devane's voice is more that of a tough guy.
I'd also say the screenwriters skimp a bit in fleshing out the charcters of the two 'chippy' working class characters.
Gee - these are minor criticisms - this is a wonderful, heart swelling movie. That old phrase "see it with someone you love" is definitely appropriate - yet it's very much a movie with appeal to men and women.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on August 10, 2005
This is one of my favorite movies because of the convincing portrayal of life in Britian during WWII. The story is romantic, about Americans coming to Britian to help fight in England and their love affairs with the women of England. What is truley special here is the attention to detail in period dress and atmosphere (except for Richard Gere's 1980s hair) and the explictness of atmosphere of life in England at this time. This is a grown up movie like we rarely see anymore. It is made for audiences that know a little bit about love and life. The movie is character driven and based on a fine script. Every aspect of the production is finely mounted. Great performances also. Especially by the British players.
There are no extras on this DVD which is fine with me. It's not the greatest movie ever made and no one needs to know much about it. In my opinion, unless a movie is a time tested classic, the extras are just that. Extras. Sometimes the extras even spoil the illusion of our favorite movies.
You can lose yourself in this story and go back in time for a couple of hours.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on July 6, 2002
This is the first time that I've ever seen Yanks. I was shocked at the quality of the filming, acting and music.The subject matter was extremely interesting, too.
Richard Gere is usually typecast as a stud, but in this film, he's more of a normal person, and he plays the part perfectly. This might be his best acting film.
The other actors are great, too: Vanessa Redgrave,William Devane, Chick Venerra, Lisa Eichorn and her parent, and her friend. The film is so believable and atypical of Hollywood films because the actors act naturally with no superficialities.
The plot is wonderful. My father was in England before the D-Day invasion, and he told me lots of stories about England. I've read that many American GI's actually fell in love and married English women, mainly because of the similarities of cultures and the nature of English women: they were sincere about love.
The music score is lush and tantalizing, reminding me of Aaron Copland's music. It greatly enhanced the movie's plot.I had just finished watching and adoring The Americanization of Emily, and watchingYanks was a real treat for me. Why doesn't Hollywood make more natural love story movies like Yanks, instead of weird provocative ones? Yanks should have won Oscars. I give it five stars.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2009
This film has always been rather special to me as when I was a 1977-1978 Audiology graduate student from Calif. @ Univ. Manchester in the north of England, I was one of the G.I. "extras" recruited in a Manchester "cattle-call" for real Americans (which in those days were a rarity in Manchester!) Our dept. secretary told me about it and needing a few extra quid, I got a G.I. haircut that first day I remember (back then neck length hair was the fashion, so at first it all was a bit of a shock). Myself and another few Americans (one whom I am still best friends with to this day)ended-up as being the "regular" extras and spent quite a bit of time in the film on location in both Yorkshire and London. People might be surprised to know that this whole film was shot on a budget of only $6 million (which was actually quite a max for the majority of British films in the 70's so I am told). Anyway, as an American having lived in England (as a student vs the film's soldier)I thought the movie was absolutely dead-on accurate and wonderfully filmed capturing both the American perspective and English perspective of the war period and how they intertwined. The most amazing & serendipity aspect of this movie (for me) was that a fellow graduate student S---- I had been dating back in Calif. and corresponding with while I was at Manchester, had asked me to look up her uncle who was a dentist in Liverpool, who was the brother of her deceased English Mom. (I had known S----sister J--years earlier in Jr High and knew their dad was an American from Arizona who had met and married an English girl during the war). Well it wasn't till I got back to Calif. in '78 after filming wrapped-up that summer that I got back together with S---- and she told me about a writer interviewing her Dad some time back about his war-time romance (not knowing that the story would be an eventual screenplay). I just thought my review would be of interest to those who enjoyed the film and wondered if this was a true war-time love story, it is! (although the names were obviously changed).
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2002
Happy 50th Birthday to Lisa Eichhorn! I just got done watching your movie, and I love it today as much (or more) than I did about twenty years ago when I first saw it. I was a teen then, just beginning to develop beyond the juvenile taste in films, and this picture captured both my attention and (surprisingly) my heart. I'm sure that it greatly affected my views on relationships and romance.
The more I see YANKS, the more impressed I am by the subtleties at play among the characters. Several of the cast are particular standouts: Lisa Eichhorn, with her innocent charm and stunning natural beauty. William Devane, with his quirky humor and conservatively earnest manner. And then there's marvelously playful Vanessa Redgrave, who brings such vitality and spunk to her role (and painfully struggles to balance her loyalties and friendships with the men in her life).
Also, I don't think I have ever seen a picture that is more accurate in period detail -- and that includes TITANIC. The costumes, the sets and locations, the background props, and the photographic style of the movie are completely absorbing and will take you back to another era. It's gorgeous. And handling all the extras must have been an incredible challenge.
God, what a great picture!
Universal Studios, how about a DVD really soon?
ANAMORPHIC SPECIAL EDITION!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2008
I'm one of those people that believe this movie is a gem and really overlooked as a great war movie. Granted, the only time you see shooting is when they are training (with live ammo) for D-Day. But it's a great insight into what life was like not only for the American troops but also for the British citizens when hundreds of thousands soldiers suddenly arrived in Britain. Excellent characters just keep popping up, maybe for a scene or two, but you don't forget them (particularly the mourning father in the pub).
Great little love stories, too. Richard Geer gives an outstanding performance as a man who struggles -- does he really want to go full throttle with a girl when he may soon die in combat, and she's already lost her fiance to the War? William Devane also shines as the Army officer whose spends quite a bit of time with the very-married "donut dolly." The other performance that stands out is Rachel Roberts, who is so not happy to see her daughter cavorting with a Yank.
The final scenes are heartbreaking. The woman breaking through the MPs to hug her loved just one more time. Watching those Soldiers board the train, watched it again last week and still got choked up. Just like in real life, how many were truly saying goodbye?