TCM SUTS: A little Spencer

Cropped screenshot of Ward Bond from the trail...

Cropped screenshot of Ward Bond from the trailer for the film A Guy Named Joe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been watching so much of the Olympics, it’s been a stretch to keep sliding in some classic movies.  I’ve been steadily recording at least two or three a day most of the time but I’m not watching them in any particular order.

I picked up A Guy Named Joe on Spencer Tracy’s day half thinking I’d already seen it, as the description of a dead guy being assigned as a guardian angel has been done a time or two before 🙂  But it turned out I’d never seen it and I quite enjoyed it.

Aside the from the apparently-obligatory WWII stumping for patriotism, it was a pretty good story and the cast is amazing.  Spencer Tracy, Irene Dunne, Ward Bond, Barry Nelson, Lionel Barrymore, Van Johnson, Esther Williams…  Tracy and Dunn are pilots (he was armed forces — didn’t catch if it was Air Force or another and she was Women Airforce Service Pilot) and in love when he is killed.

The most annoying note in the whole thing to me was his arrival in an American soldier branch of heaven which sends out guardian angels… apparently only to protect American military personnel.  It’s an ethnocentric take on spiritual matters I just don’t care for.  But he’s sent back to look out for pilot Johnson, who of course falls for Dunn.

In the hands of a less competent cast I’m pretty sure I’d have found it too schmaltzy but I enjoyed this one and was pleased to encounter another good but previously-unseen old movie.

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