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Saturday, December 14, 2013

A Yank In The R.A.F. (1941)

A brash and egotistical American flyer (Tyrone Power) joins the Royal Air Force. He doesn't take the war seriously and is more interested in pursuing a dancer (Betty Grable) working in London. The emphasis on this lightweight piece of celluloid is on romance with the war (the U.S. had not entered WWII at this point) providing some action. Unless you find cockiness appealing, Power's character remains a turn off through out the film despite the actor's innate charm. Though she has a couple of musical numbers, Grable is used primarily as an actress here and while the role hardly applies any demands on her, she's a blank. Curiously, the film somehow seems to equate irresponsibility with heroism but then again, this is a Hollywood view of the European war before we were into it. Some of the aerial sequences (director Ronald Neame was one of the cinematographers) are well done (especially a forced landing on a beach) but the entire film was shot on the Fox sound stages rather than any location shooting, understandable as there was a war on in Europe. Efficiently if generically directed by Henry King. With John Sutton as Power's romantic rival, Reginald Gardiner and Ethel Griffies.

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