Action / Drama / War

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Richard Gere Photo
Richard Gere as Matt Dyson
John Ratzenberger Photo
John Ratzenberger as Corporal Cook
1.24 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
2 hr 18 min
P/S 0 / 3

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by mark.waltz9 / 10

A multitude of conflicts with those Damn Yankees!

The war in Europe was between more than just the Allies and the Axis. Brit's and Americans, Black and White, Soldier and Civilian. Richard Gere finds this out the very first day he arrives in the beautifully green countryside. A man in the local pub bitterly tells him, "Yank, Go Home!" to which Gere replies (unaware that the man's son was just killed in action) "I didn't want to come here anyway!". But when he falls in love with a pretty British girl (Lisa Eichhorn) who is already involved with a British soldier off fighting, he finds out more than he bargained for in the conflict for freedom.

For American officer William Devane and his married British lover (Vanessa Redgrave),they learn the same things. On the way, we discover the hatred between white American soldiers and the black American soldiers who take over the floor at a local dance, jitterbugging with the British white girls, an offense to certain white Americans. We also see the resentments of the local country folk, forced to ration so the American soldiers can get enough to eat, and that the differences they are fighting over is everything they are fighting the Germans and Italians for! There are too many brilliant performances of a talented cast portraying extremely real people, having understandable romantic conquests, political conflicts and ugly racial prejudices. Gere, Redgrave and Rachel Roberts (as Eichhorn's worried mother) stand out. A gorgeous musical score is complemented by hit songs of the time, and John Schleshinger's beautiful direction keeps the film moving fast, even though it is almost 2 1/2 hours long. An interesting small story within the film concerns Redgrave's sensitive teenage son who is bullied in his private school. Redgrave reminds me so much in this of a younger Deborah Kerr with her sweet angelic performance. Not on anyone's popularity list at this time (as it was right after her infamous 1978 Oscar acceptance speech),she is still undeniably brilliant.

Gere, after only a handful of films, had stardom assured with this, playing a beautifully likable young man with a hint of Montgomery Clift beneath the surface. Roberts gives her slightly hard-edged mother a subtle vulnerability that is easy to understand. The final scene with her and Gere is beautifully understated. Devane and Eichhorn are good but their parts are not as fleshed out as the others. For companion films to this, I recommend Woody Allen's "Radio Days" and John Boorman's "Hope and Glory" which are three of the best post-war films made about World War II and life on the homefront.

Reviewed by SimonJack8 / 10

Good film about the Yanks in the Brits' home front

"Yanks" is a welcome addition to World War II movies that focus on the home front. In this case though, the home front is England, not the U.S. or Canada. Other films were made about the people on the home front on this side of the pond. Those about the people at home in England had a more precarious feel because the war exploded over them most nights as German bombs and then rockets burst on the civilian population. This film is unique in its exclusive focus on the American GIs and the English women.

We follow three men and three women for several months from late 1943 until the GIs' departure for the Normandy invasion on D-Day, June 6, 1944. "Yanks" just skirts the seedy side of mass relocation of men in uniform away from home. Instead, it looks at the close relations developed between some Yanks and British women. So, these are more than trysts, or romantic interludes. They are three stories of love. In all three of these relationships, the Americans mostly behave and respect the local women. They learn something about England and the English. And, the women, their families and other Brits meet some Americans who mostly are gentlemen.

At one point, after Jean Moreton (played by Lisa Eichhorn) has brought Matt (played by Richard Gere) home for dinner, her mother (played by Rachel Roberts) comments to Jean that she could see what Jean sees in him – he's kind and respectful. Part of the love stories involve the families, the British people and the country.

The American GIs began arriving in Great Britain in 1942. The first were there primarily to build air bases in the eastern part of England. By Christmas 1942, there were about 60,000 American servicemen in England. That number would swell to more than two million in little more than a year. Many Brits were initially suspicious of the Americans. One reason was because the pay for the GIs was five times more than British troops received. The GIs bore gifts of food and niceties that the English were having to ration or do without. But, by Christmas that year, the British brass and the American commanders urged the Americans to spend Christmas at home, with a British family. The GIs were to sit in the place of sons and brothers who were off at war themselves. According to a December 2013 article in the Daily Mail, "Families issued so many invitations there were 50 for each GI." The GIs were given ration packs to share with their hosts.

When three million men from somewhere else spend time in one's country, there surely will be some problems. But the Americans were tough on their own who got into drunken brawls or who caused fights or disruptions with the local people. More often, GIs became friends with pub owners, host families and others they met. That's what this movie is about. In some areas, Brits opened their homes to GIs where there wasn't sufficient base housing. In an email letter to the editor after the Daily Mail article, a former civilian employee of a military paper said that 10 years earlier he had taken a call from an elderly British man who was hoping to find the six men he and his wife had housed over a two-year period. The emailer said she ran a story on it in the military publication. "About two months later I received a huge bouquet of flowers. The accompanying letter thanked me and except for one who had passed away all the soldiers got in contact with them. They had a genuine affection for those men."

The Daily Mail article said there were "9,000 babies born out of wedlock as a result of GI liaisons. And, about 70,000 British women became GI war brides. After the war, the U.S. Army provided free passage for the war brides to start their new lives in America. Some reviewers build up a phrase that had become known around England during the war. The Yanks were said to be "overpaid, oversexed, and over here." Historian Juliet Gardiner wrote a book that used that in its title in 1992. It looked at the ongoing social impact from the massive movement of three million men from one culture to another, where the native population of same-age men was gone. In 2004, she wrote another book, "Wartime: Britain 1939-1945." It looked at all the many different influences and effects of England's war experiences at home. In her research Gardiner found that that expression seldom appeared anywhere in writing or other media after the war. Yet everyone who was 10 years old at the end of the war would have known and heard it. So, she concluded it was a short-term catch phrase that wasn't taken too seriously and that was soon forgotten. When one reads all the other problems and difficulties the English had – constant rocket bombings, relocated children, orphaned children, rationing, and so much more, it's easy to see how the catch phrase about the Yanks was just a fad or phase by some folks who were soon to forget it.

I highly recommend this movie. It's a nice look at some good GIs. And it's an empathetic look at the resilient and solid British people who endured six years of real hardship, worry and loss.

Reviewed by wes-connors6 / 10

Make Love, Not War

"From early 1942 until the invasion of Europe over a million Americans landed in Britain. They came to serve on other battle fronts or to man the vast U.S. bases in England. Hardly a city, town or village remained untouched," reads the film's introduction. What this comes to mean is that the American G.I.s you see riding in on their USA tanks will have affairs with the local women, which is certainly no surprise. Director John Schlesinger finds three representative couples. While this is a war story, the focus is on making love, not war. Both love and war make for very exciting films, but this really isn't one of them.

"Yanks" is fine in places, but disappointing overall. The affairs are structurally uninteresting and evoke little passion - even the participants seem bored. This is all despite a fine cast headed by Richard Gere (as Matt),Vanessa Redgrave (as Helen),and William Devane (as John). In an early role, lovely Lisa Eichhorn (as Jean) received "Golden Globe" consideration, and motherly Rachel Roberts won a late career "British Academy" award. The "National Board" placed it at #2 and gave their "Best Director" of the year award to Mr. Schlesinger. Though bland, the film is good-looking and richly detailed.

****** Yanks (9/19/79) John Schlesinger ~ Richard Gere, Lisa Eichhorn, Vanessa Redgrave, William Devane

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