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Yanks (1979)

While stationed in a small Lancashire town as they await D-Day, three American soldiers become involved in romances with local women.

There are two plotlines presented concurrently here, one where GI Matt Dyson (Richard Gere) and local lass Jean Moreton (Lisa Eichhorn) strike up a romance now her boyfriend (Derek Thompson) is away, the other with Helen (Vanessa Redgrave) and John (William Devane) doing much the same from an older perspective.

Not that much older, but it is evident these middle-aged lovers are intended to mark a contrast between the guilt-ridden excitement of Matt and Jean, as although Helen is married and her husband is fighting abroad, and John is wed too, but estranged, we are not meant to be too judgemental when we watch their union progress.

Some interesting performances from the principal players and an old-fashioned (1940s) romantic air help the film along nicely, despite a series of events that are quite predictable.

Richard Gere always looks good in uniform and director John Schlesinger gives a nice touch to the simmering juxtaposition of British working-class morality on a buzz bomb collision course with young adult hormones.

The strong ensemble cast interplays superbly, and the scene where the lads march off for D-Day is particularly moving.


Sergeant Matt Dyson
Richard Gere
Jean Moreton
Lisa Eichhorn
Vanessa Redgrave
Clarrie Moreton
Rachel Roberts
Jim Moreton
Tony Melody
Geoff Moreton
Martin Smith
William Devane
Sergeant Danny Ruffalo
Chick Vennera
Arlen Dean Snyder
Wendy Morgan
Mrs Moody
Joan Hickson
Derek Thompson
Lynne Carol
Mrs Shenton
June Ellis
Tom Nolan
Billy Rathbone
Philip Whileman
Anne Dyson
Aunt Maud
Pearl Hackney
Paul Luty
Helene Palmer
Ken Drury

John Schlesinger