Yank in the RAF, A (1941): Starring Betty Grable and Tyrone Power

The pro-British drama from Fox, A Yank in the RAF, was initiated by studio chief Darryl Zanuck.  To ensure the movie’s success, the mogul enlisted his top stars, Tyrone Power and Betty Grable, in the leads. 


Power plays an American flyer hired to deliver a bomber to England, where he joins the RAF and meets and falls in love with American dancer Grable.


There were some good scenes, such as leaflet bombing missions on Berlin before the fall of France, and the forced landing of a bomber in Holland, ahead of the advancing German army.  The film reached its climax with the evacuation of Dunkerque, centering on the role of the RAF in executing the retreat.


It was a known fact in the industry that Zanuck was in favor of U.S. intervention in the war between U.K. and Germany.  In the original script, the American flyer was killed in a German air raid, but the British requested that the ending be changed to a happy one.  Some suspected the Brits didn’t want to give American audiences the impression that Yanks helping Britain would die.  No doubt, the film would not have been successful had Power’s character died instead of reuniting with Grable at the end.




Tyrone Power

Betty Grable

John Sutton

Reginald Gardiner

Donald Stuart

John Wilde

Richard Fraser

Bruce Lester

Gilchrist Stuart

Denis Green

Stuart Robertson

Lester Matthews

Frederick Worlock

Claud Allister

John Rogers

Ethel Griffies

John Hartley

Eric Lonsdale

Alphonse Martell

Hans von Morhart

Lilyan Irene




Produced by Darryl F. Zanuck.

Directed by Henry King.

Screenplay by Darrell Ware and Karl Tunberg, based on an original story by Melville Crossman.

Released: September 26, 1941