Director John Schlesinger has done a beautiful job with both cast and craft in Yanks, a multiple love story set in England in World War II. Yet little that’s exciting ever happens in the picture.
The British director, working with his own and the personal recollections of writers Colin Welland [original story writer] and Walter Bernstein, vividly recreates the atmosphere in a small English village inundated by thousands of American troops prepping for the invasion of Europe.
At one end of the extreme, Vanessa Redgrave and William Devane struggle to maintain a platonic friendship while both are deprived of their spouses. At the other, Chick Vennera and Wendy Morgan rush to bed immediately, with little initial concern for what lies beyond the war.
The six lovers and both parents are played excellently and Schlesinger and crew have created an extravagantly authentic period setting.