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I Was a Male War Bride (1949)

Cast: Cary Grant, Ann Sheridan, Randy Stuart, more...
Director: Howard Hawks
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Genre: Classics, Comedies, Classic Comedy, Farce, Classic Romance, Classic Comedy, Screwball
Running Time: 105 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish
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Howard Hawks directed this classic farce about how love attempts to triumph over military red tape after the close of World War II. Capt. Henri Rochard (Cary Grant) is a French officer who is assigned to put a stop to a black market operation in occupied Germany with the help of Lt. Catherine Gates (Ann Sheridan), an American WAC. While their initial meetings are hardly harmonious, in time Rochard and Gates find that opposites really do attract, and they fall in love. The two decide to get married, which seems simple enough, but the moment Gates receives orders to return to the United States and Rochard wants to join her, they soon discover just how complicated the U.S. Army can make things. While the Army has a strict protocol for dealing with "war brides," there is no similar routine for men who marry female Army personnel, so in order to follow his new wife into the States, Rochard has to disguise himself as a WAC. From this moment on, nearly everything that happens to Rochard is an affront to his dignity and/or his patience, from his inability to share a bunk with his new bride to his discovery that Army regulations prevent him from driving a motorcycle (Gates has to take the handlebars, while her husband is forced to ride in a sidecar). As more than one writer has pointed out, while Grant gives a deft comic performance, it's a bit of a stretch to imagine that he's French (but probably no more than to imagine that anyone would really believe that he's a woman). ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Some Like It Cool by ZenBones May 9, 2005 - 3:49 PM PDT
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
This is a cool, quiet comedy that floats just below the radar of what we ordinarily consider comedy to be (actually, this is very similar to the British Ealing comedies of the same era). Cary is a master of subtle comedy. He can say more with a straight face than anyone since Buster Keaton, and he is perfectly cast with Ann Sheridan here, who matches Cary's every nuance of subtlety and intelligence. The movie deftly skewers that oxymoron we all know and loathe: "military intelligence". There are some priceless lines throughout, like the Permission To Immigrate To The US form that Cary must sign, which asks hilariously inane questions like "name your father's gender". The military is so shortsighted and inflexible, poor Cary ultimately has no choice if he wants to get into the US - he not only has to lie about his identity, but his gender as well. I first saw this movie some twenty-plus years ago and was amazed at how ahead of its time it was in terms of being a 'gender-bender' comedy. I was also amazed that it had never been as popular as some of the other comedies of the period (the French caught on early, and they still embrace this film as one of Hawks' best). It has gradually been discovered and embraced by newer audiences, and it's about time. It's not as wild or raucous as say, "Some Like it Hot", but it covers as much distance. And I don't care what anybody says, Cary does have sexy gams! [hubba! hubba!]

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.44)
41 Votes
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What a Drag!
Movies with a significant amount of drag. This list mostly concerns drag as performance, comedy or shock value, not transvestism and transexuals.

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