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I Was a Male War Bride (1949)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance, War | 9 August 1949 (USA)
After marrying an American lieutenant with whom he was assigned to work in post-war Germany, a French captain attempts to find a way to accompany her back to the States under the terms of the War Bride Act.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Marion Marshall ...
...
Bill Neff ...
Capt. Jack Ramsey (as William Neff)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Undetermined Role (scenes deleted)
Charles B. Fitzsimons ...
Lt. Kelly (scenes deleted)
...
Lieutenant (scenes deleted)
...
Undetermined Role (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

Henri Rochard is a French captain assigned to work with Lt. Catherine Gates. Through a wacky series of misadventures, they fall in love and marry. When the war ends, Rochard tries to return to America with the other female war brides. Zany gender-confusing antics follow. Written by Thor Thapsigargin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

WAIT TILL YOU SEE FLORENCE! (original ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

9 August 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Howard Hawks' I Was a Male War Bride  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Howard Hawks' first film to be shot in Europe, it was beset with problems. The German winter was unbearably cold and most of the cast and crew fell ill. Ann Sheridan caught pleurisy (which developed into pneumonia), Cary Grant contracted hepatitis with jaundice, and Hawks broke out in hives. See more »

Goofs

When Rochard and Gates pull up to drive onto a small river ferry, two large river barges/boats are tied up along the shore to their left. We can see some distance with houses and building. But when the ferry reaches the opposite shore we see behind them and there are no boats or building but an open rolling plain with patches of trees. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Catherine Gates: [humiliated after Capt. Rochard publicly returns her laundry in an insinuating manner] Oh, what a stinker YOU are.
Capt. Henri Rochard: [cooly] Did I forget something?
Lt. Catherine Gates: What a dirty stinker - and you're going right back in that office and explain to them how you got my laundry by mistake in Dusseldorf and forgot to give it back to me.
Capt. Henri Rochard: Well, it's such a dull story. Who would care?
Lt. Catherine Gates: You know what you made them think?
Capt. Henri Rochard: [feigning innocence] I don't quite understa... Oh, no! You mean you and ME? Well, I'd be glad to explain ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in The Naked Monster (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

This Is the Army, Mr. Jones
(1943) (uncredited)
Written by Irving Berlin
Played during opening credits
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Grant and Sheridan Shine in Hawks Comedy
15 February 2009 | by (Alexandria, VA) – See all my reviews

Although the film shows hundreds of American female military personnel stationed in Germany after World War II, apparently few were interested in the local men. According to Howard Hawks's "I Was a Male War Bride," only the male soldiers wed Europeans, and the military bureaucracy and red tape were stacked against American women marrying European men. With that premise, an American Lieutenant, Ann Sheridan, falls for Frenchman Cary Grant, and the couple resort to extraordinary ploys to both comply with and circumvent the rules to marry and bring Grant to the U.S. as Sheridan's "bride." Although Grant is about as French as Big Ben and looks as feminine in drag as Sylvester Stallone, Cary is Cary and brings charm and charisma to his improbable role of Captain Henri Rochard. Tough and sexy Sheridan is better cast, but the sum of the two stars exceeds either apart. Cary and Ann have chemistry and work well together in a plot that could have easily fallen apart with a less skilled team of actors and director.

Grant plays the patient and suffering spouse, who must endlessly explain that he is married to an American soldier and entitled to shelter and transportation in a system that does not recognize his gender as compatible with his situation. Throughout, Grant's face and body language speak volumes about the frustration of dealing with bureaucracy and filling in forms in triplicate. Although at times Sheridan seems oblivious to the depth of Grant's problems, her performance is fine, and she convincingly captures the transition from an initial loathing of to an eventual attraction to Rochard. Shot on location in post-war Germany, the black-and-white photography captures the beauty of the countryside and the devastation of the cities with documentary like precision. Hawks keeps the proceedings well paced, and, while rarely laugh-out-loud funny, "I Was a Male War Bride" and its megawatt stars provide excellent entertainment.


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