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Captain Henri Rochard is a French officer assigned to work with Lieut. Catherine Gates. Through a wacky series of misadventures, they fall in love and marry. When the war ends, Capt. Rochard tries to return to America with the other female war brides. Zany gender-confusing antics follow. Written by
Howard Hawks proves once again why he is considered to be the director's director. The story is fairly simplistic, but with the help of brilliant actors and ingenious dialogue he turned it into a masterpiece and a classic. And it's a damn funny movie, too.
I expected an explanation how the limey Grant got to join the French army, until the credits rolled and forced me to realise that he was meant to be genuine, native French. The good thing here is that Grant never in the least tries to act French, which is probably a good idea as it would have proved to be annoying in the long run. He merely wears a képi.
The chemistry between Ann Sheridan and Cary Grant is amazing, and Ann is so damn sexy. I particularly enjoyed her role as a strong yet sensuous woman, who, in contrast with many other female roles of the time, comes across as plenty fresh and modern.
The movie is a light-hearted comedy for the first half, and then suddenly turns into an almost Kafkaian nightmare for the rest. Grant really shows us his thespic stuff when he's battling being turned into a woman for bureaucratic reasons.
I'm giving this only nine points because I want to leave me some room for improvement. But it's a brilliant and very enjoyable movie, which is sadly underrated.
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