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I Was a Male War Bride (1949)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance, War | 19 September 1949 (Sweden)
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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.

Director:

Howard Hawks

Writers:

Charles Lederer (screenplay), Leonard Spigelgass (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Cary Grant ... Captain Henri Rochard
Ann Sheridan ... 1st Lt. Catherine Gates
Marion Marshall Marion Marshall ... Lt. Kitty Lawrence
Randy Stuart ... Lt. Eloise Billings
Bill Neff Bill Neff ... Capt. Jack Ramsey (as William Neff)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
King Donovan ... Undetermined Role (scenes deleted)
Charles B. Fitzsimons Charles B. Fitzsimons ... Lt. Kelly (scenes deleted)
Robert Stevenson ... Lieutenant (scenes deleted)
Otto Waldis ... Undetermined Role (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

Captain Henri Rochard of France is assigned to work with First Lieutenant Catherine Gates of the U. S. Army. Through a wacky series of misadventures, they fall in love and marry. When the war ends, Rochard tries to return to America like female war brides could under the auspices of America's 1945 War Brides Act. 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:

USA | UK

Language:

English | German | French

Release Date:

19 September 1949 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Howard Hawks' I Was a Male War Bride See more »

Filming Locations:

Long Beach, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$4,500,000, 31 December 1949
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Calling upon his vaudevillian roots, Cary Grant insisted upon doing his own stunts, including one in which he was lifted up by a railroad-crossing gate. Ann Sheridan even got into the act, driving a 400-pound motorcycle with Grant in the sidecar for a sequence. She navigated the bike expertly, except for an unfortunate run-in with a goose; its death terribly upset the actress, but despite this Sheridan had a positive experience making the film. 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 ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 42nd Annual Academy Awards (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

This Is the Army, Mr. Jones
(1943) (uncredited)
Written by Irving Berlin
Played during opening credits
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"...for your information, I am a war bride!"
16 June 2002 | by gaityrSee all my reviews

I was wavering between awarding this movie a 7 or an 8, and have finally plunked for an 8 because a movie with Cary Grant in it has got to be truly horrible and an utter stinker to get anything below an 8.

This should make it pretty obvious what the best thing about this otherwise average film was. The chemistry between Grant and Sheridan is amusing but not engaging (not the way his verbal sparring with other co-stars like Katharine Hepburn and Rosalind Russell just sparkle right off the screen); the plot is contrived and the romance between the two main characters--Henri and Catherine--isn't particularly believable. (Grant and Sheridan fail at what Gable and Colbert did so well in 'It Happened One Night': making it believable and real and sympathetic that two characters at absolute loggerheads *could* fall helplessly in love.)

This doesn't mean that the film is *bad*. The first half of the movie is mildly amusing, with the bickering between the two main characters as they take a motorcycle trip to their destination. But the best part of it probably comes when Henri and Catherine get married (three times!), with all its attendant problems. It is Grant's perfect comic timing and adorable mien that makes the blatantly "please laugh now" moments genuinely funny. The look of resignation, anger, or suppressed annoyance on Henri's face as he repeatedly asserts that he is "an alien spouse" under the Congressional War Brides Act must be seen to be believed. And I dare anyone *not* to laugh when Grant cross-dresses. That is probably the best part of the film.

An average film without Cary Grant, a better one for having him in it, but definitely an average (if not poor) Grant film. If you want to introduce a friend to the charms of Cary Grant or to screwball comedy, you're better off with Bringing Up Baby or His Girl Friday. This one's probably for true Grant aficionados only.


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