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.
A business tycoon decides to wed a Middle Eastern princess whose customs dictate the pair must live apart for several months before marrying; even more complications settle in when the tycoon's ex-fiancée is assigned to chaperone the pair.
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
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 »
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 »
Capt. Henri Rochard:
I am an alien spouse of female military personnel en route to the United States under public law 271 of the Congress.
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In doing this film Howard Hawks was greatly influenced by his own Bringing Up Baby. Certainly Cary Grant had never been that henpecked on the screen since that classic film. And Ann Sheridan's WAC character was certainly based on Katharine Hepburn's in Bringing Up Baby. I wouldn't be surprised if this film wasn't originally offered to Hepburn.
I Was a Male War Bride divides neatly in two parts. In fact I'm convinced that a great deal was eliminated from the beginning because the film seems to start in the middle of the story. When it begins Sheridan, a member of the U.S. Women's Army Corps and Grant a French Army officer already know each other and well. Sheridan pushes Grant around the same way Hepburn did in Bringing Up Baby. After a whole lot of verbal banter with Sheridan taking the lead in it, they decide they're in love and want to be married.
But we're dealing with the army and there is a law about American soldiers taking foreign brides while on occupation duty. But no one had the foresight to realize that WACS may find husbands as well. The second half of the film are the frustrations in dealing with all the red tape.
It may seem ridiculous, but we're not only dealing with bureaucratic minds, but military bureaucratic minds. That mindset operates in every army on the planet. What's obvious to us, these folks can't or won't grasp.
Sheridan and Grant team well together. There are no other good secondary characters developed, most of the time it's Grant and Sheridan on the screen together. Sheridan does admirably as a Katharine Hepburn substitute.
You see I Was A Male War Bride and you can understand the military's opposition to gays in their ranks. They don't take to change easily and in fact do it worse than most segments of society.
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