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Never Wave at a WAC (1953)

Approved | | Adventure, Comedy, Romance | 28 January 1953 (USA)
A shallow society matron is urged by her senator father to join the Women's Army Corps.

Director:

Norman Z. McLeod

Writers:

Ken Englund (screenplay), Frederick Kohner (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Rosalind Russell ... Jo McBain
Paul Douglas ... Andrew McBain
Marie Wilson ... Clara Schneiderman / Danger O'Dowd
William Ching ... Lt. Col. Schuyler 'Sky' Fairchild
Arleen Whelan ... Sgt. Toni Wayne
Leif Erickson ... Sgt. Norbert 'Noisy' Jackson
Hillary Brooke ... First Lt. Phyllis Turnbull
Charles Dingle ... Sen. Tom Reynolds
Lurene Tuttle ... Capt. Murchinson, Company CO
Regis Toomey ... Gen. Ned Prager
Frieda Inescort ... Lily Mae Gorham
Louise Beavers ... Artamesa, Jo's Maid
Omar N. Bradley ... Gen. Omar Bradley
Vince Townsend Jr. Vince Townsend Jr. ... Henry, Jo's Servant
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Storyline

A divorced socialite decides to join the Army because she hopes it will enable her to see more of her boyfriend, a Colonel. She soon encounters many difficulties with the Army lifestyle. Moreover, her ex-husband is working as a consultant with the Army, and he uses his position to disrupt her romantic plans by making her join a group of WACs who are testing new equipment. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Roz, that "Wonderful Town" Gal, and Marie - on a laugh-loaded spree!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 January 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Newest Profession See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Filmed on location at Fort Lee, Virginia, which at the time had a Women's Army Corps (WAC) training center, and the U.S. Army's Quartermaster School - the latter it still has as of 2018. The WACs, as a separate branch of the Army, was disbanded in 1978 and its members integrated into regular units. See more »

Goofs

When the army truck, which had been following Jo and Sky, pulls up at the barracks after the Arctic tests, banks of studio lights are visible in reflection in the truck's windshield. See more »

Connections

Referenced in What's My Line?: Paul Douglas (1953) See more »

Soundtracks

WAC Song
by Jane Douglass (as Jane Douglas) and Camilla Mays Frank
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Roz Joins The Army
2 July 2007 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Never Wave At A WAC is the apparently weird combination of Buck Privates and Woman of the Year. The odd thing about it is that it actually works and still will get a few laughs from today's audience.

This might have been a script offered to Katharine Hepburn, but Hepburn never really got as physical in her comedy films as Rosalind Russell does here. Still the part of socialite daughter of a United States Senator would normally have been something Hepburn might have done. Yet Russell makes the part all her own.

Russell's a bit of a snob and her father Charles Dingle well knows it. During a party where her ex-husband, Paul Douglas, crashes she meets another socialite friend who has just got a commission in the Woman's Army Corps. Russell's current boyfriend is another commissioned officer from public relations, William Ching, borrowed from an Ad agency. He's been assigned to NATO headquarters in Paris.

Of course dear old dad will pull some strings and make her an officer and a lady. Except Charles Dingle doesn't want to do it. He says let her in as a buck private and it takes a bit of getting used to before Russell realizes she's not a VIP on the base. And when Douglas who is a scientist doing work for the army arrives on her base the fun really starts.

Roz has some good physical scenes, check out the one where she and other WACS are part of a Douglas experiment in arctic conditions. They're not as physical as the ones in Private Benjamin, still Russell gets ample opportunity to display her comic timing.

There's also a nice subplot involving Marie Wilson, a stripper who joins the WACs and falls for Sergeant Leif Erickson.

Charles Dingle is always one of my favorite character actors and it was really nice to see him as a good guy for a change. He's either a nasty villain like in Edge of Darkness or he's a pompous horse's rear like in Welcome Stranger. He's neither in this film, just a nice down to earth man who happens to be a United States Senator and not pleased with the snobbish ways of his daughter.

Obviously because he believed in getting more women in the Armed Services, the then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Omar N. Bradley made a guest appearance as himself. He has a moment when calls about Russell's status reach his ears and he refers them to his good friend Senator Dingle who's on a fishing trip.

Never Wave At A WAC though eclipsed somewhat for the current past two generations by Private Benjamin still has a lot of laughs. And it's a great introduction to one of the best and most versatile stars from the age of studio Hollywood, Rosalind Russell.


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