I Was a Male War Bride (1949)

I Was a Male War Bride (1949)
  • 7463
  • Approved
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release year: 1949 ()
  • Running time: 105 min
  • Original Title: I Was a Male War Bride
  • Voted: 7463

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.

1Cary GrantCaptain Henri Rochard
2Ann Sheridan1st Lt. Catherine Gates
3Marion MarshallLt. Kitty Lawrence
4Randy StuartLt. Eloise Billings
  • "You're not going to rub my back through anything, including my own foolishness." by 7

    In postwar Germany, French captain Cary Grant is assigned to work on a mission with American lieutenant Ann Sheridan. The two have a past that we're never completely clued in on but it leads to them bickering for the first half of the movie. While struggling through a series of misadventures, the two eventually fall in love. But the misadventures are only starting as they soon discover when they try to get married and have to contend with bureaucratic hassles and headaches.

    According to Robert Osborne on TCM, Cary Grant considered this his best comedy. Given how many classic comedies he was in, it's hard to see why. This is good but it's not THAT good. The film reunites Grant with Howard Hawks, with whom he made some great films years before. It's also Grant's only film with Ann Sheridan, whose career seemed to take a nosedive after this. She's fun here although her character is a little grating at first. Cary does most of the heavy lifting on the comedy front. He's as charming as ever. It's a funny enough comedy helped by the likability of the two stars. The most famous part of the movie, where Grant dresses in drag (and makes for one ugly woman), doesn't occur until near the end and is only good for a chuckle or two. Fans of Hawks and the two leads will want to check it out and decide for themselves.

  • Grant and Sheridan in top form by 7

    Funny and romantic occupation comedy shows the better side of Grant and Sheridan. He's forced to go through a series of humiliations (a la Bringing Up Baby) before and after marrying no-nonsense WAC Sheridan. In order to get on a ship with his wife he's even forced into a VERY unconvincing drag (remember, we're talking about Cary Grant here). Very nice photography and directing mask a patched-together story.

  • excellent providing you don't think too hard! by 7

    I've always liked this movie despite it having one VERY serious short-coming. You see, some dimwit decided to cast Cary Grant as a French Soldier and, to put it bluntly, he sucks at imitating a Frenchman. If only the producers had watched the movie Suzy (completed more than a decade earlier), they could have seen how silly Grant looks when he plays a French person. He has no trace of a French accent. If he had sounded like Pepe LePew, it would have been a vast improvement! So, provided you can get past this (and I'm sure many CAN'T), you are left with an intelligent little comedy about what happens when an American servicewoman marries a French officer and tries to bring him back to the states. As you may have guessed, this did NOT happen very often as nearly all American troops who married abroad were men marrying local ladies. And, because this is NOT the norm, one bureaucratic snafu after another prevent them from the supposedly easy task of immigrating with his new bride to America. Particularly noteworthy is Grant when he poses as a WAC! Although he was a handsome man, he was one scary looking woman!!

  • Hapless comedy, proving even Hawks and Grant can have an off day... by 2

    Incredibly weak wartime farce. Army Captain Cary Grant and his sweetheart, Lieutenant Ann Sheridan, get married overseas, but they soon discover they cannot return to the States together because of his French citizenship. The solution? Dress the captain up as a woman and take advantage of the Immigration of War Brides Act! Slight stuff, with a screenplay seemingly written around the title (and the commercially comic idea of placing a peculiarly butch and graceless Grant in drag). Howard Hawks directed, with none of his usual skill (he's graceless, too). Supporting cast (including Marion Marshall and Bill Neff) is colorless. *1/2 from ****

  • 20 Minutes of Funny, 80 Minutes of Nothing by 3

    As a lover of Hawks' comedies (like Bringing Up Baby and His Girl Friday) and war pictures (like Air Force), I expected something pretty exceptional. Even with Cary Grant being woefully miscast as a Frenchman, I expected witty repartee and screwball antics. Well, I was sort of right. There were a few good verbal scenes (e.g. the scene where Grant is filling out the "expectant mother" form with the bureaucrat) and a few good physical scenes (e.g. the scenes where Grant is trying to comfortably fit his hands somewhere), but only enough to make a moderately funny short film. Most of the movie was failed jokes and sad filler. It almost seemed like the writers were trying to write a trials-and-tribulations-of-a-male-war-bride that somehow got peppered with leftover battle-of-the-sexes jokes on the second re-write (because of course cross-dressing is funny). Avoid this film, even if you like Hawks and like Grant.

1Howard Hawksdirector
2Sol C. Siegelproducer
3Charles Ledererwriter
4Leonard Spigelgasswriter
5Hagar Wildewriter
6Henri Rochardwriter