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   I WAS A MALE WAR BRIDE (1949) 

[Get the Poster]

CAST
Cary Grant
Ann Sheridan
Marion Marshall
Randy Stuart
Bill Neff
Robert Adair
Russ Conway
Arthur Hill
Kenneth Tobey

DIRECTED BY
Howard Hawks

PURCHASE


DVD




Time: 105 mins.
Rating: Not Rated
Genre: Comedy/Romance


SYNOPSIS: 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, but encounters a myriad of roadblocks due to being a man.

BOTTOM LINE: While this isn't Grant's best comic work, there's something about this film that draws me in time and again. He's wholly unconvincing as a Frenchmen, but that's really not the point of this piece. What he is able to convey perfectly is his desire for his new bride and his utter frustration at the U.S. government for their unrelenting burocracy that tries to keep them apart. Sheridan keeps up with him pretty well, giving as good as she gets while attempting to hold onto her sense of humor about their predicament. You have to give the writers a ton of credit for creating so many unusual and funny situations from one basic premise – that the War Department failed to consider that their female officers might also fall in love and marry while deployed on a mission and want to bring their husbands back to America. It's this lack of consideration that causes a whole heap of trouble for Grant and Sheridan.

The first third of the film where they're forced to work together and eventually fall in love isn't half as fun or interesting as the rest of the piece where all their efforts to make their marriage official and get it consummated are thwarted time and again. Just when they/you think it can't get any worse/more uncomfortable for Grant, the ridiculousness of the rules gets turned up a notch. Not only did they have to get married three times (don't ask), their first night as husband and wive is spent in separate places, thanks to Uncle Sam. In fact, the rules are so strict and inflexible, Grant is never able to find an actual bed to sleep in, giving the film one of it's funniest sequences. It then turns into a bit of a farce when he and his bride attempt to get him onto her military transport ship dressed as an Army nurse. Grant is not remotely convincing as a woman, so this is merely an over-the-top gag designed for a cheap laugh. By this point, all the fussing about with regulations begins to wear on the nerves as well. Perhaps if the film was about 10 minutes shorter, it would never lose its sense of fun. An original comedy that delivers quite a few laughs despite Grant's almost constant sourpuss. Thankfully, his innate charm counter balances his pique most of the time.




"According to the War Department, I *am* my wife."

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