Stationed to work side-by-side on a mission in post war Germany, French army officer Henry Rochard (Grant) and American WAC Lieutenant Catherine Gates (Ann Sheridan) fall in love. But just when they decide to marry, Cather... more »ine is ordered back to the US - alone! The only way for an alien, including her husband, to enter the US with her, is through the congressional act governing war brides. So?the resourceful Catherine does the obvious ---disguises her husband as a sister WAC in this hilarious classic that the whole family will enjoy.« less
"This is a cool, quiet comedy that floats just below the radar of what we ordinarily consider comedy to be (actually, this is very similar to the British Ealing comedies of the same era). Cary is a master of subtle comedy. He can say more with a straight face than anyone since Buster Keaton, and he is perfectly cast with Ann Sheridan here, who matches Cary's every nuance of subtlety and intelligence. The movie deftly skewers that oxymoron we all know and loathe: "military intelligence". There are some priceless lines throughout, like the Permission To Immigrate To The US form that Cary must sign, which asks hilariously inane questions like "name your father's gender". The military is so shortsighted and inflexible, poor Cary ultimately has no choice if he wants to get into the US - he not only has to lie about his identity, but his gender as well. I first saw this movie some twenty-plus years ago and was amazed at how ahead of its time it was in terms of being a `gender-bender' comedy. I was also amazed that it had never been as popular as some of the other comedies of the period (the French caught on early, and they still embrace this film as one of Hawks' best). It has gradually been discovered and embraced by newer audiences, and it's about time. It's not as wild or raucous as say, "Some Like it Hot", but it covers as much distance. And I don't care what anybody says, Cary does have sexy gams! [hubba! hubba!]"
Terrific Comedy by master Hawks starring Grant & Sheridan
Fernando Silva | Santiago de Chile. | 08/21/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This film was destined to be a "classic", after all Howard Hawks had been responsible for both, Cary Grant's masterpiece of the screwball comedy "Bringing Up Baby" (opposite Kate Hepburn) and one the fastest-paced-dialogue-comedies ever, the great "His Girl Friday" starring Grant and Rosalind Russell.
It's a pity that Cary Grant and Ann Sheridan weren't ever teamed up again, because it's such a wonderful and great chemistry that develops between these two stars!; I'm short of words in praising their talent, especially since at the beginning of the picture they have to "work-out" this weird "love & hate relationship".
Grant plays a french captain on duty in Germany, after World War II, who's had shared too many missions and lots of "experiences" together, with American lieutenant (Sheridan), but in this last mission together, they're going to have (unknowingly) one of the greatest adventures of their whole lives, with exhilarating results!!!
It had been a time since I had laughed so loudly with a movie, `cos, especially, the second half of the movie is plain "irresistible", if you don't get a kick out of this film you might be well dead. I cannot praise enough this pic!
The Copy of the dvd is good indeed, at least it looked OK in my 34" TV Set.
Mr. and Mrs? Or Is It Mrs. and Mrs?
Simon Davis | 05/19/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For those that appreciate well written marital comedies a good old fashioned laugh feast is guaranteed in Howard Hawk's delightful farce set in post war Europe, "I Was a Male War Bride". The film's main claim to fame of course is the sight of Cary Grant attired in full female army uniform trying to make his way to America with his new wife, however it also has much else to offer in the determined battle of the sexes that goes on between the two antagonists Cary Grant and the always delightful Ann Sheridan. Grant was always superb when playing these types of disgruntled male lead roles where he often found himself being put through the emotional ringer by a woman who generally has the upper hand on him. In this funny story the woman in question played by Ann Sheridan enjoys a long standing love/hate relationship with his character that while filled with verbal insults and slights, hides underneath a real love just waiting to come to the surface. This film also very amusingly chronicles the discomforts and frustration that went into a lot of wartime marriages where army red tape and procedures often seemed intent upon nothing else but hindering the course of true love. This story treats all of those frustrations in a light hearted and at times highly amusing manner which is sure to amuse and indeed surprise some die hard Cary Grant fans.
Based upon a story by the real Henri Rochard, Cary Grant plays the french Officer who is part of the occuping forces in postwar Germany who are responsible for getting the country back to it's proper operation. He has a real love /hate working relationship with American WAC Lt. Catherine Gates (Ann Sheridan in one of her best roles)who he has had a number of assignments with in the past. Catherine's breezy manner and her ability to always manage to get Henri's goat so to speak, in any dealings they have with each other guarantees that the two always have an explosive relationship with each. From their previous collaborations together Henri always finds himself coming out of these encounters the worst for wear as in the example of his recent brush with the wise cracking Lt. where his private parts took on a strange colour thanks to a vat of blue dye he was dumped into all in the name of duty! However on their latest mission in post war Germany where they are reluctantly teamed together to track down a black market ring Henri and Catherine find that their previous antagonism towards each other begins to turn into the not unexpected love that both have been denying for so long. The journey to where the assignment is involves them in a wacky cross country motorcycle ride that sees them almost go over a waterfall, almost get drowned in a sudden down pour and which has henri spending th enight locke din Catherine's hotel room when the door handle breaks off. Along the way of course the verbal insults continue in particular when Henri himself is mistaken for one of the black mailers and Catherine has to get him out of jail. matters are not help also when Henri's ego is further deflated when Catherine with use of an army contact is able to track down the gentlemen they were seeking with little effort. A collision with a haystack however is the catalyst that finally brings the pairs deep feelings for each other to the surface and in among the straw Henri proposes marriage. However if the pair thought that their courtship was rocky they are not prepared for all the problems they have in their quest to get married. After having to go through three officical ceremonies to make their union legal they find that when Catherine is suddenly informed that her detachment is being sent home to the United states that there is no place for Henri as her "husband", on the army ship home. To achieve their desire to get to the United States they find it is necessary to have Henri classified as a "war bride", to ensure he is granted passage home. The final journey to the boat to sail to the US however id filled with frustrations for Henri as he is seperated from Catherine on their Wedding Night and goes through a succession of temporary accomodations that have not place for a "Male War Bride", which is the strange classification that he finds himself having to travel under. After a number of sleepless nights when they finally do get to the boat Catherine and Henri find the US Navy now barring their one chance to sail together as husband and wife because of Henri's confusing "status". It is only by Catherine's quick thinking in dressing the long sufering Henri up as a women and getting him aboard that way that the couple finally are able to set sail for America and actually spend the night and as it turns out the whole journey alone together in a small room where even the navy's red tape can't get at them.
"I Was a Male War Bride", is a delightful comedy outing that the viewer could almost see the likes of William Powell and Myrna Loy doing during th e1930's. Never for one moment does Cary Grant look convincing as a WAC but that is half the fun of the proceedings and he handles this part and all the crazy situations he is thrown into with relish. He and Ann Sheridan have a delightful chemistry on screen together and make a very believable and highly amusing bickering couple who just can't help but fall in love. Ann Sheridan once again here proves herself to be a most capable comedianne and I've always felt that her wartime nickname of the "Omph Girl", tended to sell her abilities in other areas far too short. One of the best running jokes throughout the whole film is the precarious situations that Cary Grant often finds himself having to try and sleep under and the films original title of "You Can't Sleep Here!", really sums up his frustrations. from a bath tub to a hard chair to a bunk in a mess hall, all manner of sleeping arrangements are waht he is reduced to taking with the reaccuring joke of what to do with his hands in these situations also raising many laughs. The pace at times changes from rapid fire verbal exchanges between the warring couple, typical of the directing style of the legendary Howard Hawks, to quite leisurely interludes through the proceedings which allow the characters to develop more fully. One of the great benefits of "I Was a Male War Bride", is the fact that it was filmed on location in Europe in late 1948 so that many scenes show war wreckage and burnt out buildings still in place which gives the story a very believable atmosphere and not the appearance of just another Hollywood Backlot adventure.
In 1949 long before the era of such films as "Some Like It Hot", the sight of one of Hollywood's greatest romantic leading men dressed as a WAC was undoubtedly quite a startling thing. Cary Grant's stint in female attire is the visual image for which this film will always be remembered however it is an enjoyable farce all the way through with two shining performances, combined with rapid fire direction and great dialogue guarenteed to make you laugh. Spend some time soon with this wonderful comedy courtesy of Howard Hawks, it shows another image of Cary Grant perhaps not so well know to audiences and the lovely Ann Sheridan at her acting peak. Enjoy!"
castor | Smiths Falls, ON Canada | 08/14/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ann Sheridan is a perfect match for Cary Grant in this romantic comedy that involves a French army officer (Grant) and an American WAC (Sheridan) who share a mission in post-WWII Germany. Their relationship moves from mutual antagonism to love. The situation becomes complicated when they decide to marry & return to the US with Grant as the war bride.Two aspects of the movie, made in 1949, stand out - Grant, as a French army officer who speaks not a word of French, and the on-location filming which adds tremendously to the overall impression of the film. It is very similar in this respect to Roman Holiday made four years later with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck . A studio-bound version would have possibly turned this from a classic comedy to a forgettable farce.Highly recommended. One of my all-time top 10."
105 Minutes of a Sheer Fun!
Natalie | 12/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Howard Hawks's "I Was a Male War Bride"(1949) is one of the most funny movies with Cary Grant I've ever seen. As a matter of fact, it is one of the most hilarious movies ever. The story is set in a postwar Germany, with ruins on the background, but the life seemingly coming more or less to normal. Henri Rochard (Cary Grant) is a French Captain from the French Economic mission, who is often supported in his missions by the US Army Lieutenant Catherine Gates (Ann Sheridan), a sharp-tongued female interpreter. From the very first scene in the movie, when Henri finds Catherine in her office to (quite publicly) return her very personal belongings he'd gotten by mistake in their previous trip, one can see a certain level of attraction, masked by a fierce, but very funny bickering on the subject of their previous work together. As fate would have it, for his new mission Henri is slated to go with Catherine again. The news does not seem to bode well with Henri, who seemed to have had a certain share of mishaps during their previous missions together, which he fully attributed to Catherine. However, he does not have much of a choice and off they go on a search for a skilled lens grafter in Bad Neuheim to save the poor man from the clutches of the black market and put his services to the benefit of society. Catherine's no-nonsense attitude does indeed put poor Henri into some very precarious situations from time to time, but it's not intentional, and Henri gradually comes to realize that. What's more, they grow more and more attached to each other during that trip until they realize that they love each other and want to get married. That's where the most oddball part of the movie begins. Since Catherine is still an officer of the US Army, the marriage has to be approved through the Army channels, causing a lot of consternation and anxiety to the two love birds and really testing their intent to marry. With the marriage finally happening (three times!) life should be full of roses for the newlyweds, but the Army had to have a final laugh and Catherine is ordered to go back to the States right away. Henri is an alien and it would be a matter of a long time before he gets all the papers allowing him to join her in the US. They are running around the bureaucratic offices, trying to secure Henri's departure with her, but it's all in vain, until one of the officials gives them an idea to use the congressional Act granting wider opportunities for the war brides to enter the United States. The only problem is Henri's not a woman! They do manage to get him the war bride status, which leads to more hilarious situations - like poor Henri filling in the questionnaire, where one of the standard questions is whether Mrs. So-and So is pregnant and how many months along! All this finally out of the way exhausted Henri and Catherine reach after all the last obstacle on their trip to the States - the Navy guards are not letting Henri on board the ship and the ship is just about to leave. In a sudden stroke of inspiration, Catherine disguises Henri in the uniform of the Army nurse and they sneak on board of the ship past the sailors. They do get caught eventually, after a hysterical episode when Henri is called upon to fulfill the nurse's duty during childbirth, but the ship is already at sea and nothing can be done about it. They do get to see the Statue of Liberty together after all. The DVD picture quality is not all that great, just tolerable - apparently they could not do much restoration on it. The special features include the usual Still Gallery, the original trailers, Cary Grant Theater feature - about his other famous films - and a couple of short mute documentary reels on the making of the movies and its first release. "