|I Was a Male War Bride|
|Directed by||Howard Hawks|
|Produced by||Sol C. Siegel|
|Screenplay by|| Charles Lederer |
|Based on||Male War Bride Trial to Army|
Baltimore Sun 1947
by Henri Rochard
|Starring|| Cary Grant |
|Music by||Cyril J. Mockridge|
|Cinematography|| Osmond Borradaile |
|Edited by||James B. Clark|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$4.1 million (US/ Canada rentals)|
I Was a Male War Bride is a 1949 comedy film directed by Howard Hawks and starring Cary Grant and Ann Sheridan.
The film was based on I Was an Alien Spouse of Female Military Personnel Enroute to the United States Under Public Law 271 of the Congress, a biography of Henri Rochard ( nom de plume of Roger Charlier), a Belgian who married an American nurse.
The film is about French Army officer Henri Rochard (Grant) who must pass as a war bride in order to go back to the United States with Women's Army Corps officer Catherine Gates (Sheridan). It is noted as being a low key screwball comedy with a famous final sequence featuring Cary Grant impersonating a female Army nurse.
In Heidelberg in post-World War II Allied-occupied Germany, French Army Captain Henri Rochard (Cary Grant) is given the task of recruiting a highly skilled lens maker, Schindler (Martin Miller). He is assigned American Lieutenant Catherine Gates (Ann Sheridan) as his chauffeur, much to their mutual discomfort (arising from several prior clashes). The only available transportation is a motorcycle which, due to Army regulations, only Catherine is allowed to drive; Henri has to ride in the sidecar. After several mishaps, the constantly quarreling couple arrive at their destination, Bad Nauheim.
At the hotel, bothered by back pain, Catherine warily accepts Henri's offer of a back rub. When she falls asleep, he tries to leave her room, but the door handle falls off, trapping him inside. He spends an uncomfortable night in a chair. In the morning, she refuses to believe his story. Unknown to him, the innkeeper's wife has replaced the knob, so, when he tells Catherine to see for herself how the door will not open, it does. Eventually, his wife comes to the room (forcing Henri to hide on the ledge outside the window) and explains everything to Catherine, but not before Henri falls off the ledge.
Later, Henri goes undercover to search for Schindler, now working in the black market. He refuses to let Catherine help him and tells her that if she sees him to pretend she does not know him. The black market is raided by the authorities, and he is rounded up with everyone else. When he asks her to vouch for his identity, she obeys his earlier order not to reveal that she knows him. While he is in jail, she finds Schindler, who is happy to leave Germany and ply his trade in France. Later, she apologizes to a furious Henri, and by the time they return to Heidelberg, they have fallen in love.
Red tape forces Henri and Catherine to be married first in a civil ceremony before they can each have their choice of ceremony: Army chaplain (Catharine) and church (Henri). Before they can consummate their marriage, she is ordered to report immediately to headquarters in the morning; her unit has been alerted they are about to be shipped back to the United States. They subsequently learn that the only way Henri can get a visa to emigrate with her is under the War Brides Act as the spouse of an American soldier. After many misunderstandings, he is given permission to accompany her, but circumstances and Army regulations conspire to keep them from spending the night together.
When they try to board the transport ship, Navy sailors do not believe that Henri is a war "bride". He is forced to dress as a female Army nurse to get aboard. The deception works, but once underway, his disguise is discovered and he is arrested. Catherine manages to straighten out the situation, and they finally have some privacy - in the ship's brig.
Filming began on September 28, 1948 and lasted more than eight months due to a variety of illnesses contracted by cast members and crew. Sheridan contracted pleurisy that developed into pneumonia, suspending shooting for two weeks. Hawks broke out in unexplained hives all over his body. Grant came down with hepatitis complicated by jaundice, and production was shut down for three months, until Grant recovered and regained around 30 pounds. When screenwriter Charles Lederer was ill, his friend Orson Welles wrote part of a short chase scene as a favor to him. 404 The delay in production pushed the budget over $2 million.:
Filming took place primarily in Heidelberg, Germany, London at Shepperton Studios, and Los Angeles at the 20th Century Fox studios. King Donovan, Charles B. Fitzsimons, Robert Stevenson, and Otto Waldis all shot scenes for this film, but all of them were ultimately deleted.
The film played Grauman's Chinese Theatre for two weeks starting August 19, 1949.Its New York premiere was on August 26, 1949, at the Roxy Theatre. The opening was originally scheduled for Radio City Music Hall, but filming delays placed the opening in conflict with the Music Hall's schedule.
Bosley Crowther of The New York Times wrote a generally positive review, finding that a "tediously long time" was spent setting up the plot but that the film's best scenes were "convulsingly zany stuff".Variety was also mostly positive, calling the film "a smash combo of saucy humor and slapstick", though it thought that the story had "trouble finding a point at which to end." Harrison's Reports called it "An hilariously funny sophisticated comedy ... The direction is bright and snappy, and both Grant and Sheridan do very good work, romping through the farcical situations in a highly amusing way." Richard L. Coe of The Washington Post wrote that there were "a good many laughs" in the film, though he found too many of the comedic situations to consist of "the obvious worked to death". Philip Hamburger of The New Yorker was negative, writing, "One cannot blame Miss Sheridan for the accumulated inanities to which she is subjected (the antics in this film are too childish to bear enumeration), but she does as little with them as humanly possible."
The film holds a score of 79% on review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes based on 11 out of 14 surveyed critics giving it a positive review.
The film grossed over $4.5 million, making it 20th's biggest earner of 1949. It was also Howard Hawks' 3rd highest grosser, behind only Sergeant York (1941) and Red River (1948).
Roman Holiday is a 1953 American romantic comedy film directed and produced by William Wyler. It stars Audrey Hepburn as a princess out to see Rome on her own and Gregory Peck as a reporter. Hepburn won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance; the screenplay and costume design also won.
The Talk of the Town is a 1942 American comedy-drama film directed by George Stevens and starring Cary Grant, Jean Arthur, and Ronald Colman, with a supporting cast featuring Edgar Buchanan and Glenda Farrell. The screenplay was written by Irwin Shaw and Sidney Buchman from a story by Sidney Harmon. The picture was released by Columbia Pictures. This was the second time that Grant and Arthur were paired in a film, after Only Angels Have Wings (1939).
Clara Lou Sheridan, known professionally as Ann Sheridan, was an American actress and singer. She worked regularly, first in film and later in television, from 1934 until her death. Notable roles include San Quentin (1937) with Pat O'Brien and Humphrey Bogart, Angels with Dirty Faces (1938) with James Cagney and Bogart, They Drive by Night (1940) with George Raft and Bogart, The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942) with Monty Woolley, Kings Row (1942) with Ronald Reagan, Nora Prentiss (1947), and I Was a Male War Bride (1949) with Cary Grant.
Operation Petticoat is a 1959 American World War II submarine comedy film in Eastmancolor from Universal-International, produced by Robert Arthur, directed by Blake Edwards, that stars Cary Grant and Tony Curtis.
Father Goose is a 1964 American Technicolor romantic comedy film set in World War II, starring Cary Grant, Leslie Caron and Trevor Howard. The title derives from "Mother Goose", the code name assigned to Grant's character. Based on a story A Place of Dragons by Sanford Barnett,The film won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. It introduced the song "Pass Me By" by Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh, later recorded by Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra and others.
That Touch of Mink is a 1962 American comedy romance film directed by Delbert Mann and starring Cary Grant, Doris Day, Gig Young and Audrey Meadows.
John Elmer "Jack" Carson was a Canadian-born, American film actor. Carson often played the role of comedic friend through the 1940s and 1950s, including films The Strawberry Blonde (1941) and Arsenic and Old Lace (1944). He displayed his dramatic talent in films such as Mildred Pierce (1945), A Star is Born (1954), and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958). He worked for RKO and MGM, cast opposite Myrna Loy and William Powell in Love Crazy, 1941, but most of his memorable work was for Warner Bros.
She Wore a Yellow Ribbon is a 1949 Technicolor Western film directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne. It is the second film in Ford's "Cavalry Trilogy," along with Fort Apache (1948) and Rio Grande (1950). With a budget of $1.6 million, the film was one of the most expensive Westerns made up to that time. It was a major hit for RKO. The film's title takes its name from "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon", a popular US military song that is used to keep marching cadence.
The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer is a 1947 American comedy film directed by Irving Reis and written by Sidney Sheldon. The film stars Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, and Shirley Temple in a story about a teenager's crush on an older man.
In Name Only is a 1939 romantic film starring Cary Grant, Carole Lombard, and Kay Francis, directed by John Cromwell. It was based on the 1935 novel Memory of Love by Bessie Breuer. The fictional town where it is set, Bridgefield, Connecticut, is based on the town of Ridgefield, Connecticut.
Operation Mad Ball is a 1957 military comedy from Columbia Pictures, produced by Jed Harris, directed by Richard Quine, that stars Jack Lemmon, Ernie Kovacs, Kathryn Grant, Arthur O'Connell, and Mickey Rooney. The screenplay is by Blake Edwards, Jed Harris, and Arthur Carter, based on an unproduced play by Carter.
Every Girl Should Be Married is a 1948 American romantic comedy film directed by Don Hartman and starring Cary Grant, Betsy Drake and Franchot Tone. Grant and Drake married a year after the film's release.
The Man Who Came to Dinner is a 1942 American comedy film directed by William Keighley, and starring Bette Davis, Ann Sheridan and Monty Woolley as the title character. The screenplay by Julius and Philip G. Epstein is based on the 1939 play The Man Who Came to Dinner by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman. The supporting cast features Jimmy Durante and Billie Burke.
Black Magic is a 1949 film adaptation of Alexandre Dumas's novel Joseph Balsamo. It was directed by Gregory Ratoff. Set in the 18th century, the film stars Orson Welles in the lead role as Joseph Balsamo, a hypnotist, magician, and charlatan who also goes by the alias Count Cagliostro, and Nancy Guild as Lorenza/Marie Antoinette. Akim Tamiroff has a featured role as Gitano. The film received mixed reviews.
Ladies Should Listen is a 1934 American comedy film directed by Frank Tuttle and starring Cary Grant, Edward Everett Horton, Frances Drake, and Nydia Westman.
Silver River is a 1948 western film directed by Raoul Walsh and starring Errol Flynn and Ann Sheridan. The film is based on a Stephen Longstreet story that was turned into a novel.
It All Came True is a 1940 musical comedy crime film starring Ann Sheridan as a fledgling singer and Humphrey Bogart, who was third-billed on movie posters, as a gangster who hides from the police in a boarding house. It is based on the Louis Bromfield novel Better Than Life. Sheridan introduced the hit song "Angel in Disguise". The picture was produced by Mark Hellinger and directed by Lewis Seiler. The cast also featured Jeffrey Lynn as the leading man, Zasu Pitts, and Una O'Connor.
Randy Stuart, was an American actress in film and television. A familiar face in several popular films of the 1940s and 1950s, and later in Western-themed television series, she is perhaps best remembered as Louise Carey, the wife of Scott Carey, played by Grant Williams, in The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957), a science-fiction classic named in 2009 as “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant to be preserved for all time in the Library of Congress's National Film Registry.
Roger Henri Louise Lievin Constance Charlier was a Belgian resistance fighter, prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials, and academic. His marriage with American nurse Marie and administrative difficulties regarding his residency in the US was dramatised in the film I Was a Male War Bride, with Cary Grant as Charlier.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to I Was a Male War Bride .|