I Was A Male War Bride

I Was A Male War Bride was directed by Howard Hawks.  It was released on August 19, 1949. This fun movie stars Carey Grant as Captain Henri Rochard and Anne Sheridan as Lieutenant Catherine Gates.  Filming start on this movie in September of 1948, but it took almost a year to complete because the actors and Howard Hawks kept coming down with illnesses.  These delays made costs of production run to over 2 million dollars.  The movie grossed over 4.5 million dollars making it the third most successful movie for Howard Hawks.

On location filming took place in Germany.  Studio filming took place in London, England and Los Angeles, California.

Carey Grant was 45 years old when he filmed this movie and Ann Sheridan was 34.  These actors did a very good job playing off of each other in this movie.

Carey Grant as Captain Henri Rochard.

I Was A Male War Bride takes place during post WWII.  Carey Grant plays the part of a Captain in the French Army.  Captain Rochard is about to retire from the military but he is given one last assignment.  Lt. Gates is assigned as Captain Rochard’s driver, but she is not thrilled about it because of previous collaborations with him that were not to her liking.

At first I really did not care much for Catherine Gates because she seemed very whiny and always complaining.  It took a little while for her to grow on me.

The only vehicle available to drive Captain Rochard around in is a dual passenger motorcycle.  Because of Army regulations only Catherine can drive it so Captain Rochard has to ride in the sidecar.    On the way to the appointed destination there are several funny mishaps and misunderstandings all resulting in Captain Rochard being made to look like a fool and terribly put out.
Catherine and Henri slow down enough to realize they are have grown on one another and are in love, so they decide to get married.

Getting married is not so simple because Catherine is American and Henri is French.  Btw, at no time does Carey Grant sound like a Frenchman in this movie.  Captain Rochard sounds very American.  Anyway, there is a ton of paperwork that has to be completed.  Catherine and Henri finally gets through it all and submits their application for permission to marry.

Catherine and Henri cannot understand why they have not heard anything back  from the Army.  Tensions start running really high because Catherine has to return to the United States.  As it turns out a fellow Army buddy of Catherine’s deliberately stalled delivery of their application.  Catherine gets mad and hits the guy over the head.

The Army approves Catherine and Henri’s application to get married.

Regulations forces Catherine and Henri to get married in several different places.  There are two church ceremonies, a civil ceremony and an Army civil ceremony.

On their wedding night Catherine receives orders to return to headquarters right away because she is being shipped back to America in the morning.  The happy couple never gets to consummate their marriage that night.

The only way that Henri can get a visa and travel back to the USA with Catherine is if he does so under the War Bride Act  The visa is approved but on the way to the ship that will take them to America Henri suffers through a few more mishaps.

Catherine and Henri finally make it to the pier to board the ship, but Henri is not allowed on because he is not a man.  The War Bride Act does not specially say that it has to be a woman, it just says spouse , but the Navy-men will not let Henri on ship.  Catherine comes up with the idea to have Henri dress up as a woman and then try again to board the ship.

Henri does not want to do it, but it is the only way he can get on board the ship.  Catherine cuts the hair off of the tail of a horse to make a wig for Henri.  This is hysterical!  Henri rolls his pants up underneath the skirt and puts on a pair of stockings.

Henri tries again to board ship and Catherine does all of the talking because Henri’s voice would immediately give him away.  There is no way that Carey Grant looked even remotely like a woman.

Henri is discovered as really being a man, but by then it is too late to throp him off the ship because it has already sailed.  Henri gets into trouble and he is locked up while Catherine tries to straighten everything out.

Henri is cleared and they can now continue on their voyage to America as husband and wife.

I Was A Male War Bride is a delightful movie to watch.   Make yourself some popcorn and enjoy it.  I streamed this movie on Netflix.

 

Publicity Photos

Old-Fashioned Charm

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