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I Was a Male War Bride

I Was a Male War Bride

3.5 4
Director: Howard Hawks

Cast: Cary Grant, Ann Sheridan, Randy Stuart


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Howard Hawks directed this classic farce about how love attempts to triumph over military red tape after the close of World War II. Capt. Henri Rochard (Cary Grant) is a French officer who is assigned to put a stop to a black market operation in occupied Germany with the help of Lt. Catherine Gates (Ann Sheridan), an American WAC. While their initial meetings are


Howard Hawks directed this classic farce about how love attempts to triumph over military red tape after the close of World War II. Capt. Henri Rochard (Cary Grant) is a French officer who is assigned to put a stop to a black market operation in occupied Germany with the help of Lt. Catherine Gates (Ann Sheridan), an American WAC. While their initial meetings are hardly harmonious, in time Rochard and Gates find that opposites really do attract, and they fall in love. The two decide to get married, which seems simple enough, but the moment Gates receives orders to return to the United States and Rochard wants to join her, they soon discover just how complicated the U.S. Army can make things. While the Army has a strict protocol for dealing with "war brides," there is no similar routine for men who marry female Army personnel, so in order to follow his new wife into the States, Rochard has to disguise himself as a WAC. From this moment on, nearly everything that happens to Rochard is an affront to his dignity and/or his patience, from his inability to share a bunk with his new bride to his discovery that Army regulations prevent him from driving a motorcycle (Gates has to take the handlebars, while her husband is forced to ride in a sidecar). As more than one writer has pointed out, while Grant gives a deft comic performance, it's a bit of a stretch to imagine that he's French (but probably no more than to imagine that anyone would really believe that he's a woman).

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
I Was a Male War Bride doesn't reach the zany heights of earlier Cary Grant-Howard Hawks entries such as His Girl Friday, but that's hardly cause for complaint -- hardly anything is quite as good as the classic Friday. Bride is a thoroughly enjoyable, sometimes hilarious romantic comedy; it's just that the laughs don't come non-stop as they do in the very best of Hawks' work. Bride is a bit gentler -- and, it must be admitted, in the first half ever so slightly dull, as the film concentrates a bit too much on the on-location scenery and not on shifting the comedy into high gear. Once Bride gets going, though, the earlier bumps are easily forgiven. For his part, Grant is in top form, demonstrating once again what an invaluable farceur he was, and how irreplaceable he is in so many of his films. His co-star, Ann Sheridan, doesn't quite rise to his level, but she does do much more than adequately and in a number of moments truly shines. One does wish that there was a tiny bit more chemistry between the stars; it's definitely there, but it just falls a little short of being as natural and unforced as one desires. It's also a bit of a drawback that Hawks and his writers didn't set some of Sheridan's material up in a more sympathetic light, as Gates comes across as slightly mean toward Rochard at times -- and unnecessarily so. Still, these are small complaints and they don't keep Bride from being breezy, enjoyable and appealing.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
20th Century Fox

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Cary Grant Capt. Henri Rochard
Ann Sheridan Lt. Catherine Gates
Randy Stuart Mae
William Neff Capt. Jack Rumsey
Eugene Gericke Tony Jewitt
Kenneth Tobey Seaman
Ruben Wendorf Innkeeper's Assistant
Lester Sharpe Waiter
John Whitney Trumble
Robert Stevenson Lieutenant
Alfred Linder Bartender
David McMahon Chaplain
Joe Haworth Shore Patrol
André Charlot French Minister
Russ Conway Cmdr. Willis
Alex Gerry Waiter
Paul Hardtmuth Burgomeister
Gil Herman Naval Officer
Arthur Hill Actor
Carl Jaffe Jail Officer
Lily Kann Innkeeper's Wife
Harry Lauter Lieutenant
Mike Mahoney Sailor
William McLean Expectant GI
Martin Miller Schindler
William Murphy Sergeant
Barbara Perry Tall WAC
William Pullen Sergeant
Otto Reichow Actor
Bill Self Sergeant
John Serret French Notary
William Yetter German Policeman
John Zilly Shore Patrol
Kay Young Maj. Prendergast

Technical Credits
Howard Hawks Director
Osmond H. Borradaile Cinematographer
Norbert F. Brodin Cinematographer
James B. Clark Editor
Roger Heman Sound/Sound Designer
Albert Hogsett Art Director
Charles Lederer Screenwriter
George Leverett Sound/Sound Designer
Thomas K. Little Set Decoration/Design
Cyril Mockridge Score Composer
Lionel Newman Musical Direction/Supervision
Ben Nye Makeup
Walter Scott Set Decoration/Design
Fred Sersen Special Effects
Sol C. Siegel Producer
Leonard Spigelgass Screenwriter
Lyle Wheeler Art Director
Hagar Wilde Screenwriter


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I Was a Male War Bride 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Howard Hawk's 'I Was A Male War Bride' has since gone on to become a benchmark in screwball comedy. Grant plays French officer, Capt. Henri Rochard, stationed in post-war Germany. He falls for a stubborn, wisecracking American WAC operator, Catharine Gates (Ann Sheridan). After a secret mission goes happily awry Gates and Rochard discover that they are in love. They marry, only to discover that U.S. immigration laws have no provision for admitting foreign husbands into the country. To alleviate the confusion ¿ though ultimately more results ¿ Rochard files for his landed immigrant papers under the status of a `war bride.¿ This gets him past the paper work but not beyond security, who at first do not believe their eyes, then assume that the marriage license is a forgery. Rochard is detained from leaving France, forced to live in a youth hostile and then herded into a hotel with a bunch of legitimate war brides who, of course, do not accept him to sleep in the same area. This is one of those great comedy of errors, in which two people, destined to be together by the final fade out, have to go through the rarest of hoops in order to achieve that blissful conclusion. The DVD transfer is, in a word - gorgeous! A stunning black and white picture with an exceptionally balanced gray scale is pleasant and easy on the eyes. There are rare occasions where film grain appears and some age related artifacts but nothing that will distract one from immersing themselves in this classic screwball. There are NO DIGITAL ANOMALIES for a smooth visual presentation throughout. The audio is mono but well balanced. There are no extras.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This hilarious film stars Cary Grant as French Army officer Henri Rochard and Ann Sheridan as American WAC lieutenant Catherine Gates. They are sent out on a mission together in Germany. At first they can't stand each other and bicker endlessly. But as time passes, they realize they are madly in love. Catherine receives orders that she is to return to the states, which poses a big problem. The two get married, but due to military red tape the only way Henri Rochard can return with Catherine is if he goes as a war bride. This film features fine performances from its leads and also stars Marion Marshall.