Friday, May 4, 2012

Movies in May: I Was a Male War Bride

I have been in love with Cary Grant for a couple of decades now. He was the Man's Man and every woman's dream. In I Was a Male War Bride, a movie from 1949, Grant plays a French office of the Army opposite Ann Sheridan who is a Women's Army Corp officer. The two act like they can't stand each other, constantly poking fun at each other and bickering. But we all know what usually happens in cases like these.

The two end up having to go on a mission together to Germany, to track down a lensmaker who is working on the black market. Their trip includes the usual screwball comedy for which Grant was famous in that era. Think of finding more than a needle in a haystack, broken doorknobs, backrubs and waterfalls. Along the way, the two finally succumb to their love for each other and decide to get married.

Because Grant is a French citizen, they run into all kinds of problems when they try to get married, ending up with three separate ceremonies. Before they have a chance to consummate their marriage, Sheridan is called back to the United States. Grant is obviously going to return to his wife, but gets stalled by even more red tape. The only way he can get there is as an American War Bride, because there are no separate distinctions for men.  People are tremendously confused by his title, "Alien Spouse of Female Military Personnel Enroute to the United States Under Public Law 271," and never know how to accommodate him. More hilarity ensues, including Grant finally having to dress up as a woman to sneak on board a ship. Cary Grant was a beautiful man, but he is absolutely hideous as a woman!

Apparently, this movie is based on a true story about a man also named Henri Rouchard, who had to travel under such a title. They always say that truth is stranger than fiction!

I have watched this movie at least a dozen times on classic movie channels and now on Netflix's Watch Instantly. Or, you can purchase your own copy. It's one worth having in the collection!

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