Tuesday, 29 September 2015

I've Just Seen: I Was a Male War Bride (1949)

I Was a Male War Bride (1949)


Director: Howard Hawks

The presence of Cary Grant in a film is big drawcard. He is incredibly watchable, being both highly attractive and a great actor. He seemed to have chemistry with almost all of his co-stars, and it is certainly true here; Grant and Ann Sheridan spark off each other, making their eventual romance more believable.

The plot didn't quite progress how I thought it would, which was rather a nice surprise. I always think that the ridiculous plots of screwball comedies are part of the fun. The joy lies in Grant's Captain Henri Rochard's frustration with being close to Sheridan's Lieutenant Catherine Gates. At the film's beginning he is too close, finding himself locked in her bedroom one night. Later the pair are constantly thwarted in their attempts to consummate their marriage, ending up on the opposite side of towns. There is also a lot of jokes about gender roles, something that greatly appeals to me. One is Rochard being classified as a 'war bride,' as a 'war groom' is not catered for under law. It is quite a clever script.

I clearly enjoyed this. A screwball comedy with Cary Grant at his snarky, sexy best (with a bit of cross-dressing thrown in): what's not to like?!


  1. I could watch Cary Grant be charming all day long.
    While I Was a Male War Bride doesn't have the calibre of jokes as Bringing up Baby or His Girl Friday, and the chemistry between Grant and Sheridan isn't quite there,this was still an enjoyable watch. Howard Hawks is great, always was.

    1. I could too!
      Yes, I wasn't as great as other classic screwball comedies, but as you say, still highly enjoyable, and I did laugh more than 6 times (the number required for a comedy to succeed, according to Dr Mark Kermode!). I thought their chemistry was good and sparky, but not as great it is between say, Grant and Hepburn, or Grant and Bergman, or Grant and Russell.