Combustible Celluloid
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With: Cary Grant, Ann Sheridan, Marion Marshall, Randy Stuart, William Neff
Written by: Charles Lederer, Leonard Spigelgass, Hagar Wilde, based on a story by Henri Rochard
Directed by: Howard Hawks
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 103
Date: 08/19/1949

I Was a Male War Bride (1949)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Drag Order

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

In this fourth of five collaborations between director Howard Hawks and Cary Grant, the latter plays a French (!) soldier who falls for an American WAC Lieutenant (Ann Sheridan). To get into the United States, they invoke a law that makes Grant into a war bride. The film advertises Grant in drag, but that -- thankfully -- only takes up a few minutes near the end of the film. Instead, Hawks concentrates on one of his favorite dynamics, the back-and-forth banter between two smart and equal characters and exposing hypocrisy. It's certainly a lesser Hawks, but with a strong script by Charles Lederer (His Girl Friday), Hagar Wilde (Bringing Up Baby) and Leonard Spigelgass, it's very entertaining. Fox's DVD includes a theatrical trailer.

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