I Was A Male War Bride (1949 with Cary Grant and Ann Sheridan)

USA / 1949

Dir: Howard Hawks
Writers: Charles Lederer, Leonard Spigelgass, Hagar Wilde from a novel by Henri Rochard

Cast: Cary Grant, Ann Sheridan, William Neff, Eugene Gericke, Marion Marshall, Randy Stuart

This sparkling and, for its time, highly topical comedy was released in Britain under the title You Can’t Sleep Here.

Cary Grant plays a suave, polished French officer with American WAC officer Ann Sheridan as his assistant and interpreter in post-war Germany. At first their personalities – each thinks the other presumptuous, obnoxious and dangerous – bring them into conflict, but, inevitably, they fall in love and decide to marry. Their problems begin when Sheridan wants to return to the United States. Unfortunately, Grant can only enter the country as a “war bride”. Their troubles escalate as they try to live together, as army regulations prohibit men in WAC barracks, women in bachelor quarters, or army personnel in civilian hotels.

The film is basically a two-hander, played for all that it’s worth by Grant and Sheridan, who make every moment of their screen time count. Variety commented: “Hawk’s directional finesse is evident throughout, as are the fine production techniques of Sol C Siegel. Most notable, of course, are the authentic German backgrounds – those bombed-out cities could never have been duplicated in Hollywood.”

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