I Was a Male War Bride [1949]

This laugh-a-minute farce takes place in Occupied Germany, in the years following World War II. French officer Henri Rochard (Cary Grant) gets assigned to pair up with Lt. Catherine Gates (Ann Sheridan) to track down black marketers; they're already well acquainted and can't stand each other's presence. Eventually their antagonism turns to love, however, and they marry. Problem number two: navigating through U.S. Army red tape, which necessitates that Rochard be classified as a war bride and cross-dress to gain entry into the States. Grant makes an even less convincing woman than he does a Frenchman. The alternate title of this movie was You Can't Sleep Here, a phrase Grant hears over and over as he sleeps in all manner of horribly awkward and uncomfortable circumstances. Sheridan is utterly charming, and the many gags are a reminder of Grant's gifts for physical comedy. The film harks back to the screwball comedies of the '30s, only with a somewhat more leisurely pace. Sample lines, with Grant being handed a soggy infant: "Oh, how cute! What is it?" "It's a human fire extinguisher. Want to hold it?" "What's its name?" "Niagara!" --Jerry Renshaw

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