I Was a Male War Bride is one of my favorite service comedies. The movie is not long, but it keeps you laughing all the way through.WarBride

Set in American-occupied Germany during World War I, the story opens by introducing you to Captain Henri Rochard (Cary Grant) and Lt. Catherine Gates (Ann Sheridan). They have learned that they have once again been paired together for a secret mission. Gates tells a fellow female officer that on their last missions Rochard could not keep his hands to himself and she is not happy when she finds out that they have been put together on another mission.

After they spend a few days together on their mission, Rochard is able to win Gates over with his charm. When they return from their mission, they announce that they want to be married.

Since Rochard is an officer in the French army, their marriage is hindered by layers of red tape. Eventually they are able to be married; they end up having three ceremonies, one civil, one Army, and one church.

The day they are married, Gates learns that her company is leaving Germany to go back to the States. Since there is no time to get Rochard a passport, they have to find another way for them to be together.

A small loophole is found in the War Bride law; since there is no specific gender mentioned in the law, Rochard is able to obtain paperwork and become a war bride.

There are several mix-ups along the way and when it comes time to leave on the boat, the US Navy personnel will not allow Rochard to board.

Gates decides to try and dress Rochard as a woman so that he can sneak on board with her. It works for a time, until Rochard removes his hat and reveals that he is wearing a wig of sorts. But since the boat has already sailed, Rochard is able to stay aboard.

The mix-ups are finally cleared up and the happy couple are reunited for the rest of the voyaage.

The banter is this movie makes it so good. Sheridan and Grant have chemistry onscreen and carry off their roles perfectly.

Grant quotes his main line several times throughout the second half of the movie while his character tries to explain how he, as a male, is considered a war bride.

“I am an alien spouse of female military personnel en route to the United States under public law 271 of the Congress.”

This film is one of 5 films that Grant made with director Howard Hawks.