The favorite film:
I Was a Male War Bride, a 1949 comedy directed by Howard Hawks
Henri Rochard is a Captain in the French army. He has been assigned to work with Lt. Catherine Gates, a member of the Women’s Army Corps, in post-World War II Europe. The only transportation available for their mission is a motorcycle, and Henri must ride in the sidecar since he’s not an American officer. Though they get off to a rocky start, Henri and Catherine eventually fall for each other. But in order to accompany his new lady-friend back to America, Henri most become a “war bride.”
- Cary Grant as Henri Rochard
- Ann Sheridan as Lt. Catherine Gates
- Marion Marshall as Lt. Kitty Law
- Randy Stuart as Lt. Eloise Billings
- William Neff as Capt. Jack Ramsey
- This was Howard Hawks’ first film to be shot on location in Europe.
- This film is based on a book by the real Henri Rochard, a Belgian officer who married an American nurse.
- The film and its source material do not share a name, and for good reason. The book’s lengthy title is as follows: I Was an Alien Spouse of Female Military Personnel Enroute to the United States Under Public Law 271 of the Congress.
- Though his role is uncredited, this was Edward Platt’s first film.
- Much of the cast and crew, including the film’s two stars, fell ill during production.
- Cast member Eleanor Audley (who plays the assignment officer) is most famous for voicing the Disney villain Maleficent in the original, animated Sleeping Beauty film.
- Even when speaking languages other than English, and playing a French officer, Cary Grant preserves his trademark transcontinental accent.
- Henri returning Lt. Gates’ laundry in front of everyone in her office. Scaaaandal!
- From their first scene together, Grant and Sheridan’s banter is amazing.
- Henri: “The very idea of any connection is revolting!”
Catherine: “Oh, no, you don’t. Nevermind…”
Henri: “I’d be delighted. I’ll explain to them. I think you’re repulsive!”
- Catherine: “May I have my foot?”
- Catherine: “I may as well warn you, bubblemouth. I’m going to carry a revolver and a trench knife. And if you so much as lay a finger on me this trip, you’re going back to France minus a lot of parts you probably value.”
- Catherine cracking up at the idea of Henri being unable to remove the blue paint
- The sidecar coming detached from the motorcycle, starting the pair’s journey off on the wrong foot
- Henri: “It’s a pleasure to get out of this portable bathtub.”
- Henri getting stuck on the railroad crossing gate!
- Catherine: “We must have been driving alongside that road for the last hour.”
Henri: “Perhaps they just moved it there.”
Catherine: “Oh, shut up!”
- Henri hiding under a tarp in the sidecar while Catherine drives through a torrential downpour
- Henri trying to get comfortable enough to sleep in a too-small wooden chair
- Henri and the innkeeper knocking on the door at each other
- Innkeeper: “CLIMBING IN THE NICE YOUNG LADY’S ROOM?”
- Catherine telling the German police she’s never seen Henri in her life
- Henri confessing his affection to… an empty motorcycle
- Henri (on when he and Catherine decided to marry): “This afternoon, about 2:30.”
Catherine: “In a haystack!”
- Catherine’s buddies questioning her decision to marry a “foreigner,” and one friend rebutting them by telling them that they need to get glasses
- Henri: “The American Army better be careful or they’re not going to have any American children very soon!”
- Catherine hitting the man who hid the papers on the head with a baking sheet
- Catherine: “Yes, we know, we know, dear. You can write.”
- Henri: “‘Dear madam’… oh yeah, that’s me.”
- The sergeant asking Henri questions he’d usually ask a female war bride, like whether he’s pregnant
- Everyone and their brother: “And youuuu can’t sleep here.”
- Henri: “Massachu-chu-chu”
- Catherine making Henri a wig out of a horse’s tail
- Kitty (referring to Henri, after seeing him as “Florence” for the first time): “Catherine, he looks awful!”
- Henri tossing his wig (and the room key – SCAAAANDAL!) out the porthole