Synopsis by Mark Deming
Howard Hawks directed this classic farce about how love attempts to triumph over military red tape after the close of World War II. Capt. Henri Rochard (Cary Grant) is a French officer who is assigned to put a stop to a black market operation in occupied Germany with the help of Lt. Catherine Gates (Ann Sheridan), an American WAC. While their initial meetings are hardly harmonious, in time Rochard and Gates find that opposites really do attract, and they fall in love. The two decide to get married, which seems simple enough, but the moment Gates receives orders to return to the United States and Rochard wants to join her, they soon discover just how complicated the U.S. Army can make things. While the Army has a strict protocol for dealing with "war brides," there is no similar routine for men who marry female Army personnel, so in order to follow his new wife into the States, Rochard has to disguise himself as a WAC. From this moment on, nearly everything that happens to Rochard is an affront to his dignity and/or his patience, from his inability to share a bunk with his new bride to his discovery that Army regulations prevent him from driving a motorcycle (Gates has to take the handlebars, while her husband is forced to ride in a sidecar). As more than one writer has pointed out, while Grant gives a deft comic performance, it's a bit of a stretch to imagine that he's French (but probably no more than to imagine that anyone would really believe that he's a woman).
immigrant, war, America, army, army-officer, bride, bureaucracy, cabin, charade, couple, disguise, France, Germany, groom [bridegroom], hidden, hide-and-seek, husband, impersonation, lieutenant, love, marriage, masquerade, military, motorcycle, occupation [military], officer, problems, responsibility, role-switching, secrets, troops, wife, hawk [bird]