Never Wave at a WAC (1952)

Genres - Comedy, War  |   Sub-Genres - Farce, War Drama  |   Release Date - Jan 28, 1953 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 87 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

The inimitable and uniquely charming Rosalind Russell makes Never Wave at a WAC a pleasantly diverting way to pass a couple of hours. Russell's contribution to WAC's success is impossible to overestimate, for without her commanding presence, nimble way with a one-liner, willingness to throw herself into any physical demands the comedy requires and ability to turn a double-take into a very peculiar double-and-a-half-take, the film would be seriously deficient in genuine laughs. Russell is not the whole show: Marie Wilson's dumb blonde routine provokes quite a few chuckles, and Paul Douglas, with his ability to be both tough and a softy combined with a finely honed sense of comedic playing, scores heavily. But without Russell to play off of, Douglas would be working in a void, and Wilson's part is too much of a supporting role to fill in were a lesser star in Russell's place. The screenplay isn't bad, mind you, but it's pure nuts-and-bolts, the kind of vehicle that's put together in the way that it's put together because the writers know that Russell's velvet-with-ice voice is going to take the basic they give her and play it for all its worth. Even with Russell, WAC threatens to run out of steam -- but whenever it starts to, Russell girds up her loins and puts it back on track.