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I Was a Male War Bride

I Was a Male War Bride(1949)

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Henri Rochard, the pen name of Dr. Roger H. Charlier, first published his story, then entitled "Male War Bride Trial to Army," in the Baltimore Sun on September 28, 1947. A condensed version of the story appeared in the November 1947 issue of Reader's Digest, retitled I Was a Male War Bride. [A modern source records the title of Rochard's story as "I Was an Alien Spouse of Female Military Personnel Enroute to the United States Under Public Law 271 of the Congress."] According to a November 12, 1947 Los Angeles Times news item, Rex Harrison originally was to star in the film. Some scenes in the film were shot in Germany. Heidelberg, which had not been damaged during wartime bombing, was the major location; other scenes were filmed in bomb-shattered Manheim and Frankfurt and the old village of Zuzenhausen. Twentieth-Century Fox publicity material reports that after three months of filming in Germany, the troupe moved to Shepperton Studios in London, England, where many of the actors became ill: Ann Sheridan developed pneumonia from filming in bad weather and was bedridden for three weeks. Randy Stuart was stricken with jaundice. Then Cary Grant became ill with infectious hepatitis and lost thirty-seven pounds, and Hawks broke out in hives. Production shut down on February 8, 1949, according to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department, located at the UCLA Arts-Special Collections Library. Filming resumed in early May 1949, after Grant regained the weight he lost during his illness. A February 4, 1953 Variety news item reported that author Charlier and his wife, the former Marie H. Glennon, were suing Twentieth Century-Fox for breaching their original 1947 deal by releasing a serial version of the screenplay to the German magazine Herz Dame. The outcome of the suit has not been determined.
       Material included in studio records adds the following information about the production: Producer Sol C. Siegel suggested Louis Jourdan for the lead. Studio publicity adds Buzz Barbee and William Janssen to the cast. According to the studio legal files, Mary Helen Fay and Laszlo Bus-Fekete worked on early drafts of the script but did not contribute to the final screenplay. According to studio records, actor William Challee was to appear in the film, but as he had not been filmed prior to Grant's illness, his contract was terminated. After filming resumed in the U.S., some scenes were shot on location at the docks in Long Beach, CA. The following crew members received credit in British advertising only: Art Director C. P. Norman, Film Editor Manuel Del Campo, Sound Buster Ambler, Production Manager, Ronnie Kinnoch, Assistant Director John Bremer, Camera Operator Robert Walker.
       Modern sources add the following information about the production: Cary Grant did his own stunts. For the portion of the picture in which he dresses as a WAC, Grant wanted to play the character with effeminate gestures, but Hawks convinced him it would be funnier if he just acted like a man in women's clothes. A Lux Radio Theatre version of the film was to be broadcast on August 28, 1950, starring Grant and Sheridan, but was canceled when Charlier failed to release his radio rights in the story to Lux.