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The Lieutenant Wore Skirts

The Lieutenant Wore Skirts(1956)


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Gregory Whitcomb, a television writer and author of a best-selling book about his experiences as a World War II hero, is about to celebrate his third anniversary to his young wife Katy when a letter arrives from the Air Force. Greg's agent, Henry "Hank" Gaxton, is worried that the letter may be summoning Greg, an Air Force Reservist, to active duty, so Katy steams it open and discovers that her husband has been ordered to report for a physical exam the following day. To avoid spoiling their anniversary party that night, Katy decides to hide the letter from Greg while Hank schemes to win a deferment for him by having him write the life story of Capt. Barney Sloan, a Korean War hero. Henry brings the dashing young captain to the party that night, and presses Katy to use her charms to win Greg the writing assignment. When the handsome captain becomes the center of attention and derides Greg as an "old timer," Greg gets drunk. After discovering the letter summoning him to duty, Greg pulls on his old uniform and passes out in the bushes. Katy and Hank revive Greg, and Hank explains his plans to win a deferment, but Greg rejects his idea while proposing that active duty may provide him with new experiences to write about. To be near her husband, Katy, a former Air Force lieutenant, decides to surprise him and reenlist. Thinking that they will be spending two blissful years together on the military base, Katy then rents out their house. Her plans go awry, however, when Greg flunks his physical because of a bad knee. Katy is then sent to Hawaii under the strict command of Capt. Briggs, while Greg moves into Hank's bachelor pad. As Greg laments life without Katy, Hank's nubile female neighbors keep dropping by. One day, Sandra Roberts, the buxom brunette who lives upstairs, comes to sun herself on the terrace and rhapsodizes about the surfeit of men in Hawaii. Crazed with jealousy, Greg decides to fly to Hawaii and bring Katy home. Katy refuses Greg's suggestion about aiming for a dishonorable discharge, however, and suggests renting an apartment together off base. Aware that as a security officer, Katy is allowed off base only one night per week, Greg suggests moving into her quarters instead, just like a military wife. When Katy demurs, Greg hires an erotic hula dancer to pose as his new cook, prompting Katy to insist that he immediately move into her quarters. As the officers go to work, Greg is left behind with their wives, who invite him to join their bridge game. After one of the husbands calls home and Greg answers the phone, the officer complains to Katy, the base security officer. That night, when Greg nonchalantly returns home after a hard day playing bridge, Katy angrily informs him that all the husbands have been complaining about him and storms out of the room. Later, Katy becomes furious when she discovers that Greg's cook was really an exotic dancer, and to make amends, Greg promises to be the best wife she has ever had. Soon after, Hank comes to Honolulu with Sandy and informs Greg that he has decided to emulate him by falling in love with a younger woman. When Hank suggests that Katy could be discharged for psychiatric reasons, Greg decides to make his wife think that she is crazy. Greg awakens Katy in the middle of the night by playing reveille and then hides his trumpet. After he slips eggs into her pockets and purse, Katy becomes edgy. Informing the base psychiatrist about his wife's condition, Greg suggests the doctor pose as an old friend and observe Katy over dinner. His plan backfires, however, when the doctor finds Greg's bugle hidden under a chair cushion and informs Katy that her husband is trying to make her think she is crazy. Furious, Katy announces that she is leaving Greg and will ask for a transfer to Germany. On the night before she is to leave, Katy meets Hank at a dance and learns that Greg has been called back to duty because his knee has healed. Hank explains that Greg's bad knee was caused by his fear of losing Katy, but now with separation certain, his knee is normal. The next day, as Katy is about to board her plane to Germany, Capt. Briggs informs Greg that Katy has flunked her physical because she is pregnant. Against the roar of propellers, Greg bounds up the stairs leading to the plane to give Katy the news, and when Katy runs back into his arms, his knee collapses.