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The Sailor Takes a Wife

The Sailor Takes a Wife(1946)

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teaser The Sailor Takes a Wife (1946)

When a fresh-faced USO hostess Mary (June Allyson) and sailor John (Robert Walker) get married at the end of a whirlwind six hour courtship, all will end well, right? Not so much when the sailor's tour of duty is cut short and the new couple has to set up house in a hurry -- especially when a bedtime ends in tears when he makes fun of her frumpy pajamas. Meanwhile, the exotic Romanian shop owner (noir bad girl staple Audrey Totter) invites her new neighbor over for shots of slivovitz. Walker had recently played a soldier in Bataan (1943) and so was fresh in viewer's minds as a soldier. Onscreen, he was an aw-shucks everyman, but off-screen he was a wreck, bedeviled by mental illness, alcoholism, and a broken heart after wife Jennifer Jones left him for producer David O. Selznick. This movie provides a happy marital ending that eluded Walker in real life. (Side note: scenes with African-American actor Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, most famous for playing Jack Benny's butler foil on radio, were excised from some prints in the South because Walker tips his hat to Anderson in one scene.)

By Violet Levoit

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