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Bombshell on the Box – Ann Alert!

March 13, 2010

I WAS A MALE WAR BRIDE, Film4, Sun Mar 14, 3.00pm

It may not be the best screwball comedy ever, but this Howard Hawks film has its moments – and it has Cary Grant dressed as a woman, and gorgeous bombshell Ann Sheridan, so it can’t be all bad!

The story is pretty basic – Grant stars as Henri Rochard, a French army officer who married American WAC Catherine Gates, played by Ann, in post-war Germany and then discovers that the only way he can accompany her to the USA is as a ‘war-bride’, hence the scene where Grant is dressed as a woman.

Whilst it was funny on-screen, off-screen there was nothing remotely humorous about the goings on with the cast and crew. Ann Sheridan contracted pleurisy that developed into pneumonia and suspended shooting for two weeks. Hawks broke out in mystery hives, but the worst off was Grant – he fell seriously ill with a case of hepatitis complicated by jaundice and production was shut down for three months while the actor convalesced and only resumed after he was able to regain around 30 pounds!

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