|Never Wave at a WAC (1953)
Run time: 87 min
Genres: Adventure | Comedy | Romance
Director: Norman Z. McLeod
Writers: Ken Englund, Frederick Kohner
Stars: Rosalind Russell, Paul Douglas, Marie Wilson
A divorced socialite decides to join the Army because she hopes it will enable her to see more of her boyfriend, a Colonel. She soon encounters many difficulties with the Army lifestyle. Moreover, her ex-husband is working as a consultant with the Army, and he uses his position to disrupt her romantic plans by making her join a group of WACs who are testing new equipment. Written by Snow Leopard
Release Date: 28 January 1953 (USA)
I stumbled across this movie one sleepness night and rarely have I ever enjoyed insomnia so much. It has to be the inspiration for Goldie Hawn's "Private Benjamin" and the innocence of the era in which this movie was made (1952) seems to add to the enjoyment.
The film quality and overall production seems to hint at a low budget affair but again this only adds to the charm. The actors work well together and you can tell that the players enjoyed working together.
Rosalind Russell, as Jo McBain comes through as a real sport by allowing her character to be put through several hilarious and humbling situations. And most of those situations are created by the doings of Paul Douglas who plays Ms. Russell's likable ex-husband Andrew. And of course there is the "third wheel" in the story, a love interest of Jo McBain's, Lt. Colonel Schuyler Fairchild who is played solidly by William Ching. Andrw McBain's actions are driven by a desire to keep his ex-wife Jo and Colonel Fairchild apart.
Adding to the pippiness is a cameo by World War II hero General Omar Bradley playing himself. Old movie buffs who have not seen this work will most certainly enjoy and appreciate it.
The plot of this movie is more than a little similar to "Private Benjamin." It's fun to see Rosalind Russell as a sort of WASP version of Goldie Hawn, indignant at the treatment she's being given in the WACs. The first half of this film is nearly a laugh a minute, but it bogs down in the second half when it does duty as a propaganda film and tries to put a button on the story line.
I found a DVD copy of this included on one of those discs that cram several movies on to one disc and cost very little. The title of the disc is "Comedy Classics" and includes (along with "Never Wave At a WAC") "New Faces," "Hazel Flagg," "The Smallest Show on Earth," and five others.
This movie is well worth the effort to locate, if only to see the scene in the doctor's office, Miss Russell with cigarette in hand.
Ex-soldier’s civilian job (improving uniforms) requires him to continue co-ordinating with the military. His socialite ex-wife’s boyfriend is a Colonel, ordered to Paris. To be near the officer, the spoiled gal (Rosalind Russell) joins the WACS, expecting her elbow-rubbing father to smoothen her ride, but dad sees service as a means of tightening the reigns on her, so, she "starts from the bottom." To make matters worse, ex-hubby crosses paths with – and makes life more difficult for – her, although he eventually mellows toward her. Companion plot follows showgirl-turned-WAC’s romance with Sergeant. But viewers of this film will discover whether Roz seeks boyfriend’s or former husband’s next stop. Not terribly deep but not a waste, either.
If you are a fan of Ms. Russell’s, then this is one you must see. If you are looking for a nice little comedy to feel good with, then watch this. If you are a comedy snob, forget it pal.
This is a silly but fun film. It starts out that Roz is the daughter of a Washington big wig. She is in love with this major in the army and he has to go overseas for a time. No way is she going to let him leave without her to fend off the chicks, so she enlist into the Army. Thinking her Dad can pull some strings in Washington, she thinks she will get a big rank and fly off with her love, but nooooooo. Her Dad wants to teach her a thing or two. He feels she is too big for her britches. So she ends up becoming just a private and staying in the US of A. She runs into her ex (Paul Douglas) who is working with the Army with some experiments. Trouble ensues….Throw in Marie Wilson (a Marilyn copy) and get set for a little fun. I have this. For a Roz Russell film it rates a 6 of 10.