The Lieutenant Wore Skirts (1956, Frank Tashlin)

A pretty dire Tashlin movie. Sure you’ve got the color widescreen (ruined by the low-res letterboxed-SD presentation on our wide-HD monitor) and the humorous attacks on television, but the overall concept isn’t as shocking as it used to be, there aren’t enough actual jokes to keep things light and amusing, pacing is too slow and the lead actors didn’t have the skill or charisma to elevate it.

Who Were They, Anyway: Tom Ewell was actually the lead in The Girl Can’t Help It, but that movie had Jayne Mansfield and the music performances to distract from him. Sheree North (a Marilyn Monroe double, as I suspected and her IMDB trivia supports) was in Madigan and Charley Varrick, later mother-figure of the Maniac Cop. Special/sexy appearance by Rita Moreno of West Side Story, Tom’s agent/buddy is Les Tremayne (most often credited as a narrator, also in The Monolith Monsters and I Love Melvin) and the soldier who’s blantantly trying to steal Sheree is Rick Jason (in The Wayward Bus with Mansfield).

Based on lies and misunderstandings and gifts of the magi, as are most comedies. Sheree signs up for the air force after hearing her husband is being recalled to duty, but he’s dismissed for medical reasons and ends up following her to the base and living in the army-wife suites (see also: Cary Grant in the much better I Was a Male War Bride) to protect her from Rick. “Just get her pregnant,” said Katy repeatedly, advice the movie finally takes at the end, but too late, as Tom has spent the previous hour acting like a psychopath. At least the movie seemed edgy for the first few minutes, and at least it’s about a happily married couple who are still happily married at the end, a rare thing.

Related posts