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The Sailor Takes a Wife

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I watched this movie on a lazy Sunday afternoon today.  The title is so generic that I thought maybe I had seen it before (maybe I was thinking of “The Lady Takes a Sailor” or “A Girl, a Guy and a Gob”), but none of it rang a bell.  It was about a sailor and a girl who meet at some sort of USO club, fall in love, and impulsively marry without bothering to get to know each other first.  I have never been a fan of either of its stars, Robert Walker and June Allyson, but I have to say Allyson did a good job in this.  She was quite believable as the naive young wife who may be in over her head, and managed to not become too saccharine along the way.  She was certainly better than her co-star, whom I found as awkward and unpleasant as usual.  I’m not at all sure what it was about him that endeared him to 1940’s audiences.  The only one of his films that used his edgy, just-this-close-to-a-nervous-breakdown vibe was Hitchcock’s “Strangers on a Train,” certainly not this rom-com.  Anyway, the (mostly) single setting and small cast makes it obvious that it was based on a play.  Hume Cronyn is kind of fun as June’s nerdy, officious boss, and it’s always fun to see “Rochester,” but I’m not sure what Audrey Totter was trying to do, and Reginald Owen was in it so briefly he made no impression at all.

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