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  • This was June Allyson's first starring role without another big name female like Hedy Lamarr or Lucille Ball sharing top billing. She stars here with Robert Walker as a couple who marry impetuously while WW II is raging. When he's suddenly declared 4F, they have to quickly adjust to each other and married life.

    They end up in an empty apartment where nothing works and become immediately ensnared with a conniving Romanian refugee (Audrey Totter) and Allyson's scheming boss (Hume Cronyn) in a series of comic situations. Also on hand is Eddie Anderson as the apartment building's superintendent.

    All five stars are in top form. There's also Reginald Owen as a plastics manufacturer and Chester Clute as the bemused nightclub goer. In a way it's like an early version of BAREFOOT IN THE PARK.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    June Allyson and Robert Walker make an appealing girl next door-boy next door couple who discover each other by accident when he is nearly finished his tour of duty in the navy at the end of WWII. Like many girls and young women of the times, she is attracted to him partly because he is wearing a uniform, thus has a steady, if meager,income. They decide to get married after knowing each other only a few days and knowing he will be leaving the area immediately. Unexpectedly, he is soon forced out of the navy, thus must move into the NYC apartment she has recently chosen. Like many new couples at the end of the war, she has a job to tide them over until he can find a civilian job. They discover various problems with their apartment, such as a front door with a knob problem, a leaky roof, and a fireplace with no chimney, along with a building elevator that tends to get stuck between floors.'Rochester, of Jack Benny fame, is the apartment building maintenance man, and thus is always showing up with his gravely voice to promise to get these problems fixed. Meanwhile, the couple always seem to be trying to outdo each other in buying presents for the other or furnishings for the apartment,that they can't really afford. A dinner party that includes her boss and his prospective boss is a comic disaster. Soon, June's boss takes a romantic interest in her, while a very aggressive sex siren in the apartment complex takes a personal and romantic interest in Robert, leading to jealousies that nearly have them walking out on each other. Fortunately, their apartment door knob stops working again at a critical moment, forcing them to stay together just long enough to cool down and realize that their still unstable attraction to each other trumps these unsolicited external pressures.

    Maybe this film had greater appeal for audiences of the time, some of whom no doubt were personally experiencing something like what this couple was going through. However, I found it an amusing, well paced,romantic comedy, with several personable leading characters. Like Doris Day of the same era, June suffered a devastating leg injury as a child or teenager, yet eventually attracted attention as dancer-singer with a winning sweet personality. Her often half-hoarse voice also helped make her distinctive. She was cast in several films with Robert Walker in the '45-46 era, including the tribute to Jerome Kerns: 'Till the Clouds Roll By'.Robert rather reminds us of the later James Dean in looks and boyish charm, often combined with a rebel or misfit side. Like Dean, he would die young, tormented by the rejection of his only true love, a victim of alcohol and drugs.
  • "Sailor Takes a Wife" is a rare thing--an MGM film that is just terrible. Normally, even their disappointing films from this era are pretty good, as the MGM touch was nearly always box office gold. Most of the reason it's so bad is the writing--and boy is it bad!

    When the film begins, an incredibly stupid couple, John and Mary, decide to get married on their first date! Oddly, the star of the film, Robert Walker, did a film with a similar plot--but it turned out to be a gem ("The Clock", 1945). Much of the problem with it this time is that there was no context--you don't see the couple on their date and the sailor isn't about to be shipped overseas like the character in "The Clock". Instead, the couple just come off as impulsive and dumb. And, their dumbness is apparent throughout the film...not just at the beginning.

    Oddly, although Mary plans on living without John as he has to report back to his base, the next day John shows up--announcing that he's been discharged for having a bad back. Now the couple who don't even know each other need to somehow work everything out and forge a new marriage. Not surprisingly, there are many kooky complications--few of which are funny.

    There are MANY problems with the film other than the dumbness of the couple. There also is a horrid character played by Audrey Totter. While she was a wonderful actress and played wonderful femme fatales, here she is cartoon-like with a silly Romanian accent and over-acting galore. Also wasted are Hume Cronyn and Reginald Owen--good actors who are given one-dimensional writing. The only one who comes off well is Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson, whose double entendres are occasionally funny...and a tad risqué! Overall, a terrible film with badly written characters and a super-contrived plot that never seems the least bit real or interesting.
  • This is a very cogent argument for living together a while before marriage!

    Robert Walker, very appealing (and extremely skinny looking when we see him chest-up in the bath tub) and June Alyson marry on impulse when he is -- well, he's the sailor and she becomes the wife.

    Then he isn't a sailor anymore and they have to live in a large apartment in Greenwich Village, where they learn they have nothing in common and really don't like each other.

    She wears her bunny rabbit "jammies" the night of their honeymoon; and really: What man wouldn't be frustrated at that?

    The super of the building is Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, whom some tenants seem to call Eddie and some call Harry.

    The generally great villain and excellent actress Audrey Totter is wasted in a third-billed role as a Romanian who speaks with an accent sometimes Russian, mostly French,m and, though she wears hats most of the time, appears to be wearing a black wig.

    It isn't without charm. But it's ill conceived.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    While "Her Highness & the Bellboy" (June Allyson and Robert Walker's other MGM pairing in 1945) was formula, it had the benefit of a better script and Hedy Lamarr. This war comedy took the male star of "The Clock" (Walker) and paired him with the break-out star of "Two Girls & a Sailor" (Allyson) from the previous year, giving June another sailor (for at least the film's opening), and they are a nice young, romantic team, if not the equivalent of Powell and Loy from the previous decade. MGM's formula seems tiresome and less sophisticated in a wartime setting, especially since Walker's character (newly married to Allyson on a whim) is discharged days into their marriage. Toss in Allyson's insufferable boss (Hume Cronyn) and a vampish neighbor (Audrey Totter), and you've got pretty much more of the same that MGM had been doing since sound came in.

    i cringed at the wedding night scene of Walker and Allyson getting lovey dove and preparing for bed, and Allyson showing up in pigtails and her "jammy's", causing Walker to laugh at her, telling June that she looks like a little baby bunny. It was supposed to be cute but just showed off the character's immaturity, making them annoying rather than endearing. Cronyn and Totter both seem far too old to be making plays for Allyson and Walker, and I half expected Totter to utter, "Kiss Me My Fool!" with her inconsistent accent. They are cliched baddies with ridiculous situations and even more absurd dialog.

    The only ones who escape ridicule here are Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, getting too few scenes as the delightfully funny superintendent of the apartment building and Reginald Owen as Totter's "benefactor". Even with only a handful of scenes, Anderson adds more character and wit, and Owen tones down his usual pompous behavior. Had this been reworked as a sequel to "The Clock" with Garland and Walker facing similar situations in the mature manner that their characters had been written and directed with, it would have been a better movie, especially if set after the war had ended.
  • JenExx5 November 2019
    There's no cuter housewife than June Allyson in an apron as the sweetest 18-year-old homemaker who takes on the adventures of newlywed life in stride and with pride in her first home!

    And there's no way unwed people will relate to the roller-coaster ride that is the 'Marriage Learning Curve' as is delightfully depicted in The Sailor Takes a Wife.

    In this adorably cute, albeit dated, tale of WWII era newlyweds, two inexperienced youngsters throw themselves into the experiment of marriage with high ideals that quickly clash with real-life realities which end up creating G-rated slap-stick misunderstandings in a charming cinematic blast from the pro-housewife past!

    While the story may seem unrealistic compared to modern times (as if movies packed with promiscuous office romances are now the standard by which to base realism!), the film is full of imaginative scenarios that humorously mirror true-to-life situations that devoted married couples are likely to understand and appreciate:

    • unexpected career changes


    • an affordable first apartment filled with its own quirks


    • seeing your spouse in a different light for the first time


    • realizing you don't know everything you thought you knew about your spouse


    • being patient with your spouse


    • defending and protecting your spouse from prying parties


    • forgiving your spouse for unintended accidents


    • sticking with your spouse when life doesn't go the way either of you expected


    • laughing together through the ups and downs of the Marriage Learning Curve


    • and putting the marriage first in the marriage!


    I can understand why this movie would be viewed as a farce since Hollywood now programs women (and men!) to believe that home is no place for a woman; and that a woman is meant to be more than 'just' a housewife; and that a woman doesn't have to tolerate a man if he wants her to be a homemaker, or if he loses his job, or if he gets seduced by unscrupulous women.

    A woman nowadays may not have to put up with anything she doesn't want to put up with, and that's a woman for you, but that's not a wife.

    A wife has responsibilities that an unwed woman doesn't have, and a wife knows her wifely duties come before her womanly wants for the sake of her marriage and her husband; likewise, a husband has the same responsibilities, which sometimes turns marriage into a temporary tug-of-war, but only until both sides realize that winning happens when everyone lets go of the rope and the two sides come together in laughter and love!

    The Sailor Takes a Wife is a fun film and an escape to a different time when women were happy to stay at home and swearing wasn't needed to be entertained.

    The film could very much benefit from captions/subtitles, which TCM has now sadly removed from their movies when they should be removing the liberal hosts who aren't adding to the quality of the movies but only taking money away from skilled captioners who are the ones who truly make old movies better for everyone.
  • The guy above summarizes and reviews the movie at the same time and I don't have much to add. The scenarios are basic stereo-types from their day. Walker and Allyson are generally good but Allyson's sniffles, sniffles technique she used throughout her career for emotionally impact can be grating. A MGM programmer that was a mild and successful hit. IN the end of this marital strife and farce, love conquers all. What would you expect?
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I saw "The Sailor Takes a Wife" on TCM just this afternoon. I didn't think it was particularly good or bad, it's just that it didn't have a comment and I've been waiting for the chance to be the first to comment. Well, the basic premise of the movie is simple. Mary (June what's her face that was in the so-called "musical" remake of "The Women" which had a non singing or dancing Ann Miller and an eternally pregnant Menopausal Joan Blondell) works in a canteen during the war. She falls in love with John (Robert, the soldier from "Since You Went Away" and Bruno in "Strangers on a Train" Walker), whom is a sailor. (Is "whom" the correct word?) Anyway... Mary divulges that she could never fall in love with someone not in uniform and they get married. Mary rents an apartment, thinking hubby will be back for the weekend. He returns early however, as he is booted from the Navy because of an injury, leaving him home and a civilian. They have a series of quarrels and misunderstandings, mostly involving her old flame, nay ember, and the foreign woman on the 3rd floor. All in all, a good movie to watch when very bored or late at night or when you've already seen the Montel Williams show that's on.