Never Wave at a WAC (1953) starring Rosalind Russell, Paul Douglas, Marie Wilson
Never Wave at a WAC is a service comedy, focused on two young ladies who join the Women’s Army Corps. One is an entitled daughter of a senator, divorced, and joins the Army to be near her new fiancee. But she’s going to be under the command of her ex-husband. The other is a stereotypical dumb blonde, who wants to be in military intelligence.
- Andrew “torturing” Jo in the Alaska tests.
- Noisy “blackmailing” Clara with her calendar photo.
- Sky destroying Andrew’s key — for science, of course.
- Clara’s engagement party to Noisy. Even though Noisy doesn’t know about it yet!
Cast of characters
- Rosalind Russell (My Gal Friday, Mame) … Jo McBain. Pretty, privileged, vain young woman. She joins the WAC to be near her fiancee, out of jealousy. But her ex-husband’s there as well …. She’s in for a very rude awakening.
- Paul Douglas (Clash By Night, Angels in the Outfield (1951)) … Andrew McBain. Jo’s ex-husband, still in love with her.
- Marie Wilson (My Friend Irma, A Girl in Every Port) … Clara Schneiderman / Danger O’Dowd. She joins the WAC to get away from men — includingg her boyfriend/photographer. She plays the dumb blonde very well. And she wants to be in military intelligence.
- William Ching (Scared Stiff) … Lt. Col. Schuyler ‘Sky’ Fairchild. Jo’s new fiancee. Whom Phyllis has an eye for …
- Arleen Whelan (Charley’s Aunt) … Sgt. Toni Wayne
- Leif Erickson (Show Boat, Strait-Jacket) … Sgt. Norbert ‘Noisy’ Jackson. He’s chasing Clara, despite her repeated refusals.
- Hillary Brooke (The Woman In Green, Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd) … First Lt. Phyllis Turnbull. Doing a good job of making Jo jealous.
- Charles Dingle (My Favorite Brunette, Half a Hero) … Sen. Tom Reynolds. Jo’s loving father. He’s rooting for her to reunite with her ex-husband. And makes she she goes through basic training the hard way!
- Lurene Tuttle (Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, The Manitou) … Capt. Murchinson
- Regis Toomey (The Bishop’s Wife, The Forest Rangers) … Gen. Ned Prager
- Frieda Inescort (The Return of the Vampire, Alligator People) … Lily Mae Gorham
- Louise Beavers (Wide Open, What Price Hollywood?) … Artamesa. The McBain’s maid.
- Omar N. Bradley … General Omar Bradley. Yes, that General Bradley.
- Vince Townsend Jr. … Henry
Spoiled Washington socialite Jo McBain joins the WACs (Women’s Army Corps) to be near her boyfriend, Colonel Fairchild, certain that her daddy will pull strings to land her a soft commission in the officers’ corps. Instead, father plans to teach the girl a lesson, leaving the horrified Jo to withstand the rigors of basic training on her own. She is convinced things can get no worse when her ex-husband Andrew appears on base in charge of a secret testing unit and determined to win Jo back. When Jo gets assigned to Andrew’s test group, he tightens the screws to undermine and destroy any possibility of romance between her and the Colonel.
Beautiful Rosalind Russell was a fashion model who graduated to Broadway and then Hollywood. She is best remembered for her role in the Howard Hawks screwball comedy classic His Girl Friday (1940) and her portrayal of the titular character in 1958’s Auntie Mame. Her long distinguished career would result in an Oscar and five Golden Globe Awards.