The Story

"The Sailor Takes A Wife"

Copyright MGM Production Facts 1946

Only six hours were required for Petty Officer, Second Class John (Robert Walker) and Mary (June Allyson) to discover they were in love, and to marry after they met at New York’s canteen. Mary couldn’t fall in love with a man not in uniform. John thinks she is adorable.

Mary tells the news of her sudden wedding to her boss, Freddie (Hume Cronyn), President of Potts Pots, Inc. Mary often dines with her boss. Freddie is furious, admits that he had intended asking her to marry him but reluctantly wishes her happiness.

Mary finds a run-down unfurnished apartment on the top floor of a five-story brownstone house where an amusing janitor Harry (Eddie “Rochester” Anderson), always means to fix things, never does. Mary sells her fur coat to buy a davenport, twin beds and a dresser. That is the extent of the furnishing when John appears out of uniform. He’s been given a medical discharge. Mary tries to conceal her disappointment that John is no longer in the Navy. He, too, chafes at returning to civilian status.

Mary retires to the bedroom, reappears in pink woolie pajamas, with her hair done in pigtails tied with little ribbons resembling a rabbit more than a bride. John laughs hysterically. She is angered, locks the bedroom door and John spends the night on the davenport.

The next day, John buys atrocious rugs, chairs, and other furniture at second hand stores. He meets their neighbor Lisa (Audrey Totter), a Rumanian refugee who runs a dress shop. She is exotic, worldly and uses her wiles on ingenuous John when they are together.

That night Mary insists on going to the canteen, considering it her duty, despite her marriage. John grudgingly goes along, does K.P. duty while Mary dances. At home Mary falls asleep on the davenport. John can’t rouse her and spends the night in an armchair.

The next day John tries to get back in uniform, applies to every foreign recruiting office, but is rejected.

Freddie sends Mary a mink coat. John demands that she return it, she refuses and departs for Freddie’s, wearing the coat. There she discovers Freddie is a wolf, flings the coat at him and leaves, just before the arrival of John who pokes Freddie in the nose.

Meantime Lisa aids Cupid. John told her of his marital troubles as he buys a black nightgown for Mary. Lisa arranges the Hill’s apartment with incense, soft lights, flowers, soft music. She spreads the black nightie on the bed. Lisa now repentant, wants these young folks to be happy. But when Mary returns, she thinks Lisa has a rendezvous with John. After all, she, Mary, doesn’t possess a black nightgown!

When John arrives he finds Mary packing. They quarrel and are ready to leave, but a recalcitrant front door won’t open.

Locked in, Mary and John have plenty of time to regret their decision to separate. Mary relents, goes to the bedroom and dons the black robe de nuit. The fadeout finds Lisa and Freddie in each others arms.

Sailor Takes A Wife