Captain Henri Rochard (Grant), of the French army, and Lieutenant Catherine Gates (Sheridan), of the American, are assigned a mission together to stop a German high-level scientist in postwar Germany. Through a wacky series of misadventures, they fall in love and encounter various bureaucratic hassles trying to get married.
When Catherine's army unit gets recalled back to the USA, things get worse: the only way they have to stay together is by invoking a law allowing the spouse of American army personnel to enter the country—the War Bride's act. Zany gender-confusing antics follow.
This film contains examples of:
- Armed Farces: It's a story about the incredible heights (or depths) military bureacracy can reach, only slightly exaggerated.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: The first half of the movie is one long extended vitriolic argument between the main characters, right up until they confess their love.
- Disguised in Drag: Henri resorts to dressing as a woman to get on the ship with his wife.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: The two lovers confess their feelings in a haystack. Cut Scene. Then they arrive back at their post covered in hay...almost as if they'd rolled in it.
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Cary Grant doesn't even try to fake a French accent, but it's slyly camoflauged as his character having a perfect American accent.
- Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The film was adapted from a memoir by the real-life Henri Rochard, a Belgian and former POW who married an American nurse he met in the hospital after getting hit by a car while serving as a liaison officer during the Nuremberg trials.