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Francis Joins the WACS is a 1954 American black-and-white comedy film from Universal-International, produced by Ted Richmond, directed by Arthur Lubin, that stars Donald O'Connor, Julie Adams, ZaSu Pitts, Mamie Van Doren, and Chill Wills in two roles, including the distinctive voice of Francis in voice-over.

Francis Joins the WACS
VHS cover
Directed by Arthur Lubin
Produced by Ted Richmond
Written by Devery Freeman
James B. Allardice
Dorothy Davenport (add. dialogue)
David Stern (characters)
Based on story "Mr WAC" by Herbert Baker
Starring Donald O'Connor
Julie Adams
Mamie Van Doren
Chill Wills
Cinematography Irving Glassberg
Edited by Ted Kent
Universal Pictures
Distributed by Universal-International
Release date
  • July 30, 1954 (1954-07-30)
Running time
95 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $1.9 million (US and Canada rental)[1]

This is the fifth film in Universal-International Francis the Talking Mule series.



Francis Joins the WACS concerns Peter Stirling's return to the U. S. Army. A computer error assigns junior officer Stirling by mistake to the Women's Army Corps. Peter's old friend Francis once again helps him through his various military and personal problems, including several familiar stays (once again) in the base's psychiatric ward!



Donald O'Connor's contract with Universal had expired, so there was some doubt he would reprise his role; he agreed, however, to make another film.[2]

Leonard Goldstein did not return as producer, being replaced by Ted Richmond.[3]

Although Francis Joins the WACS was announced in late 1952, filming did not start until February 1954.[4]

The film featured an early appearance by Universal contract player Mamie Van Doren.[5]

Video releasesEdit

The original film, Francis (1950), was released in 1978 as one of the first-ever titles in the new LaserDisc format, DiscoVision Catalog #22-003.[6] It was then re-issued on LaserDisc in May 1994 by MCA/Universal Home Video (Catalog #: 42024) as part of an Encore Edition Double Feature with Francis Goes to the Races (1951).

The first two Francis films were released again in 2004 by Universal Pictures on Region 1 and Region 4 DVD, along with the next two in the series, as The Adventures of Francis the Talking Mule Vol. 1. Several years later, Universal released all 7 Francis films as a set on three Region 1 and Region 4 DVDs, Francis The Talking Mule: The Complete Collection.


  1. ^ "1954 Box Office Champs". Variety. January 5, 1955. p. 59. 
  2. ^ Looking at Hollywood: Next 'Francis' Film Puts Hero in WAC Camp Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963) [Chicago, Ill] 16 Sep 1952: b4.
  3. ^ Looking at Hollywood: Next 'Francis' Film Puts Hero in WAC Camp Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963) [Chicago, Ill] 16 Sep 1952: b4.
  4. ^ R. K. O PLANS ROLE FOR MISS HAYWARD: Fox Is Willing to Lend Actress for 'Conqueror' if Studio Sets Appropriate Date By THOMAS M. PRYOR Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 19 Feb 1954: 24.
  5. ^ MEET MAMIE: Vivacious Van Doren Girl Resembles Marilyn Monroe, but She Has Personality of Her Own Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963) [Chicago, Ill] 01 Aug 1954: c14.
  6. ^ [1] (The DiscoVision Library)

External linksEdit