Francis Joins the WACS
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|
|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|
Mamie Van Doren
|Edited by||Ted Kent|
|Box office||$1.9 million (US and Canada rental)|
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 as Peter Stirling
- Julie Adams as Captain Jane Parker (as Julia Adams)
- Mamie Van Doren as Corporal Bunky Hilstrom
- Chill Wills as General Benjamin Kaye / voice of Francis
- Lynn Bari as Major Louise Simpson
- ZaSu Pitts as Lieutenant Valerie Humpert. Pitts played the same character in the first film of the series.
- Joan Shawlee as Sergeant Kipp
- Allison Hayes as Lieutenant Dickson
- Mara Corday as Kate
- Karen Kadler as Marge
- Elsie Holmes as Bessie
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.
Although Francis Joins the WACS was announced in late 1952, filming did not start until February 1954.
The film featured an early appearance by Universal contract player Mamie Van Doren.
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. 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.
- "1954 Box Office Champs". Variety. January 5, 1955. p. 59.
- Hedda Hopper (16 September 1952). "Looking at Hollywood: Next 'Francis' Film Puts Hero in WAC Camp". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. B4.
- Thomas M. Pryor (19 February 1954). "R. K. O Plans Role For Miss Hayward: Fox Is Willing to Lend Actress for 'Conqueror' if Studio Sets Appropriate Date". The New York Times. p. 24.
- Hedda Hopper (1 August 1954). "Meet Mamie: Vivacious Van Doren Girl Resembles Marilyn Monroe, but She Has Personality of Her Own". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. c14.
- The DiscoVision Library