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.
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 StirlingJulie Adams as Captain Jane Parker (as Julia Adams)Mamie Van Doren as Corporal Bunky HilstromChill Wills as General Benjamin Kaye / voice of FrancisLynn Bari as Major Louise SimpsonZaSu Pitts as Lieutenant Valerie Humpert. Pitts played the same character in the first film of the series.Joan Shawlee as Sergeant KippAllison Hayes as Lieutenant DicksonMara Corday as KateKaren Kadler as MargeElsie 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.
Leonard Goldstein did not return as producer, being replaced by Ted Richmond.
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.