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Monday, October 18, 2010

My Favorite Brunette (released in 1947) - Starring Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour

This comedy was directed by Eugene Nugget, and stars the eternal funny man Bob Hope along with Dorothy Lamour, Peter Lorre and a host of other comic stars of the 40's with Bill Cosby putting in a guest appearance.
The movie starts with Ronnie Jackson, a death row inmate eating his last meal after his reprieve is not granted. He tries to make the reporters to understand that he did not commit the crime and a sympathetic warden allows him to narrate his tale. Bob Hope stars as Ronnie Jackson, a baby portrait photographer who nurses a secret ambition to become a private eye as his next door neighbor. He is jealous of the macho private detective Sam MacCloud and asks him for a job.
As he is finishing a portrait of the Fong baby who never smiles, he throws in the towel and gets to MacCloud and tells him about his pet invention, the keyhole camera and the gun and asks him to hire him But Sam turns him down and asks him to mind his office while he is on vacation. As Ronnie is lounging in the office pretending to be a private eye, the damsel in distress Carlotta Montay mistakes him for MacCloud and asks his expertise in tracing her husband.

An elated Ronnie takes up the case and goes to the address given by Carlotta. But he encounters the oily attorney Montague and his evil sidekick Kismet who trick him. But Ronnie uses his keyhole camera to photograph them impersonating the Baron Montay. Soon the gang, hot on his heels vandalize his shop and trap him in an asylum where Carlotta and her husband turned uncle, Baron Montay are trapped. The baron informs him that the gang are after a coded treasure map which only an engineer who coded it can decipher. They escape from the clutches of the gang and go in search of the engineer.
But Kismet murders the engineer using Ronnie's gun and pins the deed on him which has the police hot on his heels. But he still tries to go to Washington DC under disguise to help Montay. But the police arrest him and he is subsequently convicted to death for the murder. Carlotta working tirelessly with the help of Sam MacCloud stumble on Mrs Fong who gives her the photograph of the gang captured by Ronnie's keyhole camera. AS luck could have it the murderers has destroyed the Fong Baby's photograph instead of their murderous action. Ronnie escapes the gallows and reunites with Carlotta and the gang gets their just desserts.
This comedy of errors is laden with one liners which tickles your funny bone continuously. Bob Hope is accused of repeating himself in every movie but I think nobody does complain because that guy is a complete entertainer. A sample of his wit is when Montay says “I am at my wits end, Hope Replies “I passed there an hour ago” or when he says after his last meal “this is the worst last meal I have ever tasted”.
“My Favorite Brunette” had a curious advertising campaign, with poster art that depicted Hope in a heavy mustache and Lamour in a bikini – there is no such scene in the film where the actors appear like that. Any way you get a chance you grab the chance for you will regret if you don't.

My Favorite Brunette (released in 1947) - Starring Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour

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