Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Tonight's Movie: My Favorite Blonde (1942) - A Kino Lorber Blu-ray Review

MY FAVORITE BLONDE (1942) is one of a trio of Bob Hope films released on Blu-ray this month by Kino Lorber.

I've previously reviewed the other two films, CAUGHT IN THE DRAFT (1941), costarring Dorothy Lamour, and NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH (1941), also starring Paulette Goddard.

I first saw MY FAVORITE BLONDE (1942) on VHS over a decade ago, in 2010, and I enjoyed circling back to it thanks to the new release. Having seen a number of Hope films in the intervening years, I think MY FAVORITE BLONDE is one of his best.

Hope plays Larry Haines, a vaudeville performer in New York whose partner Percy, a penguin (!), has just received an offer from Hollywood.

Into Larry's life -- or more specifically, his dressing room -- bursts elegant Madeleine Carroll as Karen Bentley, a British spy hiding from Nazi agents.

Larry ends up on the run with Karen -- initially reluctantly, but soon he's all in, helping Karen in her race to get critical secret documents to Los Angeles. It's a true "couple on the run" movie, as they are chased by both Nazis and police as they travel west via planes, trains, and automobiles, with a bus thrown in for good measure.

I like Hope best when he plays a more grounded character, as he does here. There's plenty of comedy, but most of it is plot-based, rather than Hope just firing off wisecracks. Along with the comedy -- and there are some very funny bits -- he has the chance to play some more serious moments, including a real love scene.

Carroll (THE 39 STEPS, THE PRISONER OF ZENDA) is lovely as the plucky spy, who bravely soldiers on despite constant threats to her life. That said, somehow she's not savvy enough to keep an eye on an airplane's gas tank, but in a way it works; otherwise she'd be almost too perfect to be believable opposite Hope's giddy yet resourceful Larry. They have excellent chemistry.

Behind the cameras, Carroll's sister had died in the London Blitz in October 1940, and as I wrote in my original review, perhaps that contributed to her looking a bit worn at times in this movie, which was shot beginning in November 1941, when Carroll was 35. She's still quite beautiful, of course, but her tiredness seems noticeable in certain scenes.

Carroll married Sterling Hayden shortly before the release of MY FAVORITE BLONDE, but the newlyweds spent much of the war years apart, with Hayden serving in the OSS and Carroll engaged in various activities in support of the war effort, including serving as a Red Cross nurse in Europe. After MY FAVORITE BLONDE she would not return to the screen until 1947, and the same was true of Hayden, whose last film before wartime service was BAHAMA PASSAGE (1941), costarring Carroll. They divorced soon after the war ended, in 1946.

MY FAVORITE BLONDE was directed by Sidney Lanfield and filmed in black and white by William C. Mellor. It runs 78 well-paced minutes.

The large supporting cast includes Gale Sondergaard, George Zucco, Walter Kingsford, Edward Gargan, Dooley Wilson, Nell Craig, and additional familiar faces. The hit-and-run victim seen briefly early in the film was played by Teala Loring, older sister of Debra Paget.

Kino Lorber's attractive Blu-ray is from a new 2K master. Sound quality is excellent. The disc includes a commentary by Samm Deighan and the trailer, plus 10 additional Hope/Carroll trailers.

I've reviewed several additional Bob Hope films released on Blu-ray by Kino Lorber Studio Classics: THE CAT AND THE CANARY (1939), THE GHOST BREAKERS (1940), THE PALEFACE (1948), and SON OF PALEFACE (1952).

Thanks to Kino Lorber for providing a review copy of this Blu-ray.

New Western RoundUp Column at Classic Movie Hub: Will Penny (1967)

My latest Western RoundUp column was posted today at Classic Movie Hub!

This month I wrote about a new-to-me Western, WILL PENNY (1967), starring Charlton Heston and Joan Hackett.

I enjoyed seeing and writing about this film and invite my readers to click over to Classic Movie Hub to read more.

As always, I deeply appreciate everyone who takes the time to visit and leave comments on my Western RoundUp posts!

Previous Classic Movie Hub Western RoundUp Column Links: June 2018; July 2018; August 2018; September 2018; October 2018; November 2018; December 2018; January 2019; February 2019; April 5, 2019; April 30, 2019; May 2019; June 2019; July 2019; August 2019; September 2019; October 2019; November 2019; December 2019; January 2020; February 2020; March 2020; April 2020; May 2020; June 2020; July 2020; August 2020; September 2020; October 2020; November 2020; December 2020; January 2021; February 2021.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Tonight's Movie: Crossfire (1947) - A Warner Archive Blu-ray Review

The excellent RKO crime film CROSSFIRE (1947) will be released on Blu-ray this week by the Warner Archive.

The movie was previously released on DVD in 2005 and reissued by the Warner Archive on DVD in 2017.

I last saw CROSSFIRE on VHS in 2007 so I can't say how the DVDs looked, but the new Blu-ray print is a thing of black and white beauty. I derived a great deal of pleasure from the movie's beautiful look -- but beyond that, it's a terrific film, which is sadly still timely in 2021.

I had put off revisiting it for so many years as I hoped to next see it on a big screen at a film festival, but with film festivals still months off, the Blu-ray was a terrific alternative.

Three fine actors named Robert -- Young, Mitchum, and Ryan -- star in this story of a police detective (Young) trying to solve the murder of a Jewish man (Sam Levene) by one of a group of soldiers who have very recently left the military.

Mitchum plays a cagey army sergeant who doesn't believe the prime suspect (George Cooper) is guilty, and he plays a key role in helping the detective track down the real culprit (Ryan), whose identity is known to the viewer early on.

I find this police procedural fascinating; it has a literate Oscar-nominated script by John Paxton, based on a novel by Richard Brooks, and wonderful performances.

Ryan, also Oscar-nominated, is almost scary to watch as an increasingly unhinged, snarling anti-Semite. His performance provides a marvelous contrast with Young and Mitchum, who are both relaxed and laid back, yet equally compelling.

One of the best scenes comes early in the film when Ryan makes his anti-Semitic feelings clear during a police interview; the camera focuses on Young, who takes a lengthy pause before speaking again. For perhaps three long seconds, the viewer can see every thought going through Young's mind without him ever saying a word, after which he resumes his questioning.

I also enjoy the discussions with the pipe-smoking Young and the unruffled Mitchum in shadowy rooms; the way they hold the viewer's attention is a tribute to both the actors and the beautiful black and white cinematography of J. Roy Hunt.

When I first saw this film, I hadn't yet seen THE NARROW MARGIN (1952), which has become a favorite film, so it was a treat to return to this now appreciating Jacqueline White, who plays the initial murder suspect's wife. She brings appeal and believability to a small role with a couple of key scenes.

Gloria Grahame is also in the film, playing a typically hard-bitten Grahame character; I've never been a particular admirer, though I tolerate her in small doses, and she's fine here in an Oscar-nominated performance.

Director Edward Dmytryk was also nominated for the Oscar, and the film itself received a Best Picture nomination. The Best Picture winner that year was GENTLEMAN'S AGREEMENT (1947), which also tackled anti-Semitism.

The top-notch supporting cast includes Steve Brodie, Lex Barker, Paul Kelly, Richard Benedict, and William Phipps.

That's former cowboy star Tom Keene, billed as Richard Powers, playing Young's fellow detective; he's pictured here with Mitchum and Young.  Fun trivia: Keene starred in a Western titled CROSS FIRE (1933).

Extras carried over from the original 2005 DVD release are a featurette ("Crossfire: Hate is Like a Gun") and a commentary track by Alain Silver and James Ursini, which also includes archival comments from director Dmytryk.

As mentioned above, the Warner Archive Blu-ray print looks wonderful.  The soundtrack is also excellent.

Recommended.

Thanks to the Warner Archive for providing a review copy of this Blu-ray. Warner Archive Blu-rays may be ordered from any online retailers where Blu-rays are sold.

Weekend Movie Fun: Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928) at the Hollywood Legion Theater Drive-In

Last night was one of the most enjoyable times I've had in over a year, as we returned to the Hollywood Legion Post 43 Drive-In Theater for a screening of Buster Keaton in STEAMBOAT BILL, JR. (1928).


We previously visited the drive-in last Thanksgiving weekend to see Harold Lloyd in THE FRESHMAN (1925), which like last night's movie was sponsored by Retroformat Silent Films.


Our evening began with a stop at Larry Edmunds Bookshop, which is currently open by appointment only. It should be reopening to the public in the near future.


My husband bought Steven C. Smith's MUSIC BY MAX STEINER, which he's purposely been waiting to buy when he could shop in person at Larry Edmunds again.


I purchased a wonderful book I'd spotted on the shop's Instagram page, L.A.'S LEGENDARY RESTAURANTS by George Geary.


I was "sold" on the book from the minute I saw an old favorite, C.C. Brown's, on the back cover. I miss going there!


The book has wonderful photo spreads like this one, plus recipes and photos of menus. (Click on this or any photo to expand it for a closer look.)


Next on our list was a stop at Miceli's, which has been in business since 1949 and happens to be one of the restaurants featured in the book. We're thankful it's managed to survive lockdowns!


There is now limited indoor seating allowed in Los Angeles, but until we're fully vaccinated we chose to eat outdoors.


Besides, we figured it's probably the only time in our lives we'll have the unique experience of eating outside at this location, with the church seen at the end of GUN CRAZY (1950) in view at the end of Las Palmas Avenue:


Then it was off to the drive-in, where we happened to be first in line when the gates opened:


It was a great lift to the spirits to see many friends in the parking lot, including Victoria Mature and Pete, Alan K. Rode, Karie Bible, Christina Rice and her daughter, Danny of Pre-Code.com and his wife Aubrey, Mary Mallory, Emily, Carley, and Jack. Apologies to anyone I didn't get to greet personally or who isn't mentioned here!

A few of the masked gang below. Thanks to many of us having started or completed vaccines, complete freedom seems nigh at long, long last; maybe we'll all be together in a theater later in the year!




Snacks included in the ticket price!


The drive-in has now acquired projectors (seen in the truck to the left) which will allow 35mm screenings at the drive-in in addition to digital prints. They are continuing to raise funds so they can be installed in their own booth.


The booth for last night's digital presentation:


The movie was just great! It brought back fun memories of seeing it with Carl Davis conducting an orchestra at the 2015 TCM Classic Film Festival, but last night's experience was just as special in its own way, especially given the context.

Cliff Retallick, seen on the truck bed at the right of this photo, performed live accompaniment, broadcast to the cars over an FM station.  The sound quality was excellent.


A full moon over the drive-in:


What a wonderful evening. Can't wait to do it again!

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Around the Blogosphere This Week

Miscellaneous bits of news and fun stuff from around the internet...

...In January I shared the news that Kino Lorber Studio Classics would be releasing THE WEB (1947) on Blu-ray. This is particularly exciting as the movie has never had a DVD or VHS release. Kino Lorber has now firmed up the release date; it will be available on July 13th. Extras include a commentary track by Jason A. Ney.

...Kino Lorber has also announced the July release of ALIAS JESSE JAMES (1959) starring Bob Hope and Rhonda Fleming, plus cameo appearances by numerous Western stars.

...News has slipped in of another April release from the Warner Archive: A Blu-ray reissue of MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY (1935).

...Great news from Toby at 50 Westerns From the 50s: Mill Creek is releasing a 12-film, 6-disc Blu-ray set, The Randolph Scott Collection. It's due out in June. I suspect Scott and Western fans will already have many or all of these titles on DVD and may not feel the need to upgrade -- they're available in two previous DVD sets labeled The Randolph Scott Round-Up -- but if nothing else, this Blu-ray release means even more people will watch and come to love Scott's Westerns.

...The decision has finally been made on this year's most anticipated Marvel movie, BLACK WIDOW (2021), which was held over from 2020: The release date has been pushed back from May to July to allow as many people as possible to see it theatrically, ostensibly after many more potential audience members have been vaccinated; the film will simultaneously stream on Disney+ for a $30 Premier Access fee.

...The BLACK WIDOW date change means that Marvel's SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS (2021) moves to a new September date, with THE ETERNALS (2021) and SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME (2021) holding to their November and December release dates. Among other changes, I was disappointed to learn that Disney's animated film LUCA (2021) will not play in theaters at all but will instead debut on Disney+ in June for no extra charge. Among other news, Kenneth Branagh's version of DEATH ON THE NILE (2022), originally due out last fall, has been pushed all the way to next February.

...For cookbook fans: Coming this November is THE COOKIE BIBLE by Rose Levy Beranbaum, author of THE BAKING BIBLE and several other baking-themed titles. Her book ROSE'S CHRISTMAS COOKIES is in my collection.

...And for "kidlit" fans: A new biography of Sydney Taylor, author of the ALL-OF-A-KIND FAMILY books, is coming from Yale University Press this summer. FROM SARAH TO SYDNEY: THE WOMAN BEHIND ALL-OF-A-KIND FAMILY was written by June Cummins with Alexandra Dunietz.

...I enjoyed this interview with the woman who worked as Ginger Rogers' assistant for 18 years. It's always nice when one reads positive things about an admired actor.

...It's been announced that original cast members James Marsden and Idina Menzel will join Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey in a Disney+ sequel to ENCHANTED (2007). Given that ENCHANTED is one of my favorite Disney films, I'm cautiously interested, yet anxious they don't mess it up...

...Following the recent last "4 for $44" sale, the WBShop is currently holding a "Close-Out Sale." It strikes me as curious that Warner Bros. or the Warner Archive have not yet announced whether Warner Archive discs will be sold from a new online shop, or only available at previously existing retailers going forward. It seems to me that communication with the line's loyal purchasers would be a good idea at this juncture.

...At A Classic Movie Blog KC reviews a trio of musicals recently released on Blu-ray by the Warner Archive Collection.

...I always enjoy checking out the latest reviews at Classic Movie Ramblings, which often include relatively obscure British films. (I bought SUSPECTED PERSON thanks to a review there; now I just need to make time to watch it!) Recent reviews include SNOWBOUND (1948) and THE OCTOBER MAN (1947) which have interesting casts.

...Streaming at Classic Movie Hub's Facebook page on April 5th: "Growing Up Hollywood," featuring Alan K. Rode chatting with William Wellman Jr. (son of William and Dorothy Coonan Wellman) and Victoria Riskin (daughter of Robert Riskin and Fay Wray). Having been fortunate to hear both Wellman and Riskin speak on many occasions, I'm sure it will be an enjoyable and interesting time.

...Attention Southern Californians: The Bowers Museum in Santa Ana has announced another extension of the Inside the Walt Disney Archives exhibit, which was shut down most of the last year due to COVID. It will now be available through June 20th. It had previously been extended through April.

...And from TimeOut Los Angeles, here's a list of Southern California drive-in theater options.

...Hollywood's Amoeba Music record store, closed for the past year, has announced it will reopen on April 1st in a new Hollywood Boulevard location, across from the Pantages Theatre. It was previously located at the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Cahuenga Boulevard.

...Notable Passings: I was extremely sorry to learn of the passing of actor Richard Gilliland at the age of 71. A busy working TV actor, I especially enjoyed him as Laurie in LITTLE WOMEN (1978), seen here, and as Mary Ellen's second husband, Jonesy, late in the run of THE WALTONS. He was married to actress Jean Smart; they met on the set of DESIGNING WOMEN, in which he had a recurring role as J.D. Shackelford...Actress Jessica Walter has passed away at the age of 80. Perhaps best known for her many TV roles, she was also in a number of films, including GRAND PRIX (1966) and PLAY MISTY FOR ME (1971)...Former child actor Kim Tyler, who was one of the children on TV's PLEASE DON'T EAT THE DAISIES (1965-67), has died at 66.

...More Notable Passings: In recent months some key personnel from Disneyland history have passed on. Jim Cora, who began at Disneyland in 1957 and was with the company for 43 years, has died at 83. He retired as chairman of Disney International and was named a Disney Legend in 2005...Famed children's author Beverly Cleary has passed away, a couple weeks short of her 105th birthday.

...For additional recent links of interest to classic film fans, please check out my March 20th roundup.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Tonight's Movie: Man From Del Rio (1956) - A Kino Lorber Blu-ray Review

Anthony Quinn stars as the MAN FROM DEL RIO (1956), just released on Blu-ray by Kino Lorber.

The movie is part of a one-disc, two-film set along with THE RIDE BACK (1957), also starring Quinn.

In MAN FROM DEL RIO Quinn plays David Robles, who has spent half a decade learning how to become proficient enough with a gun to go after the men who shot up his hometown, Del Rio.

He finds the last man, Dan Ritchy (Barry Atwater), in Mesa and promptly kills him in a gunfight outside the saloon.

The townspeople soon hire Robles to replace the previous sheriff (Douglas Spencer, THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD) after the sheriff is nearly killed by a bunch of hooligans. They want Robles -- and his quick gun -- to restore order. First and foremost that will mean getting rid of saloon owner Ed Bannister (Peter Whitney), who wants to run the town.

Robles learns the hard way that while the townspeople are happy to rely on his gun, they're not enthused to have him in their midst socially. Dave might move on, except that he's fallen for Estella (the always-interesting Katy Jurado), who works as housekeeper and nurse for the town doctor (Douglas Fowley).

There's an undercurrent of possible racism in the townspeople's social rejection of Dave, though they accept Estella readily enough. The stronger issue seems to be distaste for the fact that Dave is a rough man who's a killer, even though it's on the side of justice; Estella warns Dave that he's akin to a snake used to kill rats. When the rats are gone, the townspeople will also be anxious to get rid of the snake.

When Dave's gun hand is injured in a brawl, Estella and the doctor urge Dave to leave town. However, Dave realizes he can't take the easy way out and maintain his self-respect, even knowing Estella is now willing to go with him. It all builds to quite an interesting climax on the streets of Mesa.

This is a modestly entertaining Western, elevated by the presence of Quinn and Jurado and the black and white cinematography of Stanley Cortez (THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS and NIGHT OF THE HUNTER).

Quinn is excellent hitting all the notes, yet at times I found his socially awkward character -- and the way he's treated -- somewhat painful to watch. He's uneducated and lonely, and is thrilled when he thinks he's finally found a place of respect with his new job.

It thus really hurts to watch as the townspeople turn their backs on him at a dance. He ends up outside with the town drunk (Whit Bissell), then having an upsetting confrontation with Estella.

In time, though, Dave proves to be smarter and have more guts than anyone else in town, winning the admiration of both Estella and the viewer, who is left quite satisfied at the end of the film's 82 minutes. All in all, I found it a worthwhile film.

The movie was directed by Harry Horner. The supporting cast includes John Larch, Bill Erwin, Adrienne Marden, and Guinn "Big Boy" Williams. Quinn's wife, Katherine DeMille (THE CRUSADES), has a bit role.

The good-looking Kino Lorber Blu-ray print of MAN FROM DEL RIO is from a new 2K master. The soundtrack is excellent.

In addition to the second film, the disc includes a trailer, as well as four additional trailers for other films available from Kino Lorber.

I'll be reviewing the other Western in the set, THE RIDE BACK, at a future date. (Update: Here's my review of THE RIDE BACK, which is a fine film.)

Thanks to Kino Lorber for providing a review copy of this Blu-ray.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Tonight's Movie: On Moonlight Bay (1951) - A Warner Archive Blu-ray Review

Doris Day and Gordon MacRae star in ON MOONLIGHT BAY (1951), just released on Blu-ray by the Warner Archive.

ON MOONLIGHT BAY and its sequel, BY THE LIGHT OF THE SILVERY MOON (1953), are probably the first Doris Day movies I ever saw. As I recall they were shown on KTLA Ch. 5 in Los Angeles, and I watched both films multiple times as a child.

In the years since then I've watched ON MOONLIGHT BAY in every possible format, from VHS to DVD and now the lovely new Warner Archive Blu-ray. The nostalgia portrayed in the film itself, combined with my own memories of many viewings over my lifetime, combine to make the film something extra-special in my eyes.

The ON MOONLIGHT BAY screenplay by Melville Shavelson and Jack Rose was based on Booth Tarkington's PENROD stories, and the film feels more than a little like a downsized version of MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (1944), which was based on stories by Sally Benson. ON MOONLIGHT BAY takes place a little over a decade after ST. LOUIS, around the time of America's entry into World War I.

Like MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, ON MOONLIGHT BAY covers a year in the life of a family, in this case the Winfields -- though they only have two children, instead of the five from ST. LOUIS.

Leon Ames, who was also the father in MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, plays the Winfield family's put-upon father, with Rosemary DeCamp as the gracious mother, Mary Wickes as their long-suffering cook and housekeeper, and Billy Gray as the pesky kid brother, Wesley. In the center of it all is Day as Marjorie, the Winfields' tomboy daughter.

As the film begins, the family has just moved into a charming new home, but everyone is giving the father a hard time for uprooting them from their old house and neighborhood. (Sound familiar?)

Suddenly Marjorie meets the boy across the street, William (MacRae), and falls head over heels in love. The move to the new home is forgiven, and in no time at all Marjorie is dressing as a young lady and dreaming romantic thoughts, despite college student William claiming he's not interested in marriage. And shades of MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, there are even issues surrounding the couple attending a Christmas dance.

ON MOONLIGHT BAY has a marvelous cast, great sets, and many delightful touches, though it's not as perfect a film as MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (but then, what could be?). With William off at college, the film shifts focus to the antics of Wesley, who isn't as charming as Joan Carroll and Margaret O'Brien, the younger siblings of MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS.

A little Wesley goes a long way, though I do love the scene where Aunt Martha (Esther Dale, MARGIE) comes to see Wesley on his birthday, bearing cookies and gifts. It's a great sequence and makes one wish that Aunt Martha had a bigger part in the story.

Despite the film's imperfections, there are many wonderful moments, and I've hopefully made clear above that it's a film I love. Day is a delight as the tomboy transitioning into a more mature young lady, and she's well teamed with handsome MacRae in terms of both acting and singing.

I've always especially loved when William and Marjorie go on their first date and sing the title song. Best of all is a Christmas sequence near the end of the film, with Day and MacRae dueting "Merry Christmas All" on the front porch while her parents smile out the window. It's truly lovely.

I doubt anyone could ever match Ames as a harassed father in a period family story, and the versatile DeCamp illustrates once more why I love her; she's warm and lovely.

The movie runs 95 well-paced minutes. It was directed by Roy Del Ruth and filmed in Technicolor by Ernest Haller. Doris's costumes also deserve a special note; I especially love her blue sailor suit. Marjorie Best and Milo Anderson were responsible for the film's wardrobes.

Most of the home exteriors were clearly filmed inside a soundstage, but when Day and MacRae emerge from their houses in the last scene it's on the sunny Warner Bros. backlot -- and I suddenly realized I've been inside William's house on a studio tour!

The Warner Archive Blu-ray looks and sounds very nice; fans will be pleased. I especially loved the visual "pop" of Marjorie's red hair bows and William's red sweater in a scene where they play records on the front porch.

Extras carried over from the film's original DVD release are the trailer, a cartoon and a short. The Blu-ray also includes a song selection menu.

Recommended.

Thanks to the Warner Archive for providing a review copy of this Blu-ray. Warner Archive Blu-rays may be ordered from any online retailers where Blu-rays are sold.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Tonight's Movie: Nothing But the Truth (1941) - A Kino Lorber Blu-ray Review

Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard star in NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH (1941), just released on Blu-ray by Kino Lorber.

NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH is the third film teaming Hope and Goddard. I've previously reviewed Kino Lorber's releases of their movies THE CAT AND THE CANARY (1939) and THE GHOST BREAKERS (1940).

NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH is perhaps the least of the three films, but it still has its moments, and as a Goddard fan I really enjoy seeing her teamed with Hope. She's enormously likeable, simultaneously radiating both intelligence and daffiness; she's the more grounded of the team but at the same time she's silly enough that her attraction to him is believable.

Hope plays Steve Bennett, who's just taken a job at the brokerage firm owned by T.T. Ralston (Edward Arnold).

T.T.'s niece Gwen (Goddard) shows up at the office with $10,000 and tells Steve she needs to double it quickly.

From here it's a bit of a complicated story, but Steve ends up making a bet with T.T., T.T.'s son-in-law Dick (Glenn Anders), and Gwen's would-be suitor Van (Leif Erickson) that he can tell the truth for 24 hours. If he lives up to the bet, the $10,000 will be doubled; if not, he loses it.

Needless to say, it's pretty silly, but hey, it's a Bob Hope movie! The story picks up steam once the cast moves to a yacht, and there are some amusing moments, particularly with Hope and Goddard, who have excellent chemistry. Hope's character is a little more low-key and straightforward than some of his roles, which I appreciated, and as mentioned above I think Goddard is terrific.  I wish they had made even more movies together.

Hope and Goddard were reteamed here with their GHOST BUSTERS costar Willie Best, who has some key moments straightening out the crazy goings-on. Some moments with Best may make modern viewers uncomfortable, for reasons which will be obvious, but he was a very talented and funny man whose work I appreciate. Like Goddard, Best was well teamed playing opposite Hope.

The cast also includes Rose Hobart, Grant Mitchell, Helen Vinson, Mary Forbes, Clarence Kolb, and Leon Belasco. Look for Rod Cameron in a bit role as a sailor.

The movie was based on a play by James Montgomery, based on a novel by Frederic S. Isham. Don Hartman and Ken Englund wrote the screenplay of this 90-minute film. The movie was directed by Elliott Nugent and filmed in black and white by Charles Lang.

Kino Lorber's lovely print is from a brand-new 2K master. It has excellent sound.

Kino Lorber's Blu-ray includes a commentary track by Simon Abrams; the trailer; trailers for two additional Hope-Goddard films; and a Kino Lorber promo.

NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH is one of a trio of Hope films released by Kino Lorber this month.  The others are CAUGHT IN THE DRAFT (1941), reviewed here, and MY FAVORITE BLONDE (1942), which will be reviewed at a future date.

Thanks to Kino Lorber for providing a review copy of this Blu-ray.

Newer›  ‹Older