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.


Blogger barrylane said...

Goddard is winning, and when she has even the slightest chance to effective, makes whichever guy working with her look good.

7:25 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I agree 100!

Loved her romantic comedies with Milland and MacMurray and am so glad THE CRYSTAL BALL is finally making it to DVD this summer.

Best wishes,

7:33 PM  
Blogger Vienna said...

I havent seen any of these Hope/ Goddard films but I do like Paulette and agree with your description - she is extremely likeable.. I love her in The Women.

2:56 AM  
Blogger Caftan Woman said...

The least of their teamings is still pleasant enough. It was the first movie I watched on our last to current new TV. Odd connection to be sure, but that's where the mind goes.

5:01 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Vienna, I'm one of the few who isn't a particularly big fan of THE WOMEN -- but Paulette is great in it! She makes every film better.

Caftan Woman, I love that memory you have of when and how you saw the film. Things like that do stick out in the mind over time. I agree, I might not have loved this film but found it worth seeing, chiefly for Paulette.

Best wishes,

11:17 PM  

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