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Bob Hope is being stalked by a predatory widow who is a widow of wealthy husbands many times over. Martha Raye is a Texan heiress who wants to marry her boyfriend Andy Devine, but her father is determined that she marry into royalty. To solve both their problems, Martha Raye and Bob Hope decide to marry, but will they ever find love together? Written by
One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »
Man who loads pistols:
There's a cross on the muzzle of the pistol with the bullet and a nick on the handle of the pistol with the blank.
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This early Bob Hope feature is very funny, and quite charming in its own particular way to boot. Of Hope's more frequent leading ladies in film, I have always found his teamings with Martha Raye to be the most satisfying, possibly because Bob and she seem to feed off each other in a way his other regulars (Paulette Goddard/Lucy/Dottie) didn't. Perhaps it has something to do with their vaudeville background. Anyway, both Bob, and particularly Martha, are far more subdued in their roles here than usual, and Never Say Die benefits enormously as a result. (Perhaps in the case of Hope this is due to the fact that this film comes so early in his screen career, before his on-screen persona of the egocentric and cowardly would-be ladies man was so firmly established). Their characters of John Kidley and Mickey Hawkins here somehow have a human dimension which is usually lacking in the usual Hope or Raye portrayal (no matter how enjoyable), and the warmth of the romantic scenes between the two in this picture is something which in my opinion is unique, never repeated by either of them in any of their other film work again.
There are other aspects of Never Say Die which have always made it one of my favourite Hope pictures...Gale Sondergard as a man hungry widow, Monty Woolley in a small role as an ambitious medico, Andy Devine as Martha's intended, and especially Sig Rumann as Poppa Ingleborg in some hilarious scenes at the hotel. Also Preston Sturges involvement in the script does show. And has already been noted elsewhere, fans of Danny Kaye may be interested in viewing this picture if only to see an earlier (and one must admit less successful) incarnation of the "flagon with the dragon" routine from The Court Jester.
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