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Baby photographer Ronnie Jackson, on death row in San Quentin, tells reporters how he got there: taking care of his private-eye neighbor's office, Ronnie is asked by the irresistible Baroness Montay to find the missing Baron. There follow confusing but sinister doings in a gloomy mansion and a private sanatorium, with every plot twist a parody of thriller cliches. What are the villains really after? Can Ronnie beat a framed murder rap? Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour reunite in fast moving enjoyable comedy/thriller
The 1940's was a very prolific period for Bob Hope as he made 21 movies during that decade including some of his very best (the "Road" films of course with Crosby and Lamour, "The Paleface" with Jane Russell, and "My Favorite Blonde" with Madeleine Carroll). However, "Brunette" rates as high, if not higher, than any of these as it had a very funny script and a wonderful supporting cast including Peter Lorre, Lon Chaney Jnr, John Hoyt, Ann Doran, Reginald Denny, Ray Teal, Jack La Rue and a couple of surprise star cameos. Peter Lorre in particular seemed to enjoy sending up his usual image as a sinister killer.
San Francisco baby photographer Ronnie Jackson (Bob Hope) has unfulfilled ambitions to be a private detective like his neighbour in the next office Sam McCloud. When Sam goes out of town Carlotta Montay (Dorothy Lamour) comes in seeking help and mistakes Hope for the detective who thinks this could be the big chance to prove himself but as usual in a Hope film he runs into more trouble than he can handle. Lamour persuades Hope to look for her uncle who has been kidnapped by the villains and a double put in his place. The plot thickens as he accompanies Lamour into many ludicrous situations, unforeseen danger and one hilarious episode after another.
Some favourite lines from the film:
Bob Hope: "You see, I wanted to be a detective too. It only took brains, courage and a gun - and I had the gun!".
Bob Hope: "I was cut out for this kind of life. All my life I've wanted to be a hard boiled detective like Humphrey Bogart, or Dick Powell ... or even Alan Ladd!".
Bob Hope (to Peter Lorre): "Nice cheerful place - what time do they bring the mummies out?".
Bob Hope: "It always looked so easy in those Tarzan pictures!".
Bob Hope (to Dorothy Lamour): "I don't know how much more of this I can take
you've had me in hot water so long I feel like a tea
Bob Hope could always be relied upon to bring us the laughs with even the most average script but in this film he excels as he is given some great material to work with and certainly makes the most of it. 10/10. Clive Roberts.
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