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The French Surete and private eye Higgins are after a killer who uses innocent young Americans in a crooked gambling racket, and who sets sail on an ocean liner that also carries inept scoutmaster Freddie Hunter and his troop of boys. Freddie, who's been a "boy scout" too long, has designs on gorgeous Duchess Alexandria. The boys, far better organized than Freddie, are determined to save him from himself. But who will save Freddie from being the killer's next victim? Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To me "The Great Lover" was the last great Hope film: he had some good lines, the plot was OK and most importantly Golden Age high production values were much in evidence. The nitrate gleams and is an essential component in the enjoyment of it, Hope and Fleming and the "ship" itself would not have looked as romantic on safety stock film. And the rot that set in with the advent of safety film in the early 1950's had already begun in TGL - just listen to those 2 inept songs, they wouldn't have got as far as being filmed even 5 years previously. The nadir was reached a few years later in "My favourite spy", with a seemingly endless Hope song as excruciating as anything Norman Wisdom could have performed, and utterly ruined an average film for me.
I always counted Roland Young as a villain because I saw this first as a kid, whereas he was a pretty versatile actor and played plenty of goodies in his time too. He's a ruthless card sharper in this however, Roland Culver is a cold steely and "broke" aristocrat who Young wants to fleece, Fleming is his high class daughter the innocent Hope falls for. He in turn is leader of 7 little Boy Forresters with Grumpy as 2nd in command.
Favourite bits: The morning exercises; Hope petulantly parping smoke through one of the boys bugles; getting distracted by Fleming over champagne as only Hope ever could. The bad bits: a/m songs to avoid. I leave the rest to you to find out!
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