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Italy, 1757. Lowly tailor Pippo Popolino disguises himself as the great Casanova in order to romance attractive widow Francesca. He little suspects what he's getting into: locked into the incongruous role by the desperation of the real Casanova's creditors, Pippo must journey to Venice on a delicate mission far beyond his capabilities. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Pippo swoons from kissing Beatrice D'Brizzi, actress Joan Shawlee who plays Beatrice looks off-camera and smiles, breaking character, apparently amused over Bob Hope hamming up his swoon and ad libbing. Similarly, Joan Fontaine visibly cracks up during her initial scene with Hope. See more »
One of Bob Hope's funnier comedies was Casanova's Big Night which finds tailor's apprentice Hope exchanging places with the great Casanova who is played by Vincent Price in an unbilled cameo.
Casanova's been down on his luck lately and he's beating it out of town owing the butcher, baker, and candlestick maker as well as his valet, Basil Rathbone. But after Dutchess Hope Emerson and her son Robert Hutton catch Hope in Casanova's outfit, Rathbone and the creditors decide to let the ruse continue.
Emerson wants to hire the world's greatest lover to seduce her son's intended, Audrey Dalton, because she feels she's a titled goldigger. True, but that's beside the point. The proof will be if the great lover can steal a certain petticoat with a crest embroidered on it.
The Doge of Venice Arnold Moss and his two scheming aides Raymond Burr and John Carradine also have their doubts that Hope might not be the great Casanova. What could ever give them that idea?
By the way Cassanova's Big Night was unusual for Hope in that he went the entire film without one Crosby joke.
The palace intrigue is as thick as a cement pudding, but Hope manages to bumble through it with the help of Joan Fontaine who is one of the creditors. As is the case in all his films, she develops as a soft spot for old ski nose.
Paramount gave Hope an unusually good supporting cast here and they all perform well. Of course fans of the classics might well recognize that the plot was lifted from The Three Musketeers.
But can you imagine the havoc that three Bob Hopes would have caused Venice?
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