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American comedian Bob Hunter, on a luxury liner to France with French counterpart Fernandel, takes an interest in blonde diplomat Ann McCall while pursued by an even shapelier blonde, the mysterious Zara, who seems to be after something in Bob's possession. But he's only going to France to obtain rights to a new play...so what are Zara and her sinister boss after? The pursuit, amorous and larcenous, continues in Paris and escalates into a full-fledged comedy thriller. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Though this is not a good film for Bob Hope, it has one redeeming feature. It gave American audiences exposure to the great French comedian, Fernandel.
Fernandel almost was given the role of Passepartout the French valet to David Niven in Around the World in 80 Days. In fact he was going to learn English for the role. It fell through and the part was played by Cantinflas whose style was similar to Fernandel. Too bad for Fernandel that Around the World in 80 Days didn't work out for him.
Because Fernandel didn't speak English that presented problems trying to team him with Bob Hope. It was handled rather clumsily, Fernandel's part in the film was completely superfluous to the plot.
Nothing extraordinary about the plot itself. Hope's an American actor in Paris who comes across a nasty gang and he agrees to help both American and French authorities to capture them. Along for female decoration are Anita Ekberg and Martha Hyer. It's a Bob Hope movie, not one of his best, so I'm sure you can figure out the plot from here on in.
Fernandel has a few good moments though. There is a scene where he's trying to get in an insane asylum to rescue Hope and he's trying to convince the guard in front that he's crazy. So a certain amount of craziness follows and he's outstanding.
His biography here says he worked in a bank when he was young. But that long horse-face of his made people laugh, so to use an American expression, Fernandel took a lemon and made lemonade. If they're going to laugh, I'll get paid for it.
I wish some of his films were available here in the USA. I could easily even in this film see why he was such a national treasure in France.
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