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Critic's Choice (1963)

 -  Comedy  -  13 April 1963 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 483 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 3 critic

Bob Hope is a New York theater critic and his wife (Lucille Ball in their final motion picture pairing) writes a play that may or may not be very good. Now Hope must either get out of ... See full summary »



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Title: Critic's Choice (1963)

Critic's Choice (1963) on IMDb 5.7/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Marilyn Maxwell ...
Charlotte Orr aka Charlie
S.P. Champlain
Dr. William Von Hagedorn
Ricky Kelman ...
Dorothy Green ...
Mrs. Margaret Champlain
Sally Orr
Joseph Gallison ...
Philip 'Phil' Yardley (as Evan McCord)
Joan Shawlee ...
Marge Orr
Harvey Rittenhouse
Jerome Cowan ...
Joe Rosenfield
Donald Losby ...
Geoffrey Von Hagedorn


Bob Hope is a New York theater critic and his wife (Lucille Ball in their final motion picture pairing) writes a play that may or may not be very good. Now Hope must either get out of reviewing the play or cause the breakup of his marriage. Based on the Broadway play by Ira Levin. Written by laird-3

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Warner Bros. happily brings Broadway's 'choice' comedy to the screen! See more »




Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

13 April 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Critic's Choice  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


While talking about Broadway hits, Bob Hope's character mentions Mary, Mary, the film version of which Warner Bros. had turned into a Debbie Reynolds vehicle released later that same year. See more »


John Ballantine: So, the trouble must be psychosomatic. Nonorganic, therefore psychically motivated.
Parker Ballantine: Will you stop talking like a child?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Ending: "The absolute End" See more »


References Life with Father (1947) See more »

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User Reviews

A Critical Success
5 March 2008 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Ira Levin's play Critic's Choice which ran 189 performances on Broadway in the 1960-1961 season was expanded exponentially for the screen version. It's Broadway origins are hardly noticeable.

Stepping into the roles played on stage by Henry Fonda and Georgeann Johnson are Bob Hope and Lucille Ball in their fourth and last film together. The more traditional Hope and traditional Lucy are to be found in their earlier films Sorrowful Jones and Fancy Pants. Still Critic's Choice works a whole lot better for them than The Facts of Life.

Bob Hope is a theater critic and he's got a son by his first marriage to Marilyn Maxwell, Ricky Kelman. He's married now to Lucille Ball and Lucy's taken it in her head to write a play about her family life growing up with two sisters, Marie Windsor and Joan Shawlee, and her mother Jessie Royce-Landis. Hope fluffs the idea off, but this only makes Lucy more determined especially when she's working with director Rip Torn and producer John Dehner.

There are a ton of characters not in the original play which took place in the Hope/Ball apartment. The addition of a lot of these people allowed Hope and Lucy to engage in some of their traditional comedy which they didn't do in The Facts of Life and paid dearly for it.

This has to be the only film I know where the 'other' woman is the first wife. Marilyn Maxwell who it was reputed Hope was involved with around 1950 and who appeared in The Lemon Drop Kid with him, sees her chance back with him as Rip Torn starts to get interested in Lucy.

Bob and Lucy get good support from a well chosen cast of familiar faces and Critic's Choice should please their fans.

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