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Critic's Choice (1963)

Approved | | Comedy | 13 April 1963 (USA)
3:21 | Trailer

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Parker Ballantine is a New York theater critic and his wife writes a play that may or may not be very good. Now Parker must either get out of reviewing the play or cause the breakup of his marriage.






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Cast overview, first billed only:
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)
Marge Orr
Harvey Rittenhouse
Joe Rosenfield
Donald Losby ...
Geoffrey Von Hagedorn


Parker Ballantine is the most respected and forthright of the New York theater critics. Most of his closest friends are part of the Broadway community, such as his ex-wife actress Ivy London and producer S.P. Champlain. These friendships are not affected by bad reviews from Parker. Angie Ballantine is Parker's current devoted and faithful wife, who goes with him to show openings and even waits in the newsroom for him to write his reviews. Parker and Ivy's son, John Ballantine, lives with his father and Angie, who he loves. Angie has had problems in her life seeing projects through to completion, so Parker reacts with some skepticism when Angie announces she plans to write an autobiographical play about her growing up period. This project does become one that Angie does see through to completion, at least to a first draft stage, and despite Parker's disdainful reaction to at least the process, she is eager for his opinion on this draft. He complies. He hates it and tells her as such. ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It's funnier! It's spicier! It's naughtier than "FACTS OF LIFE"! See more »




Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

13 April 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cuando el corazón manda  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Because of poor audience reaction at test screenings, this film sat unreleased for a year before being sent to theaters. The delay did not help, as it received generally unfavorable reviews. See more »


As the kitchen scene with Angela, Parker and John is ending there is a shot that has the stove top grill visible. There is a small but evident amount of smoke rising from it. Possibly a crew member's or Bob Hope's cigarette dropped in the grill between shots. See more »


Angela Ballantine: Listen to this: Opening night report by Parker Ballentine. I think it's time for all us Transylvanian peasants to pick up our torches and march menacingly up to that castle on the hill because Dr. Frankenstein is making monsters again.
Charlotte Orr aka Charlie: Marge, get me a drink.
Angela Ballantine: This time, he's attached the arms and legs of 'Agamemnon' to the torso of 'Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.' S.P. Champlain has lead the creature over to the 46th Street Theater where it stumbled around for a few minutes and fell over dead.
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Crazy Credits

Ending: "The absolute End" See more »


Referenced in Hollywood Without Make-Up (1963) See more »

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User Reviews

Low Ratio of Entertainment Value to Star Power
23 April 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This movie has possibly the lowest entertainment value/star power ratio I've ever seen. Bob Hope and Lucille Ball, two of the 20th century's greatest comedy geniuses. Plus the legendary Jim Backus, Rip Torn, and a surprise uncredited cameo from a television comedy icon of the 1950's and 1960's who has a brief part as a hotel clerk. You almost have to give the writing, directing, and production team credit for taking a cast this spectacularly talented, and making them so dull and unfunny.

A major problem is the casting. The lovable Bob Hope as a mean-spirited, psychologically abusive husband? Lucille Ball as a mousy, milquetoast-ish wife who mostly takes the abuse her pathetic husband dishes out? The real life Lucille Ball would have kicked Bob Hope's character to the curb after the first 30 seconds -- and we all would have cheered!

But another major problem is that everyone seems to be sleepwalking through their parts. You would expect Jim Backus and Rip Torn to breathe a little life into their characters, but quite untypically, they seem to be phoning in their lines and waiting for their paychecks. Although I am quite impressed with Rip Torn's ability to do handstands in his younger days.

If you are a fan of any of these stars, they ALL have done better films. I'd suggest checking those out first.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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