Bob Hope is a stressed out talk show host who is sent on a vacation to Arizona on doctor's orders and has to play Sherlock Holmes with his wife, the lovely Eva Marie Saint, to solve a series of murders that has Bob as the prime suspect.
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Dan, a TV talk show host from New York is told by doctor to take a break. So he goes to Arizona and as he arrives, the press who were expecting a politician to arrive from Washington hound him and when a reporter asks his opinion about the Indians he empathizes with them. That's when an Indian girl approaches him and asks him if they can talk. He says yes go to his place and when he arrives he finds the girl dead. He tries to call the police but when they arrive the body is not there. Later he goes driving and the Sheriff stops him and finds the body in his car. He's arrested but a wealthy rancher shows up and tells the Sheriff to release him which he does. And he later finds a girl staying in his house and she says she's the rancher's daughter. Later Dan's wife shows up, it seems like their marriage is going through a rough patch but she's more concerned with trying to prove bis innocence. So they start bu talking the dead girl's uncle who doesn't know much but tells them of a wise ... Written by
In "Cancel My Reservation" Bob Hope plays a talk show host named Dan Bartlett who, on doctor's orders, travels to Arizona to take a break from the hustle and bustle of showbusiness--and of course finds himself almost immediately accused of murder!
Hilarity ensues when Bartlett's wife Sheila (Eva Marie Saint), who is also the new co-host he suspects is trying to muscle him out of his own show, shows up unannounced at her husband's vacation cabin and finds the clueless old dog has company--an unbelievably gorgeous hippiechick named Crazy (a very young, very hot Anne Archer) and a dead Indian girl.
Eventually Sheila and Crazy join forces to save Dan from the clutches of the town sheriff (Keenan Wynn), who is determined to see the TV star hang. And Crazy's suspiciously rich and evil-looking Dad (Ralph Bellamy) doesn't seem all that trustworthy either (wink).
Directed by veteran TV hack Paul Bogart (All in the Family) "Cancel My Reservation" has to be Bob Hope's all around worst movie--and yet it is extremely, mysteriously, watchable. One event follows the next with such an easy, non-jarring rhythm, that you are just carried along like a twig in a sewer overflow pipe. Not one of the jokes Hope is constantly cracking during the proceedings is even remotely funny. But even if there were any funny lines in the script, chances are you wouldn't be able to tell from the movie because Hope is sleepwalking through the whole thing. He shows even less energy in this flick than he did during the days when his performing career had dwindled down to a few walk-on appearances on the David Letterman Show. I mean, I gotta tell ya, watching this film makes you wonder why it took another quarter of a century for the rumor to get around that the man was dead.
"Cancel" does have a few charms I can put my finger on, however. For one, it has that hilarious desperately-trying-to-be-hip vibe that you find in so many Hollywood movies from the "hippie" era: men wearing women's wigs when playing Indians or flower children, incredibly lame "wacka-wacka" rock music during the chase scenes, references to Twiggy, and the like. Secondly, the actual story, which was based on a novel by Louis Lamour of all people, is really not too bad. It's kind of like a Scooby Doo episode for adults. Lastly, we have a 24-year old Anne Archer, in her film debut. All I can say about her performance is: Oh my god. Oh my god. OH MY GOD!! Damnity damnity damn damn DAYUM--that's one good-lookin' babe! Ahooooooo! AAAhhooooooooo!! Ruff! Ruff!!
Bob, groping around in the dark, unexpectedly finds a naked Anne Archer in his bed:
ANNE: Careful Pardner! You don't have your brand on that yet!
BOB: You're alive!
ANNE (pulling a gun): Only one of us is gonna be if you make another move!
BOB: Who are you?
ANNE: That's MY question, stranger!
BOB: I asked you first.
ANNE: But I got the gun!
BOB: Don't you know it's against the law to carry a concealed weapon?
ANNE: I'm not wearing anything to conceal it in.
BOB: Well, skip the technicalities-you're in my bed!
ANNE (exuding sultry hipness): Heeeeyy, you must be the daddy bear of this cave!
BOB: I'm Dan Bartlett-and I'm not as bare as you are!
ANNE: Oh, the TV pitchman. I thought you were here to do a little rustlin'!
BOB: I'm too tired for that kind of rustlin', so whoever you are will you clear out so I can get some sleep!!!
HA!! Oh my god, I may never stop laughing! No HA seriously!! Oh man, I'm dying here! Let me catch my breath, please!! Oh Christ its too funny! Ahhhhh aaaaa aaaa .uhm.
Oh, I'm sorry. I have the Simpson's on the TV while I'm writing this, and Homer just said "doh" again. Damn, that's funny stuff.
Anyway, back to Bob Hope in "Cancel My Reservation" .
You know, on second thought...screw it. I'm done.
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