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
After Cancel My Reservation Bob Hope made no more films for the big screen. It's as if his career ran out of gas in the seventies. Of course with the reception this film got, it was no surprise he stuck to television and military base tours.
When I looked at Cancel My Reservation again for the purposes of writing this review I was dumbfounded to learn that it had been based on a Louis L'Amour western novel, The Broken Gun. Now nobody had ever accused Louis L'Amour of writing comedy, so I'd love to know how one of his gritty western tales became the basis for a Bob Hope film?
Hope plays a TV talk show host who's advised by his doctor to take a needed vacation away from his wife Eva Marie Saint. Seems as though she came on the show as a co-host, kind of like the way Joy Philbin occasionally fills in for Kelly Ripa with Regis and it's grating on his hammy nerves.
Wouldn't you know it but Rapid Robert gets himself involved with not one, not two, but three murders while in Arizona. Bodies just keep popping up around him. Eva Marie comes west to help him solve this, but Nick and Nora Charles, they're not. The only one who believes him is Anne Archer, the stepdaughter of wealthy rancher Ralph Bellamy.
Cancel My Reservation marks the final appearance of Bing Crosby in an unbilled cameo in a Bob Hope film. That was a regular occurrence in the forties and fifties. The sequence is an imaginary one after sheriff Keenan Wynn tells him he could be the subject of mob violence. Hope imagines he's being lynched and he looks over at the crowd and appeals to such folks as Bing, Johnny Carson, John Wayne, and Flip Wilson for help in saving an innocent man. Bing says he furnished the rope for the lynching. Wilson says the devil made him do it. Carson says he hopes to inherit Hope's show and John Wayne says he'd like to help, but it isn't his picture.
By the way with that unbilled cameo, the Duke appears in his career in two films based on Louis L'Amour novels, his classic Hondo and this one.
Most of Hope's films in the sixties and now the seventies are just pale in comparison to the comedy classics of his earlier period. This one may be one of the worst. The gags just fall flat, the biggest laugh is when he tells the sheriff his age is 42 when he's a quite believable 69. John Wayne was finally playing characters his own age, why couldn't Hope?
So if you want to see a good film based on a Louis L'Amour novel, I recommend Hondo.
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