The French Surete and private eye Higgins are after a killer who uses innocent young Americans in a crooked gambling racket, and who sets sail on an ocean liner that also carries inept scoutmaster Freddie Hunter and his troop of boys. Freddie, who's been a "boy scout" too long, has designs on gorgeous Duchess Alexandria. The boys, far better organized than Freddie, are determined to save him from himself. But who will save Freddie from being the killer's next victim?Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A middling Bob Hope movie that provides only occasional laffs, the poorly titled "The Great Lover" (1949) proved something of a disappointment for me, especially in light of the infinitely superior Hope picture "The Ghost Breakers" (1940) that I'd just seen a few days earlier. In "The Great Lover," Hope plays a scoutmaster from N. Zanesville, Ohio who is chaperoning his small troop of obnoxiously upright brats on a trans-Atlantic boat voyage whilst getting involved with destitute duchess Rhonda Fleming and becoming the pawn of cardsharp/psycho strangler Roland Young. Patently unrealistic antics ensue, some of them mildly entertaining, but not enough for consistent amusement. Still, the picture DOES have enough going for it to warrant a mild recommendation. Rhonda Fleming, 26 here and extremely beautiful, makes a nice foil for Hope, though it's a pity her gorgeous red hair can't be appreciated in this B&W film. She and Skislopenose perform a cute musical number, too. Also fun are some cameos and bit parts by that ol' skinflint Jack Benny (uncredited), as well as George "Superman" Reeves and Jim "Mr. Magoo" Backus. It's also interesting to see the usually mild-mannered Roland "Topper" Young playing against type as the crazy villain. Unfortunately, the "good folks" at Brentwood Communications have done it again, offering another lousy-looking/sounding DVD from a crappy 16mm print source, and with no extras to speak of. All in all, while fun enough, "The Great Lover" wasn't that, um, great.
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