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Peanuts White, a burlesque comic, is recruited by U.S. agents to impersonate international spy Eric Augustine (whom White resembles) in a mission to purchase a million-dollar microfilm in mysterious, exotic Tangier. There, he encounters the irresistable Lily Dalbray, an "old friend" of Augustine who is now dealing with his arch-enemy, Brubaker. But where is the real Eric? Comedy thriller with slapstick climax.Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
HEDY LAMARR may have been one of BOB HOPE's most glamorous co-stars, but she lacks the sort of comic timing needed for any female who plays opposite the hyper-active Hope. She never loses her poise no matter how ridiculous the situations are, but she never looks at home in this kind of spy story that even has her doing a nightclub act--singing the kind of sultry song that Dorothy Lamour could always put over. It's in the nightclub scene that she looks most uncomfortable as a performer, obviously dubbed by a real singer.
The story itself is the kind of mistaken identity thing that either Hope or Danny Kaye had done many times before and there's nothing new in the way of original material. It's a pleasant enough spoof of spy stories about a cowardly impostor (Hope) assigned by the government to obtain a top secret microfilm from spies in Tangier. Hope is his usual cowardly self and has to be prodded by the contact man (ARNOLD MOSS) to carry out the assignment, which he is more than willing to do once he meets the alluring Lamarr.
This was part of Hedy's deal with Paramount to give them another film after SAMSON AND DELILAH--and there's even a bit of Victor Young's "Samson and Delilah" theme played by the orchestra in the nightclub scene. Hope, who has all the best lines, plays the impostor with his usual comic finesse and gets away with varying amounts of mugging whenever the script isn't funny enough. Hedy tries valiantly to keep up with him, but she's just a little too restrained to make her efforts seem casual and effortless--as they should.
The screwball slapstick for the finale keeps things rushing along toward the predictable conclusion, but it's the sort of average entertainment that pleased Hope's fans who enjoyed his comic energy in this sort of espionage romp from time to time.
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