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 ...
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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>
Haven't movie fans wondered how Bob Hope has managed to have so many glamorous leading ladies fall for the schnooky characters he played in his career? It's a source of amazement and amusement too. But I've always thought that was part of the secret of Hope's appeal, that if he could get the glamor girl, anyone could.
They don't get much more glamorous than Hedy Lamarr who was in the midst of a mini-comeback because of Samson and Delilah. Unfortunately the roles she got post DeMille didn't sustain her career.
When one works on a Bob Hope film as a leading lady you will definitely be second banana. Hedy Lamarr was not second banana material and that was a source of some friction between her and Hope. But being second banana was something she should have known walking in.
In My Favorite Spy, Hope was spoofing all those espionage/adventure films set in various exotic places like Casablanca. He gets to play a dual role here. First as Eric Augustine, Bogart like adventurer, and secondly as Peanuts White burlesque comic who is a dead ringer the U.S. government drafts into getting some secret microfilm before Sidney Greenstreet stand-in Francis L. Sullivan does. Of course Hope has a Peter Lorre type factotum in Arnold Moss.
Though uneven in spots, mainly because Hope doesn't have the chemistry between him and Lamarr the way he did with Jane Russell or Madeleine Carroll, or Dorothy Lamour, My Favorite Spy does have some good moments. My favorite moment is when the truth serum is administered to Peanuts White and he starts doing his burlesque shtick for Sullivan.
It's not the best of Hope's Paramount films, but it does have some good moments.
And besides only Bing Crosby could ever really expect to not be a second banana.
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