Parker Ballantine is the most respected and forthright of the New York theater critics. Most of his closest friends are part of the Broadway community, such as his ex-wife actress Ivy London and producer S.P. Champlain. These friendships are not affected by bad reviews from Parker. Angie Ballantine is Parker's current devoted and faithful wife, who goes with him to show openings and even waits in the newsroom for him to write his reviews. Parker and Ivy's son, John Ballantine, lives with his father and Angie, who he loves. Angie has had problems in her life seeing projects through to completion, so Parker reacts with some skepticism when Angie announces she plans to write an autobiographical play about her growing up period. This project does become one that Angie does see through to completion, at least to a first draft stage, and despite Parker's disdainful reaction to at least the process, she is eager for his opinion on this draft. He complies. He hates it and tells her as such. ...Written by
When Angie flies out for the first out-of-town preview of her play, it is late November or early December 1962, but both magazine issues John buys at the airport were published in April 1962 (cover dates in May 1962). See more »
Listen to this: Opening night report by Parker Ballentine. I think it's time for all us Transylvanian peasants to pick up our torches and march menacingly up to that castle on the hill because Dr. Frankenstein is making monsters again.
Charlotte Orr aka Charlie:
Marge, get me a drink.
This time, he's attached the arms and legs of 'Agamemnon' to the torso of 'Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.' S.P. Champlain has lead the creature over to the 46th Street Theater where it stumbled around for a few minutes and fell over dead.
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Mention the name Lucille Ball, and what comes to mind for most of us is the zany character in the long-running 1950s TV comedy show, "I Love Lucy." But, I wonder if Lucy started out with a wish to be a comedienne, or if she had her eyes on any other fields of stage or screen. Comedy was part of her early roles, but she also had roles in which she sang and danced ("Dance, Girl, Dance" of 1940). And there can be no doubt about her acting ability from such dramatic and suspense films as "Valley of the Sun" and "The Big Street" in 1942; or "The Dark Corner" in 1946; or "Lured" in 1947.
On the other hand, there's little doubt about Bob Hope's aspirations. From his earliest days in vaudeville, Hope was a comedian, and he would always be a comedian. For all his kidding aside about earning as Oscar, Bob knew that he had little chance because Oscar very rarely went to a comedian. He even made his overt desire for an Oscar a part of his long- running comedy routines, and it was sure to get a laugh decade after decade
That doesn't mean that Bob Hope didn't do some very funny movies. But his type of humor wasn't the subtle, clever or zany type that usually involved great or very good acting. Clark Gable, James Stewart, Carole Lombard and Claudette Colbert were some of the very accomplished dramatic actors who could do Oscar-winning caliber comedy in movies. Bob's comedy forte was the one-liner. Or, make that, a string of one- liners, one after the other. And in that, he often aroused some great laughter.
So, that brings us to this movie, "Critic's Choice." This film is meant to be a semi-serious movie about Broadway and a critic's life, with a comedic outlook. And Lucy plays a serious character, a "straight man" to Bob's wisecracks and one-liners. I think it was intended as a light comedy to begin with, sans any zaniness on Lucy's part. The very funny parts are in the last half with Bob. He has some zany scenes himself, and a few strings of one-liners that bring out loud laughter. Some examples are: "This is the drunkenest room I've ever been in." "This apartment's all uphill." And, "I'd just like to be there when we get where I'm going."
"Critic's Choice" is a nice film for an evening of light entertainment, and worth watching just to see two of the great comics of all time together.
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