Critic's Choice (1963) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
21 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
A Critical Success
bkoganbing5 March 2008
Ira Levin's play Critic's Choice which ran 189 performances on Broadway in the 1960-1961 season was expanded exponentially for the screen version. It's Broadway origins are hardly noticeable.

Stepping into the roles played on stage by Henry Fonda and Georgeann Johnson are Bob Hope and Lucille Ball in their fourth and last film together. The more traditional Hope and traditional Lucy are to be found in their earlier films Sorrowful Jones and Fancy Pants. Still Critic's Choice works a whole lot better for them than The Facts of Life.

Bob Hope is a theater critic and he's got a son by his first marriage to Marilyn Maxwell, Ricky Kelman. He's married now to Lucille Ball and Lucy's taken it in her head to write a play about her family life growing up with two sisters, Marie Windsor and Joan Shawlee, and her mother Jessie Royce-Landis. Hope fluffs the idea off, but this only makes Lucy more determined especially when she's working with director Rip Torn and producer John Dehner.

There are a ton of characters not in the original play which took place in the Hope/Ball apartment. The addition of a lot of these people allowed Hope and Lucy to engage in some of their traditional comedy which they didn't do in The Facts of Life and paid dearly for it.

This has to be the only film I know where the 'other' woman is the first wife. Marilyn Maxwell who it was reputed Hope was involved with around 1950 and who appeared in The Lemon Drop Kid with him, sees her chance back with him as Rip Torn starts to get interested in Lucy.

Bob and Lucy get good support from a well chosen cast of familiar faces and Critic's Choice should please their fans.
21 out of 28 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Not This Critic's Choice
bigverybadtom28 April 2012
I saw the video in the library and the box advertising certainly made the movie sound good, as well as the all-star cast listed. But on bringing it home and watching it, neither my mother or I cared for it or bothered to see it to the end. There were hardly any laughs and the whole thing was basically unappealing.

Perhaps the play it was based on was much better. But theater critic Parker was simply a mean-spirited and unlikable man, destroying theater productions by his bad reviews, being obnoxious to family and friends, sneering at his wife's creative efforts, yet expecting people to like him anyway. He also attaches too much importance to his job, saying he would lose his self-respect if he didn't review things as he did. If Lucille Ball, who played his wife, acted as she did in her other roles, she would have reacted far more strongly to him. This is one of the dullest performances of her career.
11 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
One of the most unfunny comedies I have ever had the displeasure of slogging through
moonspinner558 December 2002
Torturous farce based on Ira Levin's stage hit about nasty East Coast theater critic who insists on writing the review for his wife's new play. Bob Hope is utterly unpleasant throughout this ham-handed dud, which was apparently more sophisticated in its original form. Lucille Ball gets in a few choice moments, but the lousy finale cheats her and the viewer. An unmitigated disaster which probably looked more promising on the deal-table at Sardi's than it does on the screen. Don Weis is responsible for the flat direction; Charles Lang photographed, in blurry reds and depressing grays. If this is the continuation of "The Facts of Life", I'll stick with Hope and Ball from 1960. * from ****
28 out of 43 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Why did they do this?
Ripshin7 August 2004
I will assume that Ira Levin's original Broadway play was much better than this dull, tedious film. It has obviously been altered to fit the acting styles of Ball and Hope. Lucy's role comes across as a toned-down version of her Lucy-wants-to get-in-show-business character, and Hope hams it up as the husband. Scene after scene comes across as rather pedestrian. The sets and cinematography are fine, and Edith Head provides Lucy with great costumes. Perhaps fans of the then-running "Lucy Show" made this film a success. However, 1968's "Yours, Mine and Ours" is a much better vehicle for Ball, even if her advanced age made that role unrealistic. In retrospect, Lucy comes across as annoying and passive in this film. In addition, the child actor Ricky Kelman is extremely irritating as the son of Hope, and step-son of Ball.
16 out of 26 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
One of the Best
fung025 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I find the negative views of this film baffling. I saw it as a kid when it first opened, and have seen it many times since. It's one of my favorite Bob Hope films, and one of my favorite Lucille Ball films - primarily because both of these fine actors are given deeper roles than usual. The quips and comedic shenanigans are there, but rooted in realistic characters and credible motivations. Which only makes them funnier. This is a film that works as drama first, then finds the comedic possibilities.

I also appreciate this as one of the very few good films *about* writing. The various phases that Lucy goes through in 'finding her muse' are true to life, and even somewhat inspiring. The reaction of others - especially critic-husband Hope's subtle jealousy - will be familiar to anyone who's ever tried to do creative work.

But most of all, I love this film because it is often screamingly funny. Some of the dialog with Hope's ex-wife is very sharp. One of my favorite lines in any movie comes from Hope, after breaking the mainspring of his watch: "Symbolism. I cannot stand symbolism!" Hope spends almost the latter third of the film roaring drunk, delivering some of his best schtick. His scene in the theater balcony almost made me wet myself when I first saw it, and remains a classic slapstick moment. Again, all the funnier because it happens in such a believable context. (As Charlie Chaplin pointed out, when a clown takes a pratfall, it's not nearly as funny as when a pompous stuffed-shirt does it.)

If you haven't seen this film, keep an eye out for it; you've got a real treat in store. And if you have seen it but haven't enjoyed it... No, I'm sorry: I have no advice for you. You're too far gone.
14 out of 24 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
strange but not true-possible spoilers
tday-127 August 2004
Warning: Spoilers
based on a Broadway show by Ira Levin (Rosemary's Baby) author,really bizarre tale of a theater critic and his wannabe playwright wife. Bob and Lucy appeared in other films but this one was their worst. The critic doesn't even bother to stay through the plays.He leaves in the middle and goes back to office for hatchet job. He's bombed out of his mind when he sees wife's play and then destroys it in print. How unfair is that?The idea,I suppose,was to show the folly of a wife trying to leave the nest for her own career and serving hubby was all the fulfillment she needed out of life. I saw this film when I was nine and even then I thought it was unfair Lucy didn't get to have a success as a playwright. Bob seemed pompous and overbearing,like the typical hubbys in fifties and sixties films who were threatened by their wive's success.
10 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Mildly amusing comedy from the Broadway success...
Doylenf26 September 2010
BOB HOPE and LUCILLE BALL do okay in this mild comedy about a woman (Lucy) who decides to show her theater critic hubby (Hope) that she can create a play based on her family relatives.

RIP TORN is amusing as the director of Lucy's play, working on it night and day to put it into shape while Hope seethes with jealousy. Meanwhile, his ex-wife, MARILYN MAXWELL, is around often enough to keep Lucy irate enough.

The friction between theater critic and playwright comes to life whenever they trade barbs. The comedy aspects fall flat once in awhile with the more serious moments given more emphasis than usual in a Bob Hope/Lucille Ball comedy.

JESSIE ROYCE LANDIS does nicely as Hope's mother. This isn't the typical fare expected of Hope or Ball, but it has its moments where the plot elements have more dimension than usual in a caper of this sort.

Hope has his usual one-liners.

"What are you trying to do--drown your troubles?" a bartender asks him.

"No, I'm just teaching them how to swim."
5 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Low Ratio of Entertainment Value to Star Power
bbrebozo23 April 2013
This movie has possibly the lowest entertainment value/star power ratio I've ever seen. Bob Hope and Lucille Ball, two of the 20th century's greatest comedy geniuses. Plus the legendary Jim Backus, Rip Torn, and a surprise uncredited cameo from a television comedy icon of the 1950's and 1960's who has a brief part as a hotel clerk. You almost have to give the writing, directing, and production team credit for taking a cast this spectacularly talented, and making them so dull and unfunny.

A major problem is the casting. The lovable Bob Hope as a mean-spirited, psychologically abusive husband? Lucille Ball as a mousy, milquetoast-ish wife who mostly takes the abuse her pathetic husband dishes out? The real life Lucille Ball would have kicked Bob Hope's character to the curb after the first 30 seconds -- and we all would have cheered!

But another major problem is that everyone seems to be sleepwalking through their parts. You would expect Jim Backus and Rip Torn to breathe a little life into their characters, but quite untypically, they seem to be phoning in their lines and waiting for their paychecks. Although I am quite impressed with Rip Torn's ability to do handstands in his younger days.

If you are a fan of any of these stars, they ALL have done better films. I'd suggest checking those out first.
7 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Two comedy greats together for some light fun
SimonJack4 September 2012
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.
5 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
It's Just Not Lucy...
bebe-1227 May 1999
If you normally associate the name 'Lucille Ball' with a crazy redhead who is outgoing, somewhat loud, and exciting, then this is definitely not the right movie for your Lucy collection. It is repetitive, humourless and quite dull, if I might say... Lucy plays a very quiet and stubborn woman in the film, and Bob Hope is not at his very best. It was actually quite disappointing to watch this film, I am sure that there are many more films with the same cast for you to enjoy with better quality...
10 out of 23 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The worst film Hope ever made!
JohnHowardReid19 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This movie seems to have sparked an almost even mixture of highly favorable and downright negative reviews. I'm afraid I agree with the negative brigade. After the box office disaster of "Beau James" (1957) in which Hope invested his own money and literally lost his shirt, he seems to have taken any assignment that came along. (Personally, I thought "Beau James" was an absolutely terrific movie. I loved it, but hardly anyone agrees with me). Anyway, for whatever reason, I think most of us would agree that Bob Hope made some very poor films in the 1960s, starting with the verbose but unfunny "The Facts of Life"; continuing with "Bachelor in Paradise" (which starts amusingly, but the promise of its sprightly opening scenes is unfortunately not realized); recovers a lot of momentum with "Road to Hong Kong" (even though it's one of the least amusing of the "Road" pictures); then really plumbs the depths with "Critic's Choice". For me, it's a movie with no virtues at all. The characters are not just unsympathetic, they're thoroughly unpleasant. As a result, everything they do and say is negative. Maybe it worked well on the stage, where the audience is less involved, less close to the venal, utterly selfish, self-promoting characters. Maybe?
5 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Judge lest ye be tossed out of the marriage bed.
mark.waltz14 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
On I love Lucy, Ricky wouldn't let Lucy be in the show. In this film version of a fairly successful Broadway show, husband Bob Hope doesn't want wife Lucy to write for the stage. You see, he's that villain of the theater called the critic, an umpire with a pen instead of a mask, and equally able to tell the playwright, director and actors that they are out.

The film opens with Hope and Ball at a Broadway opening where he gives the play thumbs down and criticizes leading lady Marilyn Maxwell who happens to be his first wife and the mother of their caustic son. When Lucy decides that she's going to become a playwright, hubby Hope offers her no hope by trying to talk her out of it, criticizing her play after its been optioned for Broadway. Hope gets a few good digs in at the profession of theater critic, appropriately obnoxious and seemingly eager to destroy the dreams of everybody who ever picked up a pen and wrote, 'A play by..."

This doesn't just spoof the theatre, but takes a look at modern marriages where a woman desired a career and faced objections by her chauvinistic husband. Fine supporting parts played by Jessie Royce Landis as Lucy's mother, Rip Torn as her producer and Ricky Kessum as Hope's son, with smaller roles featuring Jim Backus, Richard Deacon and John Dehner. This is a pretty good adult comedy that doesn't fully reflect how Broadway works, but any film that pays tribute to the footlights of the theater deserves credit for honoring a medium it often betrayed.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
In today's world, very sexist
vincentlynch-moonoi29 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Somewhere along the line, someone (perhaps himself) told Bob Hope that he needed to change his screen persona. Instead of being a bit of a bungler at life and love -- which was very likable -- he tried to become more suave and sophisticated. Mostly, in my view, that didn't turn out too well. In fact, despite another 8 films before his film career ended, this was the last that I felt was good...and I mean darned good. So why does it tend to often get poor reviews? Very simple. While there is humor in it, this film is really a drama (with the exception of the drunk escapade, where it -- unfortunately -- becomes slapstick). And that's not what most people expect from Bob Hope or Lucille Ball. Nevertheless, Hope could be quite good at drama (e.g., "The Seven Little Foys" and "Beau James")...and is darned good here. And Lucy wasn't really a comedienne, but rather a comedic actress...there's a big difference between the two. And here she does very nicely in what is pretty much a dramatic role.

As I said, there is some humor here, but it's mostly a fairly dramatic story line about the wife of a critic who writes a play. Will it be good or bad? Will he or won't he review it? And if he does, what will be the consequences? Marilyn Maxwell has a part as Hope's ex-wife (incidentally, you might want to Google Marilyn Maxwell + Bob Hope). I kept trying to figure out who the director in the film was...not quite recognizable...turned out to be a very young Rip Torn...and he was appropriately slightly sleazy...and actually quite funny. Jessie Royce Landis was always a welcome addition to any film...and usually as the mother-in-law. John Dehner was good as a Broadway producer. And it was nice to see Jim Backus as a psychiatrist! Child actor Ricky Kelman did a great job, here! At least nowadays, it's pretty clear why this film gets some negative reviews. It's very sexist. The husband/critic constantly puts his wife down for her work on writing a play; he then savages the play in a review; and then puts her in her place -- bed, after which he reviews their love-making. Unfortunately, Bob didn't realize the times were changing.

It's a mixed bag with some very good acting.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Hope Won't Play Ball
wes-connors7 November 2011
Broadway theatre critic Bob Hope (as Parker Ballantine) is known for his stinging reviews of bad plays. When beautiful red-haired wife Lucille Ball (as Angela "Angie " Ballantine) decides to become a playwright, Mr. Hope decides he will be completely objective in reviewing her work. Hope doesn't like the first draft and refuses to help Ms. Ball during re-writes and run-throughs. Ball is encouraged by a producer's interest and works closely with younger director Rip Torn (as Dion Kapakos); a romance, or the potential for one, develops. Meanwhile, Hope is perused by still-interested first wife Marilyn Maxwell (as Ivy London)...

With all the re-writes, it's odd nobody re-wrote "Critic's Choice"...

Hope's character is unlikable, and he's not a competent reviewer; he walks out of the opening play, which the audience enjoys, and declares it bad. Hope writes a review of Ball's play even though he was too drunk to see anything. Hope should have helped Ball and excused himself from reviewing her play. The relationship between Ball and Mr. Torn is confusing. Little Ricky Kelman (as John) should have been Ball's son; in the original play, the character "Angela" was too old to have a 12-year-old son. By the way, young Kelman and older Jessie Royce Landis (as Charlotte "Charlie" Orr) do well in supporting the legendary co-stars.

**** Critic's Choice (4/3/63) Don Weis ~ Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, Ricky Kelman, Rip Torn
4 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
For a Bob Hope film, it's not horrible...
JasparLamarCrabb26 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Certainly not horrible considering the amount of junk Bob Hope appeared in during the 1960s. That said, it's no great shakes either. Hope is a NYC theater critic whose wife (Lucille Ball) decides to write a play. Hope, of course, is caught in a conundrum, unsure if he should support her endeavor or convince her to give up on it. It's only occasionally funny with Hope giving what amounts to an actual performance. Unfortunately, Ball is far too restrained and comes across as a bit dull. The supporting cast is pretty good, with Rip Torn as "Dion," the avant- garde stage director who takes on Ball's play (and provides a lot of fodder for the tart-tongued Hope). Jessie Royce Landis, Richard Deacon, Marie Windsor and Jim Backus are in it too. Marilyn Maxwell is funny as Hope's Broadway diva ex-wife. The unimaginative direction is by Don Weis.
3 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
This Is Not Really A Comedy - It's More Of A Marital Drama
sddavis6311 September 2018
When you watch a film that starred two legends of comedy (Lucille Ball and Bob Hope) you expect to find a very funny movie. And, yes, "Critic's Choice" has some amusing parts to it. As a comedy, it's more "Bob Hope" style than "Lucille Ball" style. The humour is more subtle and ironic (more like Hope) than the kind of slapstick physical comedy that Ball was known for - although it does include some physical comedy, surprisingly given to Hope in the last half hour or so. But to call this movie a "comedy" I think is to miss the point. I saw it as more of a drama, even more a psychological study of Hope's character. He played Parker Ballantine, a fierce Broadway critic for a New York newspaper, while Ball plays his wife Angie, who gets it into her head to write a play about her early life with her mother and three sisters.

If I were to rate this as a comedy, I'd probably say that it fell flat - but I was actually quite taken with the story and the character of Parker. He was an unpleasant character. Yes, Hope played him with some comedy - but he wasn't a nice man. Once Angie decided to write her play (very early in the movie) Parker wouldn't let his critic's voice go. He discouraged her, he belittled her, he made fun of her - and most of it, while couched as a comedy, was actually rather mean and not funny. When the movie opened, Parker was writing a scathing review of a play that starred his ex-wife (who was played by Marilyn Maxwell.) That goes almost immediately into his acerbic attitude toward Angie's play. The point gets made in the movie that maybe Parker has a problem - he disses everything that the women who are close to him try to do, almost as if he's trying to sabotage them and their careers; as if he doesn't want a "successful" woman in his life. And, although there's an attempt to redeem him slightly at the end, Parker's most obnoxious scenes come late in the movie at the theatre, the night Angie's play opens in New York. Having withdrawn from reviewing the play, he shows up anyway - drunk and, frankly, obnoxious (I'm not sure why he wouldn't have been kicked out of the theatre, or even why he was allowed in in the first place) - tries to kick his paper's reviewer out and when he can't do that goes up to the balcony and causes quite a scene (this is where Hope's physical comedy comes in.) He then proceeds to write a review of the play anyway and his review is blistering, as he writes that the play "was written by Angela Ballantine, directed by Dion Kapakos, and produced by mistake." (I must admit that I wondered why his paper would allow a drunken reviewer - even a big name one - to write a review of a play written by his own wife to which someone else had been assigned as the reviewer, but maybe that's thinking too much about this.)

This was not what I was expecting. I was expecting a light comedy - instead I got more of a drama about a couple with some really serious issues in their marriage. And while I wouldn't rate it that highly as a comedy, I thought that if you look at it as a marital drama it's actually pretty good. For me, the most powerful scene in the movie didn't even involve Ball - it was the very dramatic and even acerbic confrontation between Parker and his son John (played by Ricky Kelman) - who seems to have irritated a few reviewers, but who I thought was actually pretty good, playing a kid who had obviously been raised in a somewhat strange environment. The scene was set at home on opening night, before Parker's drinking binge. That confrontation aside, John's relationship with his mother (Maxwell) was especially weird - she seems to have been largely uninterested in him, and he calls her not "Mom" but "Ivy."

There's a decent supporting cast - most of whose names (Rip Torn, Jim Backus, Richard Deacon and even Soupy Sales) add to the expectation that you're going to be watching a funny movie. But I would suggest not watching this to get a good laugh, even if that is your initial expectation. Watch it as more of a character study of Parker. It works much better that way. (7/10)
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Bob Hope and Lucille Ball are comic greats in a less than great comedy
a_chinn4 June 2018
Bland comedy/drama about nasty theater critic Bob Hope, who's only happy when he's trashing the latest Broadway sensation, has to contend with his wife, Lucille Ball, deciding she wants to become a playwright. Will Bob write a nasty review of his wife's play? Will Bob write a gushing review? I'm not sure there's any real suspense what actually happens, but the only reason to watch this film is for Hope and Ball, who are good, but the jokes are sadly not all that funny. It also doesn't help that the film lacks the rapid pace of Hope's better comedies. Overall, "Critic's Choice" features two brilliant comedians in a less than brilliant comedy. FUN FACT: This film was based on a play by Ira Levin, who's best known as the author of "Rosemary's Baby" and "The Stepford Wives."
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A Big Bore...
JOHNH-2911 July 2012
If you want to see Lucy at her least funny, watch this. She looks like she has a lot of personal strain, or something. Lucy never clicked in the movies for some reason, but on TV she soared. Bob Hope also struggles with the lame screenplay. You'll recognize many of the faces here, like Jim Backus and Rip Torn, among others. Apparently the play that this is based on got good reviews, but this movie version is so bad I'm surprised they didn't stop production and revamp it. On an up note, the movie is an indispensable time capsule. With JFK's assassination and the Beatles, this early 60's world would soon change forever. It's also worth seeing for the tiny Soupy Sales cameo.
3 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
edwagreen19 July 2014
Warning: Spoilers
You have some serious subject matter in this 1963 film with Lucille Ball trying desperately to get out of the kitchen and become a Broadway playwright. Trouble is that husband Bob Hope is a tough film critic who has panned his first wife's (Marilyn Maxwell) play. There is a strange relationship that Hope's son has with his mother, the Maxwell character. Apparently, she has allowed the Hope character to have full custody of the child. She is the woman where a career comes first.

The film tends to go downhill near the end when a very drunken Hope causes disruption at the theater where the play is opening on opening night.

Jesse Royce Landis,as Ball's mother and Rip Torn, as a Greek director,both give ample support.

Lucy is not her usual Lucy here and I enjoyed her character change.
2 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
"Well I'm gonna write me a play and nobody's gonna stop me".
classicsoncall18 July 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The only recommendation I can think of for this film is the chance to see Bob Hope and Lucille Ball in a movie together. But putting two top tier comedians in a vehicle like this, one would expect some laughs. Instead, if there are any here they get strained through a prism of obnoxious behavior on the part of Parker Ballantine (Hope) and his wife Angie's (Ball) frustrated attempts to win him over to her play-writing endeavor. Parker's insistence to 'remain true to himself' as a theater critic fell flat with this viewer, and only managed to escalate the tension between the couple. The scene where Angie berates him in front of her Mom and sisters was just excruciating. No two ways about it, Parker was a jerk. For this viewer there were only two redeeming moments - Soupy Sales showing up as the Boston hotel desk clerk, and Jim Backus strapping Hope into his psychiatrist's couch. He should have kept him there.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Cast makes it worth it...
jefflrfe7 July 2013
The decor alone is worth the price -- I want to live in Hope and Ball's apartment!

Maybe it's because I saw it at such a young age, but it's always been a favorite of mine. Good dialogue, great cast, and just a lot of fun. (Years later I worked with Soupy Sales and told him how much I'd liked his cameo as a desk clerk. He told me that he'd had no idea he was going to do the movie until he got a call from Hope the morning of the shoot asking him, "Wanna come out to Burbank today and do bit with me?")

And to those reviewers who complain that Hope's character "walks out" on the show he's reviewing at the top of the film, there were no such things then as "critic's previews." Nowadays critics attend a production during the final week or two of previews and write their reviews at leisure, to be published the day after the official opening night.

Back then, all the critics attended on opening night, and it was standard operating procedure to leave the theater in time to make it back to the paper to file the review before the deadline. It's not meant to imply that the character doesn't take his job seriously or is a "bad critic" as others have written. The only thing that's inaccurate about that part of the film is that in reality, ALL the other drama critics from ALL the other daily papers would have been "walking out" at the exact same moment to make the exact same deadline.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed