Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Bob Hope Tribute Collection - Louisiana Purchase / Never Say Die Double Feature|
Actors: Bob Hope, Vera Zorina, Victor Moore, Irčne Bordoni, Dona Drake
Directors: Elliott Nugent, Irving Cummings
Genres: Classics, Comedy, Kids & Family, Musicals & Performing Arts
Studio: Uni Dist Corp. (mca) Release Date: 04/15/2003 Run time: 181 minutes
Two more samples of Bob Hope's best!
Mark Savary | Seattle, WA | 07/02/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Yet another fine disc in the Bob Hope Tribute Collection offers up two more classic Hope films, along with trailers, production notes, and cast and crew bios.In "Louisiana Purchase", Bob is the unwitting vicim of corrupt Louisiana politicians who stick him with the blame when a crusading senator from Washington comes to investigate. Bob has to finagle a way to deflect the senator from his witch hunt, and enlists the aid of a Viennese beauty played by Vera Zorina. The senator is wonderfully portrayed by Victor Moore, a pious Republican who longs for the Presidency.Interesting to note here is the opening scene, which was shot in color, but on a set designed for black and white film. The producers did this on purpose, hoping to lead up to the spectacular color sequences later on in the picture, but seeing the gray/blue color scheme here is a fascinating look at how specific contrasts were achieved on the sets of all those black and white movies in order to make them appear more natural. While "Louisiana Purchase" is pretty good, "Never Say Die" steals the show. Bob is a hypochondriac millionaire mistakenly given one month to live. Martha Raye teams with Bob again as the daughter of a Texas oil man who wants her to marry a cash-strapped prince. Unfortunately, she's in love with Andy Devine's character, Henry Munch, and runs away rather than marry the prince! Naturally, she runs into Bob, who's being hunted by a "black widow" delightfully played by Gale Sondergaard, who's husbands have a bad habit of always turning up dead. The one-liners (and the laughs) come fast and furious in this one!If you look quick, you'll see Monty Woolley as Dr. Schmidt, the specialist who misdiagnoses Bob's condition. Film fans will fondly remember his later appearances in the classic Cary Grant picture "The Bishop's Wife", and "The Man Who Came to Dinner" with Bette Davis."
Pleasant comedies with Hope cast outside his stereotype
Douglas M | 09/10/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"While Bob Hope made films for over 30 years, his best by far were in the first decade and these 2 films from 1939 and 1941 easily demonstrate this. They are good entertainment. In both, Hope abandons his usual persona as the egotistical coward.
"Never say Die" is a great example of a forgotten second rung gem. Hope plays a millionaire hypochondriac who is waiting to die when he is wrongly diagnosed as having the acidity of a dog and will eventually implode because he will eat his own bones. The film is full of nutty and very funny ideas like this, not surprising when you learn that Preston Sturges is listed as one of the writers. Martha Raye plays against type as the heroine, destined to a loveless marriage to a prince, but falling for Hope and saving him from a black widow played by Gale Sondergaard. There is an excellent supporting cast, beautiful backdrops of the European countryside and Raye delivers an amusing song with her usual skill. The print has not been restored and there is some dirt and popping but overall, it is more than adequate.
"Louisiana Purchase" is the film version of a popular Broadway musical with many of the original cast. The script is a satire on politics. Filmed in technicolour which is preserved in this excellent print, there are some funny bits but most of the Irving Berlin songs have been cut and the comedy is too slow. Irving Cummings directs in his usual technically competent, unimaginative and plodding way. This film should have been faster and funnier. Vera Zorina plays the female lead and she is prettier and more animated than in any of her other film appearances.
The set comes with a few extras - the original theatrical trailers, some production notes and short biographys of the principals."
Louisiana Purchase/Never Say Die Double Feature
Harry Brewer | S'port, La. | 03/07/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Louisiana Purchase *1/2 stars at best.
Never Say Die *** stars.
This double feature from the Bob Hope Tribute Collection is the weakest one easily. Louisiana Purchase goes on & on & becomes intolerable before it mercifully reaches its conclusion. The dialog goes on endlessly & the film goes nowhere. It was released in 1941 & is in color, a rarity for Hope in those days. In fact it was the first film he starred in that was done in color. It's based on an Irving Berlin Broadway musical & might be described as political satire but it never gets off the ground, sort of like the Spruce Goose. Jim Taylor (Hope) is a political flunky who gets set up for a fall by some dishonest politicians who don't want to pay the price for their crimes.
Never Say Die is fairly decent Hope material. It was released in 1939.
John Kidley (Hope), a wealthy man, learns that he only has 30 days to live. What he doesn't realize is that the tests were wrong. So he decides to go to Bad Gaswasser spa in Switzerland. He dumps his fiancee before he goes. After arriving at Bad Gaswasser he meets Mickey Hawkins (Martha Raye) who is being forced to marry Prince Smirnov (Alan Mowbray). Smirnov has some serious gambling debts & reasons that marrying her will put some ready cash in his hands. Mickey doesn't love Smirnov but does love Henry Munch (Andy Devine), a mere commoner from the States. Kidley & Hawkins end up marrying one another but only to get over on things. Munch goes with them on their honeymoon with hilarious results. Eventually Kidley discovers that he's going to live. By this time Kidley Hawkins discover they love each other but one problem remains: Smirnov feels insulted & demands satisfaction via a duel with Kidley. This scene is hilarious as different individuals give Kidley loads of advice on how to win the duel. Kidley gets all the advice jumbled up & is sputtering out jibberish. Hope would later do this same thing in Paleface. Gale Sondergaard co-stars in her usual evil personna.