Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|My Favorite Blonde / Star Spangled Rhythm Double Feature|
Actors: Bob Hope, Madeleine Carroll, Bing Crosby, Gale Sondergaard, George Zucco
Directors: George Marshall, Sidney Lanfield
Genres: Comedy, Musicals & Performing Arts
No description available for this title. — Item Type: DVD Movie — Item Rating: NR — Street Date: 03/05/02 — Wide Screen: no — Director Cut: no — Special Edition: no — Language: ENGLISH — Foreign Film: noSubtitles: no — Dubbed: no — ... more »
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Breakthrough Hope Classics...
Mark Savary | Seattle, WA | 06/22/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Bob Hope had for some time said on his radio show that Madeleine Carroll was his "favorite blonde". The actress called to thank him, and a movie pairing soon followed. A parody of spy films (most notably "The 39 Steps"), the film delivers the laughs as British agent Carroll evades the Nazi bad guys with unwilling help from a penguin-toting vadevillian performer played by Hope.Gale Sondergaard plays the spy chief with a prerequisite dose of iciness. Sadly, she isn't featured as much as one could wish, but her henchmen fit the bill as the heavies."Star Spangled Rhythm" is a welcome, but odd inclusion on the disc. The story is a classic screwball comedy mixed with a dose of "Stage Door Canteen". Unfortunately, the numbers in the big show not only defy logic (the size and scope of the production is rediculously larger than believability can allow), but on top of that, they are mostly dull, overlong, and uninspiring.The majority of the big names touted in the credits are more or less confined to appearing in the big morale show, save for two nice turns by Cecil B. DeMille and Preston Sturges. Bing Crosby is limited to what amounts to an extended cameo, while Bob Hope fares little better. Only two numbers really stand out from the show. One is a nice number with Paulette Goddard, Dorothy Lamour, and Veronica Lake in "A Sweater, A Sarong, and a Peek-a-boo Bang". The title refers to the famous trademarks of each star (Goddard's sexy sweaters, Lamour's island-movie sarongs, and Lake's vision-obscuring hairdoo). The other number is the balletic winter dance sequence in which a GI dreams about his girl back home."If Men Played Cards As Women Do" is a Vadevillian piece that was first performed back in 1929, and unfortunately, shows its dated quality. By today's standards, the characters come off as simply "femme" given the subtlety of the act. The point of the skit is similar to that commercial where burly men say things like, "Do these jeans make me look fat?" Of course Ray Milland and Fred MacMurry, et al, are lots of fun, but the skit just doesn't hold up.Back on the Paramount lot, however, there's a fun number about defense workers called "Swing Shift". And then there's an interesting scene where Betty Hutton tries to gain access to the Paramount lot by literally going over the wall, with next to no help whatsoever from a pair of helpful passerbys.While Bob does emcee the big event, and helps Betty with some of her scheming, he isn't really the star here. As such, the film, while nice to have, is kind of out of place in the Bob Hope Tribute Collection.Either way, it's a good disc for Bob fans. Production notes and trailers are included for each picture."
Great Fun For Hope Fans
Bobby Underwood | Manly NSW, Australia | 01/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a really fun 2-Pk. for Bob Hope fans. As mentioned by just about everyone, "Star Spangled Rhythm" is more of a screwball type comedy used as an excuse to parade many of Paramount's stars across the screen and give a patriotic boost to the country. It is a fun oddity with Betty Hutton and Eddie Bracken and, as mentioned, a big dose of Paramount stars putting on a show. Bob is here, of course, as is Bing, but the real Hope vehicle here is "My Favorite Blonde" with the lovely Madeleine Carroll.
Hope fans will have fun watching watching Bob and beautiful Madeleine Carroll navigate through this delightful romp about secret flight plans hidden in a gold scorpion pin. Hope gets off some good one-liners and there is even an amusing cameo from Bing. A better than usual screenplay by Don Hartman and Frank Butler, based on a story by Melvin Frank and Norman Panama, give Bob and gorgeous Madeleine plenty to do yet still enough time to fall in love.
Madeleine is Karen Bentley, a British agent trying to deliver top secret flight plans that German agents want to get their hands on at any cost. The plans are in code in a gold scorpion pin. When her partner is killed by enemy agents aboard the S.S. Aleria, the chase is on. Another British agent is taken down, this one a female, murdered because they thought she was Karen. She ducks into a variety show where Larry Haines (Bob Hope) and his penguin, Percy, are doing their last show before heading to Hollywood.
Larry is just thanking his lucky stars when Karen sort of falls into his lap and wants to travel with him. But she ditches him after planting the scorpion on him before boarding the train. He has a close encounter on the train with the group of enemy spies led by Mme. Stephanie Runick (Gale Sondergaard), but manages to escape with no idea what is going on.
Karen meets up with Larry in Albany, and though Larry isn't crazy about her hot and cold personality, she's a blonde and he can't say no. All she will tell him at first is that countless thousands will be affected and the map of the world could change if she doesn't succeed. Larry's a sucker for a pretty face, and keeps putting himself in greater and greater danger, until the enemy spies no longer believe he's a pawn, but the real thing.
There are some fun moments as Larry and his pajama wearing penguin, Percy, get caught up in the danger. When a third British agent Karen was scheduled to give the plans to is murdered, she finally comes clean with Larry and lets him in on what's going on. From there on it's one escape after another. There is one very funny moment when Larry and Karen are trashing a hotel room so the cops will come and arrest them, and Larry turns on the radio, then shuts it off quickly when that Bob Hope guy comes on!
When Larry becomes wanted for murder, they steal a bus at a picnic for the union, borrow a plane, hop a freight, and steal a car. Along the way, of course, they begin to fall for each other. Larry will end up in a coffin at a funeral home before the plans can be delivered. He has planted the scorpion on Karen this time, but the enemy agents, and the British, think he's swallowed them and want to cut him open!
Madeleine Carroll had a reserved type of glamour and was good here with Hope. Some did not find her as appealing as Lamour or Lamarr, who starred in the other two films of this Hope trilogy, "My Favorite Brunette" and "My Favorite Spy," but she was simply different, and this is a lot of fun for Hope fans.
"My Favorite Blonde" is a very good film to pop in on the weekend and enjoy. Hope gets to poke fun at himself, take a swipe at Crosby, deliver some zingers, and he even gets the girl in this one. What's not to like about that?
This is a nice addition to any film library and a real treat for Hope's millions of fans. It is also a chance to see many of Paramount's stars during the 1940's. A real treat."
Bob Hope At His Best
J. Snoke | Harrisburg, PA | 10/22/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My Favorite Blonde is not just another Bob Hope vehicle, it has substance. It's a great spy flick. I love spy movies, but when you add Bob Hope you get a lot of laughs. The Penguin scene with the monogram pajamas is classic. Bob is not crude in this movie like he is in the road pictures. He is very funny. The part when they are on the bus is very funny. If you want a good movie that is also funny, get this one. You will find out why people thought Bob Hope was funny. I still laugh at it and so do my kids. A real winner!"
Two Good Paramount films of the 1940s
J. Snoke | 07/30/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Both of these films represent the type of film Paramount was famous for in the 1940s: brash, energetic, we're-all-in-on-the-joke type comedies that appealed to young men and women of that era. My favorite of the two is "Star Spangled Rhythm." Make no mistake, this is no more a Bob Hope film than it was a Bing Crosby film when it was marketed as one on VHS in the 1990s. This is more an Eddie Bracken-Betty Hutton film, but also features every star on the Paramount lot during World War Two. This is by far one of the most bizzare films anyone will ever see, with a convoluted plot featuring a Navy man who thinks his dad runs Paramount, but who, in reality, is the security guard at the front gate. So.... the first half of the film deals with trying to keep that secret from Eddie Bracken, while at the same time trying to convince the Paramount stars to perform in a show for the Navy. Along the way, there are plenty of breezy and brash musical numbers that totally epitomize the Paramount musical comedy of the war era. Then, the second half of the film is the actual show they put on, while trying to hide everyone from the "real" head of Paramount. These skits are hit and miss. Some work, others don't. But the kicker is the patriotic finale featuring Bing. As noted before, this is the most bizarre film I've ever seen, but it's one that I really love despite, or maybe because of its unbelievably strange nature."