Bob Hope: MGM Movie Legends Collection – DVD Review

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They Got Me Covered
Director:
David Butler

Cast:
Bob Hope….Robert Kittredge
Dorothy Lamour….Christina Hill
Lenore Aubert….Mrs. Olga Vanescu
Otto Preminger….Otto Fauscheim

MGM Home Video presents They Got Me Covered. Screenplay by Harry Kurnitz. Running time: 94 minutes. Unrated. Theatrical release: March 4, 1943.

The Princess and the Pirate
Director:
David Butler

Cast:
Bob Hope….Sylvester the Great
Virginia Mayo….Princess Margaret
Walter Brennan….Featherhead
Bing Crosby….Commoner on king’s ship

MGM Home Video presents The Princess and the Pirate. Screenplay by Everett Freeman, Don Hartman & Melville Shavelson. Running time: 94 minutes. Unrated. Theatrical release: Nov. 17, 1944.

Alias Jesse James
Director:
Norman Z. McLeod

Cast:
Bob Hope….Milford Farnsworth
Rhonda Fleming….Cora Lee Collins
Wendell Corey….Jesse James
Scatman Crothers….Train Porter
Trigger….Trigger

MGM Home Video presents Alias Jesse James. Screenplay by William Bowers & Daniel B Beauchamps. Running time: 92 minutes. Unrated. Theatrical release: March 20, 1959.

The Road to Hong Kong
Director:
Norman Panama

Cast:
Bing Crosby….Harry Turner
Bob Hope….Chester Babcock
Joan Collins….Diane

MGM Home Video presents The Road to Hong Kong. Screenplay by Melvin Frank & Norman Panama. Running time: 92 minutes. Unrated. Theatrical release: May 22, 1962.

The Facts of Life
Director:
Melvin Frank

Cast:
Bob Hope….Larry Gilbert
Lucille Ball….Kitty Weaver
Don DeFore….Jack Weaver
Louis Nye….Hamilton Busbee

MGM Home Video presents The Facts of Life. Screenplay by Melvin Frank & Norman Panama. Running time: 104 minutes. Unrated. Theatrical release: Nov. 14, 1960.

I’ll Take Sweden
Director:
Frederick De Cordova

Cast:
Bob Hope….Bob Holcomb
Tuesday Weld….Jojo Holcomb
Frankie Avalon….Kenny Klinger
Dina Merrill….Karin Granstedt

MGM Home Video presents I’ll Take Sweden. Screenplay by Nat Perrin. Running time: 97 minutes. Unrated. Theatrical release: June 18, 1965.

Boy, Did I Get a Wrong Number!
Director:
George Marshall

Cast:
Bob Hope….Thomas J. Meade
Elke Sommer….Didi
Phyllis Diller….Lily

MGM Home Video presents Boy, Did I Get a Wrong Number! Screenplay by George Kennett, Albert E. Lewin & Burt Styler. Running time: 99 minutes. Unrated. Theatrical release: June 6, 1966.

MGM Home Video and Fox Home Video present Bob Hope: MGM Movie Legends Collection. Seven movies on seven DVDs. DVD released Dec. 4, 2007.

The Movies

Bob Hope opened the 1968 Oscars by saying,”Welcome to the Academy Awards. Or as it’s known in my house – Passover.” This is a misnomer since a few of Bob’s movies were nominated for various categories, although none for his acting. The golden statues on is mantle were purely honorary for his humanitarian work and USO tours. Bob made quite a few great comedies during his long career including The Lemon Drop Kid and his The Road to movies with Bing Crosby. The seven films featured in Bob Hope: MGM Movie Legends Collection are not the cream of his career. This boxset of Old Ski Nose films leans toward the devoted.

The Princess and the Pirate has Bob as a 17th century actor who’s so bad that he’s been exiled from England. Virginia Mayo is a princess that’s decided to flee her father by hiding out on a ship. Naturally she hates the comic in the next cabin since she just wants a quiet voyage. When pirates attack the ship, guess who is her only hope? The film has plenty of sword play to balance with Bob’s one liners. They Got Me Covered lets Bob play a newspaper war correspondent who gets caught up in a scoop. He blows the story of Germany invading Russia by declaring in his article that this won’t happen. His editors aren’t happy. Bob returns to Washington D.C. to salvage his career. He ends up involved with a spy ring. The only thing that can save Bob is his zingers. Alias Jesse James has Bob selling an insurance policy to the famous outlaw. He has to join the James Gang in order to keep his client safe. If Jesse collects his $100,000 policy, Bob’s screwed. Rhonda Fleming’s red hair sizzles on the screen as Jesse’s woman. When Bob straps on his guns, he doesn’t look like a threat to John Wayne.

The Facts of Life pairs up Bob with Lucille Ball. This is much better than their teaming in Critic’s Choice. The premise is risque as Bob and Lucy go on a vacation in Mexico and fall in love. What’s naughty about that? Bob and Lucy are married to two other people. Lucy’s husband is Don De Fore, beloved by all as Mr. Baxter on Hazel. How could she fool around on Mr. B? She and Bob go to Acapulco on a group trip and passion takes over. This is Ball’s best work after I Love Lucy. The script was Oscar nominated so for once Bob had real material to quip around. The Road to Hong Kong was the seventh time Bing Crosby and Hope took an international journey. The duo heads to Tibet for a drug to restore Hope’s memory. After he gets a dose, his mind goes into overdrive and he learns a secret that involves space travel. An extremely young Joan Collins takes over the heavy gal work from Dorothy Lamour. There’s plenty of famous cameos to fill in the plot holes as the boys are chased for their secret.

I’ll Take Sweden is one of those uncool films that tries so hard to be hip. Bob’s upset that his daughter (Tuesday Weld) wants to marry Frankie Avalon that he accepts a transfer to Sweden. The plan goes bad when the daughter hooks up with a suave Swede. Bob has to jet Frankie to the Fjords to keep her from catching the Stockholm syndrome. It’s amazing how Sweden looks like Southern California. Boy, Did I Get a Wrong Number has Bob trying to take Germany via Elke Sommer. He’s a simple businessman who gets involved with a European actress known for her bathing movies. He might get away with this affair if it wasn’t for his insane maid played by Phyllis Diller. Thank goodness they didn’t cast her as his wife.

For fans of Bob Hope, this collection will provide hours of entertainment. If you’ve never experienced his cinematic charm, start with The Facts of Life and Alias Jesse James. While you might be tempted to watch The Road to Hong Kong, it’s best to watch the earlier six films in order to get the big effect. I’ll Take Sweden and Boy Did I Get a Wrong Number are not for beginners of kitsch cinema. Those films should have been released on Yom Kippur since Bob Hope needed to atone for them.

The DVD

VIDEO:
The Princess and the Pirate and They Got Me Covered are 1.33:1 I’ll Take Sweden and The Road to Hong Kong are 1.66:1. Alias Jesse James and The Facts of Life are 1.66:1 and 1.33:1. Boy, Did I Get A Wrong Number! is 1.85:1 anamorphic and 1.33:1.

AUDIO:
The movies are Dolby Digital Mono. The Road to Hong Kong has a Spanish dub track. Alias Jesse James has Spanish and French dub tracks. The subtitles are in English, French and Spanish.

EXTRAS:

Trailers for The Pirate and the Princess, The Road to Hong Kong and I’ll Take Sweden.

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for
Bob Hope: MGM Movie Legends Collection
CATEGORY
RATING
(OUT OF 10)
THE MOVIES

6
THE VIDEO

8
THE AUDIO

8
THE EXTRAS

1
REPLAY VALUE

7
OVERALL
7
(NOT AN AVERAGE)

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