Louisiana Purchase (1941)

Genres - Comedy, Musical  |   Sub-Genres - Musical Comedy, Political Satire  |   Run Time - 98 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Although in some ways Louisiana Purchase is one of the more faithful cinematic transfers of a Broadway musical in the 1930s and 1940s, it still falls short of being faithful enough. This is obvious when one realizes that leading man Bob Hope doesn't even get a song; this creates a serious imbalance and makes the truncated score feel out of place. What is left of the score is choice, with the opening comically effective and with the beautiful "It's a Lovely Day Tomorrow" nicely sung by an African-American chorus. Vera Zorina and Victor Moore do well with "You're Lovely and I'm Lonely" and Dona Drake certainly enlivens things with the title number. But with Hope "voiceless," the songs (and Zorina's ballet) just don't connect the way they should. Hope does well with his gags, although it must be admitted that the level of humor in the writing isn't always up to the level of talent that delivers them. Hope's filibuster, however, is fairly priceless. When she's not singing or dancing, Zorina displays a fine flair for comedy and looks absolutely sensational, and Moore is charmingly befuddled as usual. The physical production is surprisingly elaborate for a Hope vehicle, with a stunning Mardi Gras sequence especially deserving of note.