My Favorite Blonde (1942)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Adventure Comedy  |   Run Time - 78 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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One of Bob Hope's strongest solo efforts, My Favorite Blonde is terribly silly -- but also terribly hard to resist. While it's often referred to as a satire of Hitchcockian spy films, it's more of a spoof than anything else, using spy films mostly for conveniences of plot and as an excuse for some wonderful gags and one-liners. Things don't start out too promisingly, as the exposition is awkward and poorly executed, but once Hope and Madeleine Carroll connect, things pick up considerably. In many of his later vehicles, Hope comes across as hemmed in by his own persona; here, however, he's still developing, and so there's a freshness and element of surprise to him. Few people could match Hope at this point in his career when it came to timing. Carroll has a much harder task, being asked too frequently to play straight "man" and to carry too much of the plot, but she does this well -- and even manages to get in some smart comic licks of her own (especially in the cutesy-pie baby-talk sequence). Gale Sondergaard's faux Judith Anderson routine also deserves note, and director Sidney Lanfield has done a solid job of keeping things moving and not letting the tangled plotlines cause too much concern to anyone.