MY FAVORITE BRUNETTE was another gag-packed hit for Bob Hope, and the 1947 noir spoof brought further hope to the 43-year-old comedian by being the first release he had a production stake in: Hope Enterprises investment’s in his movies and everything else he could touch would make him one of the richest men in America. He ensured that nominal producer Danny Dare (live up to that name, kid!) brought the package in under budget at $1,690,000. Bob’s comic chops, co-star Dorothy Lamour, support from Peter Lorre and Lon Chaney Jr. and guest cameos from Alan Ladd and—naturally—Bing Crosby brought in audiences to the payday tune of $8,400,000, the #26 flick of the year, chocked with the sort of crime sagas Bob & Co. were lampooning.
About to meet the gas chamber on San Quentin’s Death Row, ‘Ronnie Jackson’ (Hope) tells reporters how his less-than-hard-boiled baby photographer posed as a private dick in order to help a dame in trouble. ‘Carlotta Montay’ (Lamour) confides her husband has been kidnapped: her allure plus five grand put Ronnie into the line of fire from a gang of smugglers after minerals that can be used with uranium (paging that pesky atom bomb). Amusing hijinks include a side-trip up the California coast to Carmel and Pebble Beach (cue golf jokes). Best are the villains—Lorre’s knife-favoring ‘Kismet’, Chaney’s muscle mule ‘Willie’ (playing off his ‘Lennie’ from Of Mice and Men), who cracks walnuts with his biceps, and Charles Dingle as ‘Major Simon Montague’, the cheerful brains of the outfit.
Edmund Beloin and Jack Rose wrote the script, Elliott Nugent directed. With Reginald Denny, John Hoyt, Frank Puglia, Jean Wong, Ann Doran, Ray Teal, Jack La Rue, James Flavin, Anthony Caruso and Clarence Muse. 87 minutes.