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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Compilation > Bob Hope 100th Anniversary Collection (Passport)

Bob Hope 100th Anniversary Collection (Passport)


Picture: C     Sound: C     Extras: D     Content: B-

Road To Bali (1952)                              B-

My Favorite Brunette (1947)                B-



The DVD tributes continue to Bob Hope, hitting 100 year of age this year.  Passport has thrown together their own unique compilation, The Bob Hope 100th Anniversary Collection.  It starts with two of his more famous films, Road To Bali (1952) and My Favorite Brunette (1947), but I have to admit that they are acquired tastes.  Bali is the only full color Hope/Bing Crosby “road movie” and the formula never worked for me.  Brunette is a little more clever and nuanced, but still drags.  You just have to be in the mood for Hope’s comedy style, which made these films hits and are an acquired taste, but they also tend to restrict the best Hope is capable of, so I always have mixed feelings about most of these films.


Each of those films takes one of the five DVDs, with the third being an interesting sampling of his early TV guest appearances.  His Jack Benny Show appearance is far from politically correct and sends up the road films.  The Bobby Darin Show appearance is an expanded version of the clip with Hope also featured on Bobby Darin – Singing At His Best DVD.  Bing Crosby & Frank Sinatra co-starred on the ill-fated Edsel Show, but the clip is here that marks one of his first unexpected guest appearances.  Benny hands Hope a Trustee’s Award in another clip.  DVD 4 has The Comedy Hour, a simply named Frigidaire “a division of General Motors” that is also known as The Bob Hope Show.  This is one of the best shows here, one of which is a young Larry Gelbart, and is about an hour for the entire DVD.  DVD 5 wraps it up with the 17-trailer Bob Hope At The Movies with some good narration in between clips.  This includes Fancy Pants, the DVD reviewed elsewhere on this site that did NOT have a trailer.  Young Bob Hope has an old WWII rallying film, abbreviated black and white TV copy of The Paleface and a terrific, complete installment of The Jack Benny Show from the mid-1960s with Hope, The Beach Boys & Elke Somme.  I wonder if this was originally in color?


Either way, the image is full frame on every single item, even when the VistaVision trailers appear for some of Hope’s big-budget Paramount production.  Even on Bali, color is lacking in the times it shows up on this set.  Some of the material is second-generation kinescope and even the monochrome on Brunette is hazy.  The Dolby Digital is 2.0 Mono throughout and is sometimes harsh when it is not weak.  The combination is varied and serviceable, making The Bob Hope 100th Anniversary Collection sometimes rough going.  There is still enough good material to make this worth checking out.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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