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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Bob Hope - MGM Movie Legends Collection (Alias Jesse James/Boy, Did I Get A Wrong Number!/Facts Of Life/I’ll Take Sweden/The Princess & The Pirate/The Road To Hong Kong/They Got Me Covered; DVD-Video)

Bob Hope - MGM Movie Legends Collection (Alias Jesse James/Boy, Did I Get A Wrong Number!/Facts Of Life/I’ll Take Sweden/The Princess & The Pirate/The Road To Hong Kong/They Got Me Covered; DVD-Video)


Picture: C     Sound: C+     Extras: D     Film: B-



The rollout of Bob Hope product continues with Bob Hope - MGM Movie Legends Collection on DVD, bringing together seven of his films handled by United Artists and Samuel Goldwyn Company together for the first time.  All are comedies, except Facts Of Life, which is somewhat more dramatic.  Hope was one of the biggest stars for so long, he worked with everyone and that seems to include almost every studio in Hollywood.


Alias Jesse James is a competent 1959 Westerns spoof that has dated a bit since its original release, but has Rhonda Fleming to its advantage and a few gags that still work.  Boy, Did I Get A Wrong Number! casts Hope opposite two unlikely female leads: sexy Elke Sommer and wacky comedienne Phyllis Diller, who plays a telephone switchboard operator who mishears a phone conversation and the amusing idiot plot is hatched.  Cesare Danova and Marjorie Lord also star in this decent A-list comedy from 1966 that makes for one of the better films in the set and the newest.


The Facts Of Life is a 1960 black and white drama narrated by Lucille Ball as an unhappily-married character sick of her phony life, formula friends and was an attempt to expand Lucy’s credibility beyond comedy landing some Oscar nominations in the process and becoming the most solemn of al the Hope/Ball co-star films.


I’ll Take Sweden has Tuesday Weld as Hope’s daughter, immediately smitten with a singer (Frankie Avalon) and making dad (Hope) unhappy enough to try to break things up by taking her on vacation to the title destination.  When he shows up and is a hit overseas, this backfires and father does everything he can to try another location, while being involved with a lady (Dina Merrill) in his life in a relationship he could jeopardize with his antics.  Jeremy Slate plays another guy vying for Jojo (Weld) in a decently-handled film


The Princess & The Pirate is a 1944 color extravaganza from Goldwyn that sends up swashbucklers of the time and surrounds Hope with Virginia Mayo, Walter Slezak, Walter Brennan and Marc Lawrence.  Suddenly more timely thanks to Jonny Depp’s hit Pirates films, it is not bad on its own. 


The Road To Hong Kong is the last of the famed Hope/Bing Crosby Road films recently sent-up on Family Guy and massacred in Elaine May’s unfortunate Ishtar.  With Asian stereotype aplenty, Joan Collins shows up in this 1962 film surprisingly in black and white, though the duo still manages to get Dorothy Lamour to show up as well.  Collins is a spy, they are travelling to Tibet, there are songs, famous cameos and though it has a few interesting moments, it is clear to see why this was the end of the “Road” for all.


They Got Me Covered is a Hope/Lamour comedy from 1942 in which reporter Hope misses a big WWII-related story and intends to catch up with the help of his fiancée (Lamour) in another Goldwyn production that is one of the tighter films in this set.  Spies once again play a factor.



The various aspect ratios are all softer than they should be, show how old the transfers (and DVD masters) used are and in cases where widescreen and full frame are offers, wide is still better.  Five of the films are 1.33 X 1, but three have marginally better 1.66/1.85 (Number) versions.  Sweden and Hong Kong are 1.66 and there is three-strip Technicolor fringing errors on Princess that need serious work.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on all seven films playback better, but not by much, though all were theatrical mono to begin with.    Extras include two trailers on seven films, which is really bad for all the material that exists on these films and Hope himself.


For more on Bob Hope on DVD, try these links:


Bob Hope 100th Anniversary Collection



Bob Hope – The Ultimate Collection (Revised DVD Release)




-   Nicholas Sheffo


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