“Do you know what it feels like, to be followed and hounded and watched every second?”
A vaudeville performer (Bob Hope) goes on the lam with a British secret agent (Madeleine Carroll) after being framed for murder by a Nazi spy (Gale Sondergaard).
The first of three similarly-titled satires which paired Bob Hope with a classic Hollywood beauty (followed by My Favorite Brunette with Dorothy Lamour in 1947, and My Favorite Spy with Hedy Lamarr in 1951), this comedic thriller — co-written by Melvin Frank and Norman Panama — allowed Madeleine Carroll the opportunity to spoof her most famous film, Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps (1935). While it’s full of plenty of humorously throw-away one-liners and gags, however, the film as a whole isn’t as consistently enjoyable as My Favorite Brunette (the best of the “series”). It’s interesting to know that Hope (in real life) was head-over-heels in lust with Carroll, who was going steady with Sterling Hayden at the time and eventually broke Hope’s heart by marrying Hayden on the sly; in the film, Carroll’s “push-me-pull-you” romantic teasing with Hope seems like an especially appropriate fictional approximation of these tensions. Watch for a cute shot showing Hope’s trained penguin, Percy, bowing to the audience in roller skates.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- A high-energy satire of Hitchcockian thrillers
No, but it’s worth a look.