Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, December 15, 2016


Shirley Ross and Bob Hope
THANKS FOR THE MEMORY (1938). Director: George Archainbaud.

Steve (Bob Hope) and Anne (Shirley Ross) are a married couple with a few annoying friends. Steve is working on a novel, and Anne goes back to work as a model so he can finish the book and keep house. Naturally the latter part offends his manhood, and instead of being grateful he winds up acting like a complete jerk. This is only one of several problems with this comedy, which also features Patricia Wilder as a sexy, "helpless" neighbor; Roscoe Karns as a kept man; Laura Hope Crews [Confession] as his battle ax of a wife; Charles Butterworth [The Mad Genius] and Hedda Hopper as two more friends; Eddie Anderson as the building's super; and Otto Kruger [Beauty for Sale] as a publisher and Anne's former flame. Based on a play by Hackett and Goodrich, the film is merciless towards Crews' character, when it is her gigolo husband who should be the object of contempt. This may have worked on the stage, but it's not a good fit for Hopes' brand of comedy, and while Ross is quite pretty and capable, one can't help but miss the much-more-amusing Martha Raye. Ross and Hope originally sang the Rainger and Robin tune "Thanks for the Memory" in The Big Broadcast of 1938, and they were reunited for this movie. They also sing the memorable "Two Sleepy People," co-written by Frank Loesser.

 Verdict: Very contrived, with an unsympathetic lead character -- and Hopper can make your flesh crawl. **.


angelman66 said...

LOL, Bill, at your Hedda Hopper comment. And I agree, I never thought ANY of Bob Hope's movie characters were sympathetic or particularly hilarious.
I liked him hosting the Oscars and that's about it.

William said...

Ouch -- poor Bob Hope. I think better of him although as he got older his movies got worse and worse until he barely bothered to give a "performance." I think some of his portrayals were funny, but many were turned off by his underlying brashness and opportunistic nature.