Making the Grades
Ronnie Jackson (Bob Hope) spends his day making faces, shaking rattles and going ?gaga? for babies. He does just about anything he can think of to get the little tykes to smile for the camera. But this baby photographer has aspirations for more intriguing work. On the side, he is studying to be a detective like the guy in the office next door.
Then one afternoon while answering phones for the absent private eye, Ronnie meets a furtive woman wearing expensive clothes. Slipping into the room, she mistakes Ronnie for the missing detective. Glancing nervously out the window and around the room, Baroness Carlotta Montay (Dorothy Lamour) pleads with Ronnie to help her find the Baron (Frank Puglia) who's been kidnapped, and to protect a highly prized map.
Jumping at the opportunity to aid the beautiful maiden in distress, the phony detective sets out to solve the case. Following Carlotta's instructions, Ronnie shows up at Maj. Simon Montague's (Charles Dingle) home, an idyllic mansion where the anxious woman is staying. But when the other guests start pulling out their guns, he realizes something is developing behind the scenes -- something that lands the greenhorn gumshoe squarely behind the bars of the San Quentin prison.
Reminiscent of the age when smoking was both rampant and more politically correct, the film suffers from depictions of a nervous Ronnie turning to cigarettes and drink to calm himself while working on the case. Violent acts involving guns and knives are portrayed with slapstick humor although one man slumps in his seat after being fatally shot.
This black and white film showcases the talents of comedian Bob Hope, a man whose career of television and film appearances spanned seven decades. Born in England, he immigrated to America in 1907 and made his debut on the stage as a dancer and comedian. In addition to Hope, the movie also stars Dorothy Lamour and includes a brief appearance by Bing Crosby. This is the same talented trio that made numerous"Road" movies together during the 1940s and '50s.
Highlighting the early acting years of this centenarian entertainer, My Favorite Brunette is a glimpse at a movie era when legends loomed large and legacies were launched.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about My Favorite Brunette.
Ronnies pretense about being a detective starts to get him in trouble when he meets up with the thugs. How can misrepresenting yourself lead to problems? How did his career as a photographer prove to be more helpful than he expected?
In addition to the use of color, what other cinematic changes did you note in this film compared to comedies made today? How has slapstick comedy changed? Was the humor more or less subtle than now?
Bob Hope is 100 years old. To learn more about his life, check bobhope.com.