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A comedian poses as an international spy to recover mysterious microfilm.
At an airport, international playboy spy Eric Augustine eludes FBI agents waiting to take him to Tangier, and a bulletin is issued for his arrest. Soon after, Augustine's unsuspecting double, burlesque comedian Peanuts "Boffo" White, is picked up and questioned by agent Donald Bailey and General Fraser, who refuse to believe he is not Augustine. When police spot Augustine still at the airport, however, Peanuts is released. The comic is soon brought back in after Augustine is wounded while trying to flee again. Fraser and Bailey explain to Peanuts that they must retrieve some top secret microfilm that another spy, Rudolph Hoenig, has agreed to turn over to Augustine for one million dollars. Peanuts at first refuses to cooperate, but changes his mind when President Harry S. Truman phones him and commands him to do his patriotic duty. After studying Augustine's manners and habits, including his nylon-running kissing technique, Peanuts flies to Tangier, where he narrowly escapes being killed at the airport. He then finds himself in a taxi with enticing singer Lily Dalbrey, Augustine's lover, who accompanies him to his hotel. Although she and Augustine had recently parted on bad terms, Lily flirts with and kisses Peanuts. Once alone in his room, Peanuts encounters Tasso, his contact, who is posing as his valet. Tasso warns Peanuts that everyone in Tangier will be after his money belt, and Peanuts panics until Tasso pulls a gun and demands that he carry out his mission. Lily, meanwhile, meets secretly with the bird-loving Karl Brubaker, Augustine's treacherous rival, who is plotting with Lily to obtain the microfilm. Using her relationship with Augustine as leverage, Lily negotiates a bigger cut and encourages Brubaker to assassinate her lover once the scheme is completed. Later, Peanuts tries to romance Lily in her room, and she notices his sudden lack of confidence. Tasso then directs Peanuts to the hotel restaurant, where Theresa, a spy disguised as a fortune-teller, passes him Hoenig's address on a tarot card. Lily, who is performing, and Brubaker and his men observe the exchange and attempt to steal the information, but Peanuts eats the card. Dressed in a camel costume, Peanuts and Tasso escape the hotel but are closely pursued by Brubaker's men. Peanuts slips into the casino where Hoenig is waiting and, as Tasso has instructed, plays roulette recklessly. From a back room, Hoenig watches Peanuts and sends for him once he is satisfied that he has the right man. As soon as Peanuts gives Hoenig his money belt in exchange for three tiny canisters of microfilm, Willie, Hoenig's cohort, pulls a gun and grabs the money and the film. Hoenig takes out his own gun, however, and kills Willie. Peanuts retrieves the film and rushes to the hotel to pack. Shaken, Peanuts drops one of the film rolls under the bed and scrambles to answer the door when Lily knocks. While professing her love, Lily manages to get one film roll out of his pocket, then agrees to marry him. Unknown to both of them, the real Augustine has escaped to Tangier and is now spying on them. After Lily phones Brubaker from her room, Augustine confronts her, knocks her out and takes her microfilm. Peanuts retrieves the roll under the bed and goes to Lily's room, while Brubaker's men shoot Augustine in Peanut's room and steal his roll. Peanuts finds Lily unconscious, and when she revives, she starts hitting him. Peanuts, who has hidden both of his film rolls in Lily's empty lipstick case, returns to his room and discovers Augustine's body. Lily then storms in and, while deducing that Peanuts is an imposter, demands the microfilm at gunpoint. After Peanuts promises to get it for her, Lily puts her lipstick case in her purse, unaware of its contents, and escorts him outside. Brubaker waylays them, however, and drives them to his villa, where the alcoholic Dr. Estrallo injects Peanuts with truth serum to force him to reveal the microfilm's whereabouts. Still unaware of Peanuts' true identity, Brubaker is perplexed when he starts singing and making jokes. Lily, however, is moved by Peanuts' uninhibited declaration of love and sets an adjoining room on fire to create a distraction. The couple dashes off, chased by Brubaker and his men. After ducking into a fire station, Lily and Peanuts don firefighting outfits and return to Brubaker's burning villa with the responding firetruck. Brubaker almost nabs Peanuts, but Lily jumps in the truck and scoops him up on the end of the ladder. Lily races off with Peanuts dangling on the ladder, and after a long chase, they hide in a barrel. When the barrel is moved, Brubaker realizes they are inside and shoots at it, but Tasso shows up in time to arrest him. The barrel then collapses, revealing Lily and Peanuts happily kissing.
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||Premiere Info:||New York opening: 24 Dec 1951; Los Angeles opening: week of 27 Dec 1951|
|Release Date:||1951||Production Date:||
|Color/B&W:||Black and White||Distributions Co:||Paramount Pictures Corp.|
|Sound:||Mono (Western Electric Sound System)||Production Co:||Paramount Pictures Corp.|
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Liz H. 2008-12-21
I grew up in the 1950-1960's in Manhattan Beach, CA. Some of the locations look a lot like early Palos Verdes/Rolling Hills Estates. I can't...
A Fun Movie
This is one of my favorite Bob Hope movies! It is just serious enough to be fun without being too silly. I recorded this movie on VHS and then went to...