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Where There's Life (1947) stars Bob Hope in one of his funniest post-World War II comedy vehicles co-written by Hope's frequent creative collaborator Melville Shavelson. Hope plays Michael Valentine, a New York radio personality set to marry his longtime girlfriend Hazel (Vera Marshe) the next day. When the king of a small country called Barovia is injured in an assassination attempt, however, Valentine is shocked to discover that he is next in line for the throne.
In a madcap blend of comedy and action/adventure, Valentine becomes an unwilling political pawn between those who want to force him to return to Barovia and those who want him dead. When he's not dodging assassination attempts, Valentine must also deal with Victor (William Bendix), his fiance's dimwitted policeman brother who is determined that he make good on his promise to marry his sister.
Fans of Bob Hope will love the fast-paced hijinks of Where There's Life which beautifully showcases Hope's signature brand of humor and one-liners. William Bendix also shines in his supporting role as Victor. Bendix, a talented scene stealer in his own right, knew better than to try to one-up Hope in their scenes together. "He's an old hand at grabbing all the attention," said Bendix according to the 1998 book Bob Hope: The Road Well-Traveled by Lawrence J. Quirk. "I gave up after the first scene with him - and I'm not a guy who gives up easily!"
Producer: Paul Jones
Director: Sidney Lanfield
Screenplay: Allen Boretz; Melville Shavelson (screenplay and story)
Cinematography: Charles B. Lang, Jr.
Art Direction: Hans Dreier, Earl Hedrick
Music: Charles Bradshaw, Van Cleave, Victor Young
Film Editing: Archie Marshek
Cast: Bob Hope (Michael Joseph Valentine), Signe Hasso (Gen. Katrina Grimovitch), William Bendix (Victor O'Brien), George Coulouris (Prime Minister Krivoc), Vera Marshe (Hazel O'Brien), George Zucco (Paul Stertorius), Dennis Hoey (Minister of War Grubitch), John Alexander (Mr. Herbert Jones), Victor Varconi (Finance Minister Zavitch), Joseph Vitale (Albert Miller), Harry von Zell (Joe Snyder), Anthony Caruso (John Fulda), Norma Varden (Mabel Jones), Harland Tucker (Mr. Alvin), Roy Atwell (Salesman), Emil Rameau (Dr. Josefsberg), William Edmunds (King Hubertus II), Crane Whitley (Man With Cane).
by Andrea Passafiume