Nothing But the Truth


1h 30m 1941

Brief Synopsis

A businessman bets he can tell the truth for 24 hours.

Photos & Videos

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Adaptation
Release Date
Oct 10, 1941
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Nothing but the Truth by James Montgomery (New York, 14 Sep 1916) and the novel of the same name by Frederic S. Isham (Indianapolis, 1914).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 30m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8,073ft (9 reels)

Synopsis

In Miami, Florida, newly-hired stockbroker Steve Bennett is sweet-talked into trying to double the $10,000 investment of Gwen Saunders, the niece of his boss, T. T. Ralston. Ralston later tries to force Steve to sell worthless stock to one of his best customers, but Steve insists on telling the truth about the stock. Ralston and his partners, Tom Van Dusen, who is wooing Gwen, and Dick Donnelly, who is married to Ralston's daughter, then bet Steve that he cannot tell the truth consistently for twenty-four hours. Steve lays out the $10,000 on the bet, which starts at 4:00 p.m., with the stipulation that no one can reveal the bet and it cannot be called off. The partners stick by Steve's side during the next twenty-four hours, most of which are spent on Ralston's yacht. Steve, forced to be completely honest, insults Ralston's guests, and everyone is offended by his overall behavior. Later in the evening, showgirl Linda Graham, to whom Dick promised that Steve would invest in her show, comes aboard looking for Steve. When Mrs. Ralston and Van's mother overhear Linda repeating lines from her show, they misinterpret the conversation and assume that Linda is Steve's estranged wife. At bedtime, the partners steal Steve's clothes to prevent him from sneaking out, but he steals a dressing gown from Linda, who has been placed in the cabin next to his in hopes they will "reunite." Steve sneaks into Gwen's room at her invitation and, having fallen in love with her, assures her that he is not married. The next day, everyone is mad at Steve: Gwen, because she finds out he was in Linda's room the previous night; the mothers, because he was in Linda's room and is not really married to her; and Van, because he is jealous. To make matters worse, Linda, who has engineered a ruse with Dick, vows that Steve is her errant husband and father of her child. Just before 4:00 p.m., Mr. Bishop, head of a charity organization for which Gwen raised the $10,000, demands to see the money. Gwen, who overhears the partners discussing how they plan to trick Steve into losing, stalls for time to help him. Steve confidently lies about how he has invested the money when the clock strikes four. The partners think they have won the bet because they set the clocks ahead, but Steve's assistant Samuel had corrected the clocks. Steve's victory means that he has doubled Gwen's money, and he tells everyone that he had made a bet for which he was supposed to lie for twenty-four hours, thereby reinstating his honor and earning him a kiss from Gwen.

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Adaptation
Release Date
Oct 10, 1941
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Nothing but the Truth by James Montgomery (New York, 14 Sep 1916) and the novel of the same name by Frederic S. Isham (Indianapolis, 1914).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 30m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8,073ft (9 reels)

Articles

Nothing But the Truth


After the success of Bob Hope's first full-length film appearance, The Big Broadcast of 1938 (1938), in which he introduced his signature song, "Thanks for the Memory," Paramount Pictures set about finding starring comedy vehicles for the former vaudevillian and radio star. They also needed a leading lady who could exude the requisite star quality and sex appeal while holding her own comedically with her co-star. They found her in Paulette Goddard and teamed her with Hope in The Cat and the Canary (1939) and The Ghost Breakers (1940). Goddard proved to be the perfect romantic foil for Hope's by-now trademark character of the vain, wisecracking coward. They were teamed for the third and final time in Nothing But the Truth (1941), a tale of mayhem that ensues when a young stockbroker makes a $10,000 bet that he can tell no lies for 24 hours. The story was adapted from a 1916 stage farce by James Montgomery, which was taken from a 1914 novel by Frederic S. Isham.

In the interest of telling the whole truth, it must be noted that although Goddard spoke politely about her co-star in public, by the time they made Nothing But the Truth, she no longer cared much for Hope, according to some sources, and was sick of the pushy, egomaniacal off-screen behavior he was already famous for in Hollywood.

On-screen, however, she gladly played the ditzy heiress to his hapless schnook. The dastardly deeds were put into the hands of three other supporting players. Edward Arnold, the best known of the trio, was a reliable supporting actor (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, 1939; Meet John Doe, 1941) and occasional lead player (Meet Nero Wolfe and Come and Get It, both 1936), who had a successful career playing portly gentlemen of frequently ulterior motives and underhanded tactics. He was ably assisted in that here by Leif Erickson, who had a successful supporting career, often as a heavy, through the 1950s, followed by numerous television appearances into the 1980s, and Glenn Anders, perhaps best known as the sleazy George Grisby, who tries to fake his own death in Orson Welles's film noir The Lady from Shanghai (1947).

The setting for the story was shifted from the original Wall Street of its source materials to a yacht moored off Palm Beach, Florida, allowing for the addition of one sequence that proved particularly thorny to film. Thanks to one of the farce's many odd plot twists, Hope finds himself hiding in an empty bait tank, clad in a woman's negligee. The tank gets unexpectedly lowered into the water, and when it resurfaces, Hope's character is found covered in anchovies. Prop man Royce Findley secured thousands of the aquatic actors off Catalina Channel using chopped meat for bait. But the animals were far from cooperative. The water had to be kept very frigid for the fish to survive, a condition that didn't please Hope at all. On the first few takes, half the anchovies died and the rest fled to the bottom of the tank. Director Elliott Nugent then devised a plan whereby Hope would get in the tank and the anchovies were poured into the water over his head.

The anchovies weren't the only cast members to give Nugent a hard time. Years later, he said Hope was one of the most difficult performers it was his misfortune to direct because he always insisted on his own ideas, and he had suggestions about virtually every scene and shot. "Some of his ideas were good and others not so good, but he was such a fathead that you couldn't tell him anything," Nugent told Hope biographer Lawrence J. Quirk. "Looking back, I could kick myself for deferring to his approach most of the time, just to have quiet and peace."

The story was filmed twice before under the same title, in 1920 starring Taylor Holmes and Elsie Mackaye and by Paramount in 1929 with Richard Dix and Dorothy Hall. In both the earlier versions, the main character's name was Robert Bennett, but for this production it was changed to Steve Bennett, perhaps to keep the character and the performer from having the same first name.

Director: Elliott Nugent
Producer: B. G. DeSylva
Screenplay: Ken Englund, Don Hartman, based on the play by James Montgomery and the novel by Frederic S. Isham
Cinematography: Charles Lang, Jr.
Editing: Alma Macrorie
Art Director: Hans Dreier, Robert Usher
Cast: Bob Hope (Steve Bennett), Paulette Goddard (Gwen Saunders), Edward Arnold (T. T. Ralston), Leif Erickson (Tom Van Dusen), Helen Vinson (Linda Graham), Willie Best (Samuel).
BW-90m.

by Rob Nixon
Nothing But The Truth

Nothing But the Truth

After the success of Bob Hope's first full-length film appearance, The Big Broadcast of 1938 (1938), in which he introduced his signature song, "Thanks for the Memory," Paramount Pictures set about finding starring comedy vehicles for the former vaudevillian and radio star. They also needed a leading lady who could exude the requisite star quality and sex appeal while holding her own comedically with her co-star. They found her in Paulette Goddard and teamed her with Hope in The Cat and the Canary (1939) and The Ghost Breakers (1940). Goddard proved to be the perfect romantic foil for Hope's by-now trademark character of the vain, wisecracking coward. They were teamed for the third and final time in Nothing But the Truth (1941), a tale of mayhem that ensues when a young stockbroker makes a $10,000 bet that he can tell no lies for 24 hours. The story was adapted from a 1916 stage farce by James Montgomery, which was taken from a 1914 novel by Frederic S. Isham. In the interest of telling the whole truth, it must be noted that although Goddard spoke politely about her co-star in public, by the time they made Nothing But the Truth, she no longer cared much for Hope, according to some sources, and was sick of the pushy, egomaniacal off-screen behavior he was already famous for in Hollywood. On-screen, however, she gladly played the ditzy heiress to his hapless schnook. The dastardly deeds were put into the hands of three other supporting players. Edward Arnold, the best known of the trio, was a reliable supporting actor (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, 1939; Meet John Doe, 1941) and occasional lead player (Meet Nero Wolfe and Come and Get It, both 1936), who had a successful career playing portly gentlemen of frequently ulterior motives and underhanded tactics. He was ably assisted in that here by Leif Erickson, who had a successful supporting career, often as a heavy, through the 1950s, followed by numerous television appearances into the 1980s, and Glenn Anders, perhaps best known as the sleazy George Grisby, who tries to fake his own death in Orson Welles's film noir The Lady from Shanghai (1947). The setting for the story was shifted from the original Wall Street of its source materials to a yacht moored off Palm Beach, Florida, allowing for the addition of one sequence that proved particularly thorny to film. Thanks to one of the farce's many odd plot twists, Hope finds himself hiding in an empty bait tank, clad in a woman's negligee. The tank gets unexpectedly lowered into the water, and when it resurfaces, Hope's character is found covered in anchovies. Prop man Royce Findley secured thousands of the aquatic actors off Catalina Channel using chopped meat for bait. But the animals were far from cooperative. The water had to be kept very frigid for the fish to survive, a condition that didn't please Hope at all. On the first few takes, half the anchovies died and the rest fled to the bottom of the tank. Director Elliott Nugent then devised a plan whereby Hope would get in the tank and the anchovies were poured into the water over his head. The anchovies weren't the only cast members to give Nugent a hard time. Years later, he said Hope was one of the most difficult performers it was his misfortune to direct because he always insisted on his own ideas, and he had suggestions about virtually every scene and shot. "Some of his ideas were good and others not so good, but he was such a fathead that you couldn't tell him anything," Nugent told Hope biographer Lawrence J. Quirk. "Looking back, I could kick myself for deferring to his approach most of the time, just to have quiet and peace." The story was filmed twice before under the same title, in 1920 starring Taylor Holmes and Elsie Mackaye and by Paramount in 1929 with Richard Dix and Dorothy Hall. In both the earlier versions, the main character's name was Robert Bennett, but for this production it was changed to Steve Bennett, perhaps to keep the character and the performer from having the same first name. Director: Elliott Nugent Producer: B. G. DeSylva Screenplay: Ken Englund, Don Hartman, based on the play by James Montgomery and the novel by Frederic S. Isham Cinematography: Charles Lang, Jr. Editing: Alma Macrorie Art Director: Hans Dreier, Robert Usher Cast: Bob Hope (Steve Bennett), Paulette Goddard (Gwen Saunders), Edward Arnold (T. T. Ralston), Leif Erickson (Tom Van Dusen), Helen Vinson (Linda Graham), Willie Best (Samuel). BW-90m. by Rob Nixon

Bob Hope: Thanks for the Memories - THE CAT AND THE CANARY Among the 6 Films Featured in BOB HOPE: THANKS FOR THE MEMORY


Bob Hope was the snappy urban wiseguy with an easy line of smart remarks and a comic cowardice behind the confident front, a one-liner comic whose timing, self-effacing demeanor and audience rapport took him from stage to radio to screen. This collection opens on the younger Hope, before he hit the road with Bing Crosby and slid into a more cynical byplay, with Bob and Bing constantly double-crossing one another in matters of love and money. Hope is funny in those "Road" movies-he defined his career with those exotic farces of urban wiseguys in paradise fighting over Dorothy Lamour and lobbing self-aware cracks to an audience savvy to Hope's show-biz credentials-but he's not a guy you'd necessarily want to pal around with. He's much more relatable in a quartet of earlier films featured in this set, starting with Thanks for the Memory (1938). Adapted from a Broadway comedy by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett (most famous for scripting The Thin Man and It's A Wonderful Life) and named after the Oscar winning song that Bob Hope introduced in the film The Big Broadcast of 1938, the film reunites him with co-star Shirley Ross. Hope is an ad man and aspiring novelist and Ross his fashion model wife, who returns to work so he can devote himself to his writing. It's a slim little comedy of the idle class in depression-era New York, co-starring Charles Butterworth and Hedda Hopper as two of the amiable moochers who keep crashing their apartment for all-night parties. The film never concerns itself with how this struggling couple manages to support these high-society vagrants and bounce back from a night of drinking for a day of work and is simply content to let us enjoy their company and Hope's easy banter. Along with the title song, Hope and Ross perform the lovely duet "Two Sleepy People," singing each other to sleep as dawn breaks after another party.

The heart of the set belongs to three films Hope made with Paulette Goddard. The young beauty starred opposite Charles Chaplin (whom she secretly married) in Modern Times and famously was a front-runner for the role of Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind, but it was The Women that showed off her talents as a sly comic actress with a sassy edge, and she became a leading lady in her own right opposite Hope in their version of the oft-filmed haunted house chestnut The Cat and the Canary (1939). Originally filmed in 1927 by Paul Leni (in a version that has yet to be topped), it's a familiar story if only for the all the clichés that it spoofs. The family of the deceased gather in a spooky old mansion (here located in the middle of a bayou swamp) of an eccentric millionaire for the reading of the will and must spend the night in the place to meet the terms of the will. Goddard is the bubbly heroine who is named sole beneficiary (and thus a target for the relative next in line), a spooky servant goes around predicting things like "One will die tonight" and there's an escaped patient from the nearby asylum (in the middle of this swamp?) running around, but never fear. The family's resident celebrity Wally (Hope) is on hand to kid the spirits away. "Don't big old empty houses scare you?" asks one relative (Nydia Westman doing a Zasu Pitts kind of goofy comic relief). "No me," quips Hope, "I've played vaudeville." It's hokey stuff with hidden doors and secret passages and a hidden treasure, which director Elliot Nugent stages with all the style and tension of a sitcom. But Hope and Goddard have marvelous chemistry and Hope is completely amiable, using wisecracks to cover up his discomfort and fear. "I always joke when I'm scared," he confesses to heroine Goddard. "I kind of kid myself into being brave." Hope's delivery makes this less a laugh line than a confession and a promise he's got integrity and the courage to both reveal his vulnerabilities and overcome them. Goddard, meanwhile, is a spunky beauty with crack timing, a born comedienne too often called upon to play the straight man and provide the sex appeal. She does both admirably here and, when the film became a hit, was rewarded with a return engagement with Hope.

The Ghost Breakers (1940) is pretty much a rehash of the same formula, this time with the haunted mansion relocated to Cuba. While Goddard is repeatedly warned away from the place by the suspicious executor of the will, radio celebrity and gossip monger Hope is on the run from New York gangsters. Like Cat, it's based on a stage play that spoofs haunted house stories and ghost story conventions, this one tossing in a zombie (Noble Johnson, doing the traditional Caribbean-style catatonic sleepwalker of a zombie), an animated suit of armor and more hidden rooms and passages. It's even less convincing than Cat but director George Marshall makes an effort to construct the proper atmosphere around these city folk on a haunted safari in voodooland. Both films manage to repeatedly get Goddard down to slips and negligees before the half hour mark and The Ghost Breakers goes one better by putting her in a swimsuit (logical attire for midnight to a spooky island) and a flimsy dress which gets torn off in a monster chase. A very young Anthony Quinn appears in two roles (a New York gangster and his twin brother!) and Richard Carlson co-stars.

Nothing But the Truth (1941) spins another gimmick-Hope is stock broker who bets $10,000 that he can tell the truth for 24 hours-into a familiar web of misunderstandings, mistaken identities and romantic antics. It plays as a more sardonic No, No Nanette with an earnest Hope at the center of the bet and a trio of conniving, lying, borderline criminal business associates (Edward Arnold, Leif Erickson and Glenn Anders) springing every dirty trick in the book on him in a string of public humiliations and private ruses. Goddard has much more fun in this one as a dizzy heiress who rattles a blue streak while falling for the hapless Hope, who can't tell anyone about the bet. It's pure stage farce, all contrivance and coincidence, blandly directed by Elliot Nugent, who just seems to let things happen as the camera rolls. Luckily there's plenty going on as the characters go sneaking around on a private houseboat, slipping in and out of bedrooms and dressing gowns while Hope wraps himself in a flouncy nightgown to escape his rivals. Not only does Hope get the girl like a real leading man, it's the rare film where Hope is the most honest man on screen. Edward Arnold, who played his share of big screen fat cats, embraces the cynical side of the persona as he tries to sell worthless stock to his customers (which doesn't seem quite as funny in light of recent real-life financial shenanigans) and Glenn Anders is almost too sleazy for the film (you may recognize him as the boozy George Grizby from The Lady From Shanghai). It's fascinating how the film manages to strike a happy ending while letting its scheming supporting cast get away with stock fraud and infidelity, winking at the audience the whole time as if we're complicit in the whole sordid business.

The four films feature Bob Hope in a role we're not used to seeing: a light romantic lead with a quick wit. His wisecracks cover up nervousness and fear but are harmless and self-effacing. Where he schemed for a kiss from the leading lady in the "Road" films, he's a genuinely nice guy here. And Goddard makes for a spunky leading lady, holding her own against opposite Hope and, in Nothing But the Truth, showing her own skills as an underrated comedienne. Both are better than their material. They also include the worst stereotypes available to African American performers, with Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson as a comic janitor in Thanks for the Memory and Willie Best as Hope's manservant, a quivering, drawling caricature who gets called "boy" by most everyone except Hope and made the butt of countless jokes (not all of them offensive), in The Ghost Breakers and Nothing But the Truth. Best establishes a natural rapport with Hope while swapping wisecracks (and often getting the better of Hope), but it's a demeaning stereotype.

The biggest disappointment with the set is its haphazard approach to Hope's career. After a quartet of films that captures Hope in his first leading roles, it's filled out with two forties films that not only feel like they've been plucked from the catalogue at random, but are already available DVD. Road to Morocco (1942) is the second of the "Road" movies that Hope made with Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour and has previously been released both individually and in an earlier set of "Road" comedies. The Paleface (1948) is a very funny cowboy spoof with tenderfoot Easterner Hope as a would-be "painless" dentist who gets lassoed into marrying shapely outlaw Jane Russell. While The Ghost Breakers has also been previously available, it makes a good match with the two other Hope-Goddard pairings, but these's no real purpose to these films, not with so many other films-Hope's feature debut in The Big Broadcast of 1938, for instance, or his Dorothy Lamour pairings-that could have been included. (While The Cat and the Canary was briefly available in a public domain edition of dubious legitimacy and quality, this is the first studio release of the film.)

The six films are collected in a three-disc digipak that also includes featurettes celebrating Hope's decades-long work with the USO. It includes a pair of mini-documentaries-"Bob Hope and the Road to Success" and "Entertaining the Troops" (featuring exclusive footage of Hope's USO tours)-and the archival shorts "Command Performance 1944" and "Command Performance 1944" (which are newsreel-style recordings of the Hope-hosted radio show produced by the Army-Navy Screen Magazine) and the all-star WWII short Hollywood Victory Caravan. They spotlight yet another side of Hope, the public comedian and tireless entertainer who gave up so much time not just to entertain the troops but to take charge of the USO program and bring other Hollywood celebrities and entertainers into the fold. They make a worthy companion to these films.

For more information about Bob Hope: Thanks for the Memories, visit Universal Home Entertainment. To order Bob Hope: Thanks for the Memories, go to TCM Shopping.

by Sean Axmaker

Bob Hope: Thanks for the Memories - THE CAT AND THE CANARY Among the 6 Films Featured in BOB HOPE: THANKS FOR THE MEMORY

Bob Hope was the snappy urban wiseguy with an easy line of smart remarks and a comic cowardice behind the confident front, a one-liner comic whose timing, self-effacing demeanor and audience rapport took him from stage to radio to screen. This collection opens on the younger Hope, before he hit the road with Bing Crosby and slid into a more cynical byplay, with Bob and Bing constantly double-crossing one another in matters of love and money. Hope is funny in those "Road" movies-he defined his career with those exotic farces of urban wiseguys in paradise fighting over Dorothy Lamour and lobbing self-aware cracks to an audience savvy to Hope's show-biz credentials-but he's not a guy you'd necessarily want to pal around with. He's much more relatable in a quartet of earlier films featured in this set, starting with Thanks for the Memory (1938). Adapted from a Broadway comedy by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett (most famous for scripting The Thin Man and It's A Wonderful Life) and named after the Oscar winning song that Bob Hope introduced in the film The Big Broadcast of 1938, the film reunites him with co-star Shirley Ross. Hope is an ad man and aspiring novelist and Ross his fashion model wife, who returns to work so he can devote himself to his writing. It's a slim little comedy of the idle class in depression-era New York, co-starring Charles Butterworth and Hedda Hopper as two of the amiable moochers who keep crashing their apartment for all-night parties. The film never concerns itself with how this struggling couple manages to support these high-society vagrants and bounce back from a night of drinking for a day of work and is simply content to let us enjoy their company and Hope's easy banter. Along with the title song, Hope and Ross perform the lovely duet "Two Sleepy People," singing each other to sleep as dawn breaks after another party. The heart of the set belongs to three films Hope made with Paulette Goddard. The young beauty starred opposite Charles Chaplin (whom she secretly married) in Modern Times and famously was a front-runner for the role of Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind, but it was The Women that showed off her talents as a sly comic actress with a sassy edge, and she became a leading lady in her own right opposite Hope in their version of the oft-filmed haunted house chestnut The Cat and the Canary (1939). Originally filmed in 1927 by Paul Leni (in a version that has yet to be topped), it's a familiar story if only for the all the clichés that it spoofs. The family of the deceased gather in a spooky old mansion (here located in the middle of a bayou swamp) of an eccentric millionaire for the reading of the will and must spend the night in the place to meet the terms of the will. Goddard is the bubbly heroine who is named sole beneficiary (and thus a target for the relative next in line), a spooky servant goes around predicting things like "One will die tonight" and there's an escaped patient from the nearby asylum (in the middle of this swamp?) running around, but never fear. The family's resident celebrity Wally (Hope) is on hand to kid the spirits away. "Don't big old empty houses scare you?" asks one relative (Nydia Westman doing a Zasu Pitts kind of goofy comic relief). "No me," quips Hope, "I've played vaudeville." It's hokey stuff with hidden doors and secret passages and a hidden treasure, which director Elliot Nugent stages with all the style and tension of a sitcom. But Hope and Goddard have marvelous chemistry and Hope is completely amiable, using wisecracks to cover up his discomfort and fear. "I always joke when I'm scared," he confesses to heroine Goddard. "I kind of kid myself into being brave." Hope's delivery makes this less a laugh line than a confession and a promise he's got integrity and the courage to both reveal his vulnerabilities and overcome them. Goddard, meanwhile, is a spunky beauty with crack timing, a born comedienne too often called upon to play the straight man and provide the sex appeal. She does both admirably here and, when the film became a hit, was rewarded with a return engagement with Hope. The Ghost Breakers (1940) is pretty much a rehash of the same formula, this time with the haunted mansion relocated to Cuba. While Goddard is repeatedly warned away from the place by the suspicious executor of the will, radio celebrity and gossip monger Hope is on the run from New York gangsters. Like Cat, it's based on a stage play that spoofs haunted house stories and ghost story conventions, this one tossing in a zombie (Noble Johnson, doing the traditional Caribbean-style catatonic sleepwalker of a zombie), an animated suit of armor and more hidden rooms and passages. It's even less convincing than Cat but director George Marshall makes an effort to construct the proper atmosphere around these city folk on a haunted safari in voodooland. Both films manage to repeatedly get Goddard down to slips and negligees before the half hour mark and The Ghost Breakers goes one better by putting her in a swimsuit (logical attire for midnight to a spooky island) and a flimsy dress which gets torn off in a monster chase. A very young Anthony Quinn appears in two roles (a New York gangster and his twin brother!) and Richard Carlson co-stars. Nothing But the Truth (1941) spins another gimmick-Hope is stock broker who bets $10,000 that he can tell the truth for 24 hours-into a familiar web of misunderstandings, mistaken identities and romantic antics. It plays as a more sardonic No, No Nanette with an earnest Hope at the center of the bet and a trio of conniving, lying, borderline criminal business associates (Edward Arnold, Leif Erickson and Glenn Anders) springing every dirty trick in the book on him in a string of public humiliations and private ruses. Goddard has much more fun in this one as a dizzy heiress who rattles a blue streak while falling for the hapless Hope, who can't tell anyone about the bet. It's pure stage farce, all contrivance and coincidence, blandly directed by Elliot Nugent, who just seems to let things happen as the camera rolls. Luckily there's plenty going on as the characters go sneaking around on a private houseboat, slipping in and out of bedrooms and dressing gowns while Hope wraps himself in a flouncy nightgown to escape his rivals. Not only does Hope get the girl like a real leading man, it's the rare film where Hope is the most honest man on screen. Edward Arnold, who played his share of big screen fat cats, embraces the cynical side of the persona as he tries to sell worthless stock to his customers (which doesn't seem quite as funny in light of recent real-life financial shenanigans) and Glenn Anders is almost too sleazy for the film (you may recognize him as the boozy George Grizby from The Lady From Shanghai). It's fascinating how the film manages to strike a happy ending while letting its scheming supporting cast get away with stock fraud and infidelity, winking at the audience the whole time as if we're complicit in the whole sordid business. The four films feature Bob Hope in a role we're not used to seeing: a light romantic lead with a quick wit. His wisecracks cover up nervousness and fear but are harmless and self-effacing. Where he schemed for a kiss from the leading lady in the "Road" films, he's a genuinely nice guy here. And Goddard makes for a spunky leading lady, holding her own against opposite Hope and, in Nothing But the Truth, showing her own skills as an underrated comedienne. Both are better than their material. They also include the worst stereotypes available to African American performers, with Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson as a comic janitor in Thanks for the Memory and Willie Best as Hope's manservant, a quivering, drawling caricature who gets called "boy" by most everyone except Hope and made the butt of countless jokes (not all of them offensive), in The Ghost Breakers and Nothing But the Truth. Best establishes a natural rapport with Hope while swapping wisecracks (and often getting the better of Hope), but it's a demeaning stereotype. The biggest disappointment with the set is its haphazard approach to Hope's career. After a quartet of films that captures Hope in his first leading roles, it's filled out with two forties films that not only feel like they've been plucked from the catalogue at random, but are already available DVD. Road to Morocco (1942) is the second of the "Road" movies that Hope made with Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour and has previously been released both individually and in an earlier set of "Road" comedies. The Paleface (1948) is a very funny cowboy spoof with tenderfoot Easterner Hope as a would-be "painless" dentist who gets lassoed into marrying shapely outlaw Jane Russell. While The Ghost Breakers has also been previously available, it makes a good match with the two other Hope-Goddard pairings, but these's no real purpose to these films, not with so many other films-Hope's feature debut in The Big Broadcast of 1938, for instance, or his Dorothy Lamour pairings-that could have been included. (While The Cat and the Canary was briefly available in a public domain edition of dubious legitimacy and quality, this is the first studio release of the film.) The six films are collected in a three-disc digipak that also includes featurettes celebrating Hope's decades-long work with the USO. It includes a pair of mini-documentaries-"Bob Hope and the Road to Success" and "Entertaining the Troops" (featuring exclusive footage of Hope's USO tours)-and the archival shorts "Command Performance 1944" and "Command Performance 1944" (which are newsreel-style recordings of the Hope-hosted radio show produced by the Army-Navy Screen Magazine) and the all-star WWII short Hollywood Victory Caravan. They spotlight yet another side of Hope, the public comedian and tireless entertainer who gave up so much time not just to entertain the troops but to take charge of the USO program and bring other Hollywood celebrities and entertainers into the fold. They make a worthy companion to these films. For more information about Bob Hope: Thanks for the Memories, visit Universal Home Entertainment. To order Bob Hope: Thanks for the Memories, go to TCM Shopping. by Sean Axmaker

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

According to a March 1941 Hollywood Reporter news item, writer Louis S. Kaye wrote comedy sequences for this film. His contribution to the final film, however, has not been confirmed. Actor Edward Arnold was loaned by M-G-M for this film. The central locale for this version was changed from Wall Street, NY to Florida. Hollywood Reporter news items also report that some exteriors were filmed on location in Miami Beach, FL. Other films based on the play and the novel are Metro Picture Corp.'s 1920 Nothing but the Truth, directed by David Kirkland and starring Taylor Holmes and Elsie Mackaye and Paramount's 1929 production of the same name, directed by Victor Schertzinger and starring Richard Dix and Berton Churchill.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1941

Released in United States 1941

Based on the stage play written by James Montgomery.