Caught In The Draft / Give Me A Sailor
2002, Universal Studios Home Video
This double feature DVD was “lost” in my collection for about a year or so. I felt like I owned it but I didn’t even have it checked off in my “Bob Hope DVD” Word document! Luckily, I found it a few weeks ago while sorting through the DVDs in my closet. I had rented this collection from Netflix before but I don’t think I ever watched the movies once I owned them. I had seen Caught in the Draft a few times courtesy of AMC (Remember when American Movie Classics used to show classic movies… in B&W no less?) but I had viewed Give Me A Sailor just the one time when renting it.
Caught In The Draft
1941, Paramount Pictures
This is a typically funny Hope movie from the 1940s. Other than Hope, this is a great cast: Lynne Overman (who previously was in The Big Broadcast of 1938 with Hope) & Eddie Bracken (who would later be in Star Spangled Rhythm) are great as Hope’s friends and flunkies and Dorothy Lamour brings her usual mix of class & sex appeal to the screen. She’s super-adorable in this one and I love the scene where she’s down at the Army recruiter’s office and they do a close-up of her winking.
In this one, Bob plays a big Hollywood actor that is trying to dodge the draft by getting married to Dorothy’s character Tony (whose father is a colonel), whom he recently met on set while filming a war movie. Problem is, she figures out his true motives, gets mad and then when Hope tries to win her back and impress her by setting up a fake enlistment, it turns out he signs on for real!
Comedy ensues as Hope gets his buddies to sign up too and as they try to make it through basic training, Bob tries to win the love of Tony while also also trying to impress her father.
One of Bob’s better movies that doesn’t feature Bing (not even a cameo this time!).
Give Me A Sailor
1938, Paramount Pictures
Not really a Bob movie at all this is more a vehicle for Martha Raye though Hope does co-star with her. It’s based on a play called Linger Longer Betty and has Letty (Raye) longing for Jim’s (Hope) brother Walter and Jim longing for his brother’s girlfriend Nancy (a hot Betty Grable). They try to break them up and eventually succeed. Letty gets engaged to Walter and Jim dates Nancy but then Letty & Jim discover what they really want is each other. Reading that back, they don’t really sound like likable characters and neither really suffers any consequences for breaking up Walter & Nancy but oh well. It worked for the time. I don’t think you could pull something like this off in a movie today without the characters coming across as huge jerks.
Not a great movie but worth watching once or twice to see Bob acting instead of constantly spitting out one-liners. Martha Raye is pretty cute in an odd way.
A worthy DVD to add to the collection of any Bob Hope fan!