Here Come the Girls
(1953, Paramount Pictures)
Yet another Bob Hope vehicle that has fallen into obscurity. As if you can’t tell by the poster, Here Come the Girls is a comedy-musical. The emphasis is on the musical. There are lots of numbers in this one because most of the movie takes place at a theater during a musical called, appropriately enough, “Here Come the Girls”. Working titles for the film were Champagne for Everyone and Girls Are Here to Stay.
The movie is set during the early 1900s and the plot is there’s a jealous killer on the loose who is out to murder the musical’s leading man because the killer wants the lead starlet (Arlene Dahl) all to himself. The cops & the musical’s director decide to put a chorus boy (Hope) in place of the leading man (Tony Martin) in order to lure “Jack the Slasher” out into the open. There’s some dark humor here as the play’s director didn’t want to risk the real leading man’s life and at one point he is disappointed when he is told the slasher didn’t kill Hope’s character. Of course, Hope’s character doesn’t realize he’s being used as bait and thinks that fortune has finally found its way to him and he believes he’s become a big star.
Supposedly the movie was originally shot for 3D but for whatever reason wasn’t released as such. They definitely made use of Technicolor though. Lots of elaborate flashy costumes and big bright stage settings.
I’m a bit confused as to who actually owns this movie. The only video release I can find for it is a 1993 VHS edition which was released by Paramount. So that tells me it’s not in the public domain but yet there is no DVD release. Now, the weird thing is the movie is available to stream from Netflix. I was thinking since Olive Films has gained the license to release a number of Paramount films (including Hope’s My Favorite Spy and Off Limits) and are streaming them through Netflix that maybe they held the rights to this movie but that doesn’t appear to be the case. I’m assuming that ultimately Paramount still holds the rights to the movie so hopefully the studio will see to it that this movie gets a new video release at some point. I think it’s only been in the last year or that so this movie has been available on Netflix.
While I certainly think this movie deserves to be release on video because it stars one of the greatest entertainers of all time I will say that this movie is not very memorable. Sure, there’s a great cast here but I think Here Comes the Girls focuses too much on being a musical and not enough on being a comedy.
EDIT (May 8, 2012):
I’ve been reading Donald McCaffrey’s book The Road to Comedy: The Films of Bob Hope and a little more light is shed on this movie. According to the original scriptwriter Edmund L. Hartmann, the film was NOT intended to be a musical. When asked about it turning from a comedy to a musical, Hartmann’s reply was “they fucked it up”. According to Hartmann, the script was considered to be the best Bob Hope movie yet by a number of people close to the project.