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Comedy Movies - The Princess And The Pirate

BUY Princess and the Pirate (dvd cover)
Bob Hope, Virginia Mayo, Walter Brennan
Color 1944
94 minutes
MGM Home Entertainment

Fans of old movies will enjoy The Princess and the Pirate, a fun Bob Hope romp across the high seas and pirate movies. Old hook nose plays Sylvester the Great, a terrible comedian whose act is so terrible he has to exile himself by popular request. He finds himself on board a ship carrying a princess, Virginia Mayo, that is captured by pirates. Fortunately, Hope and Mayo managed to escape to the island of Casarouge (a bad reference to Casablanca probably),

As in all comedies of the forties and fifties, an excuse for a musical number, in this case Kiss Me in the Moonlight sung by Virginia Mayo, is found when Sylvester the Great (Bob Hope) and the princess play a local dive where hecklers shoot at you (nothing any modern stand-up comic has had to face, trust me). The rest of this movie involves Hope in various gag scenes delivering one-liners.

Victor McLaglen goes around chewing up scenery as pirate captain The Hook while Walter Brennan and Walter Slezak play secondary characters Featherhead and La Roche. Hope himself does quite well in sight gags including a neat face in the mirror bit (the most famous one involves Lucille Ball and Harpo Marx) with McLaglen.

Although this movie is dated, as in this line of dialogue: "We are always certain of friends in the South." "Oh, a Democrat, eh?" it is still quite enjoyable. Fans of Crosby and Hope will enjoy the references made to the duo as when Sylvester says, "You should have seen the show I did on the Road to Morocco. I would have been sensational only some average crooner with laryngitis kept crabbing my act. Fans of funny lines will enjoy "Why don't you die like a man?" "Because I'd rather live as a woman."

The Princess and the Pirate is fun family fare and a neat little movie. Bing Crosby makes a cameo appearance but telling you when would spoil the fun.

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