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At the Paramount and Fenway

By Donald Carswell

The main trouble with Bob Hope's latest starring vehicle is the plot. Not that the plot is a particularly bad one; there is just too much of it and it hampers the Hope style.

Most people go to Hope pictures to see the great man mug, and to hear the latest from the sub-artistic world of two line jokes. Unfortunately in "The Great Lover" the unwilling aficionados are subjected to long sequences in which Roland. Young polishes off a recent Yale graduate with the napkin from a champagne bottle, and a half dozen small children plot together, trying to act grown-up. In addition Hope is forced to portray a character out of North Zanesville, Ohio. He is therefore not nearly so funny as when he is portraying Bob Hope.

Specifically, Hope plays a newspaper reporter shepherding a squad of Boy Foresters (as horrible a group as you'll ever want to meet) back from Europe on a boat. Roland Young selects him as the most likely man to help fleece a grand-duke in a gentle game of poker, unaware that the peer is already flat broke. In the end, Young gets his, the grand-duke gets his money back, Hope gets the grand-duke's daughter, and the audience settles back to inspect the second half of the double bill, firm in the conviction that Hope has seen better movie days.

That other half is a Lippert production entitled "Radar Secret Service." Clearly it must have been made during lunch hour by a band of pauperized acting has-beens, given the run of the studio lot purely out of old times sake. The result is incredibly bad. However, some of the onlookers found "Radar Secret Service" extremely funny, but only in the same way that a woman driver in heavy traffic sometimes inspires laughter from pedestrians.

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