6.7/10
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The Great Lover (1949)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance, Thriller | 23 November 1949 (USA)
On an ocean liner, an inept scoutmaster pursues a duchess while a killer pursues him.

Director:

Alexander Hall
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Bob Hope ... Freddie Hunter
Rhonda Fleming ... Duchess Alexandria
Roland Young ... C.J. Dabney
Roland Culver ... Grand Duke Maximillian
Richard Lyon ... Stanley Wilson
Gary Gray ... Tommy O'Connor
Jerry Hunter Jerry Hunter ... Herbie
Jackie Jackson Jackie Jackson ... Joe
Wright Esser Wright Esser ... Steve (as Karl Wright Esser)
Orley Lindgren ... Bill
Curtis Loys Jackson Jr. Curtis Loys Jackson Jr. ... Humphrey
George Reeves ... Williams
Jim Backus ... Higgins
Sig Arno ... Attendant
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Storyline

The French Surete and private eye Higgins are after a killer who uses innocent young Americans in a crooked gambling racket, and who sets sail on an ocean liner that also carries inept scoutmaster Freddie Hunter and his troop of boys. Freddie, who's been a "boy scout" too long, has designs on gorgeous Duchess Alexandria. The boys, far better organized than Freddie, are determined to save him from himself. But who will save Freddie from being the killer's next victim? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Hope at his funniest! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 November 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der grosse Liebhaber See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hope Enterprises See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Screen Director's Playhouse" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on March 22, 1951 with Bob Hope and Rhonda Fleming reprising their film roles. See more »

Quotes

C.J. Dabney: The wonderful thing about Paris is that you can get French champagne at domestic prices.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dinah!: Bob Hope: The Road to Hollywood (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

A THOUSAND VIOLINS
Written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
Performed by Rhonda Fleming
See more »

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User Reviews

A superior piece of Bob Hope work.
22 November 2000 | by rgshanksSee all my reviews

I've always found it difficult to write anything lengthy or analytical about straight comedies. This is not because I don't enjoy them - nothing could be further from the truth, especially in the case of any offering which includes the talents of the great Bob Hope, with or without Crosby. The reason, I believe, lies in the fact that such pictures generally work only by reference to the viewer's direct involvement in them - rather like the experience of belly-laughing continuously for 45 minutes at the comedian's turn at a sportsmen's evening, but without being ever able to remember one gag afterwards. So often, the plot is all too familiar and holds no major surprises. The performances of the stars are generally what you would expect from them, and differ purely in the level of quality from picture to picture, and, for screen comics, the writing is invariably geared to their own particular talents.

All this is true of "The Great Lover". Bob Hope is close to his very best as a scout leader returning by boat to America from Europe with his troop and drawn as Roland Young's stooge into murder, intrigue and, of course, romance. As in so many of his pictures of the forties and fifties, he plays a reluctant hero, a role which enables him to display the whole range of his trademark features - the mock cowardice, the way he controls his overheating in the romantic scenes, the witty asides and the cheeky but innocent double entendres.

So what makes this picture different or special? In order to answer that, I watched the movie again before writing this review, but I still couldn't come up with a reason. Sure enough, the support playing is more than adequate, the plot simple but still interesting, and Hope is - well - Hope. He just does those things which you associate with him, but somehow the gags and his delivery always seem fresh and unforced and, despite the similarity in content, he always makes the material appear original. I can only therefore come to the conclusion that I like the film because it is a superior piece of Bob Hope work - and I like Bob Hope's work. That is the best recommendation I can give it.


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