Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My Favorite Spy (1951)

I'm a pretty big fan of Bob Hope, so I was excited when TCM played My Favorite Spy the other week. I had previously seen My Favorite Brunette, but had not seen the other two "My Favorite" movies (the first in the series was My Favorite Blonde). All three follow pretty much the same formula and allow Hope to do three of the things he does best: 1) act better looking than he actually is, 2) act like a coward in the face of danger, and 3) lob one-liners like hand grenades.

The setup is fairly simple. Eric Augustine (Hope) is a super-spy wanted by the American government. After being injured during his capture, the U.S. government enlists Peanuts White (also Hope) to impersonate Augustine and retrieve some damaging microfilm from a foreign agent. What complicates things is people Augustine worked with/betrayed on earlier missions show up in Tangier, including former flame Lily Dalbray (Hedy Lamarr).

Overall a solid film with a funny script.

Some of my favorite quotes:

(While being trained to impersonate Augustine) Peanuts White: When I look into a girl's eyes, I can tell just what she thinks of me. It's pretty discouraging, too.

(While impersonating Augustine) Peanuts White: It's nights like these that drive men like me to women like you for nights like this.

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