Monday, September 2, 2013

1963 - CALL ME BWANA, another bad Bob Hope comedy from the 1960's

Bob "ski nose" Hope made a lot of terrible comedies towards the end of his movie star run.  Stuff like Cancel My Reservation, I'll Take Sweden, Not With My Wife You Don't and Boy Did I Get A Wrong Number.  Call Me Bwana can hold it's head high with this group as truly awful.

Hope trots out his patented wise cracking coward bit yet again.  This time he's a phony big game hunter in Africa searching for a moon probe that has landed in Africa for the United States.   The Russians have sent big breasted Anita Ekberg to seduce him and steal the probe some very unfunny stuff occurs from this setup.

Since this is a Bob Hope movie, besides the lame wisecracks the viewer gets an extended golf sequence with Arnold Palmer.  In the good old days of the 1940's Hope could take command of a film with superb comic timing and rescue it, this time it seems like he isn't even trying.  Only Lionel Jefferies as a Russian agent pretending to be a missionary is actually funny.  Ekberg does what she is supposed to do walk around sticking her chest out.  The whole thing is mighty pathetic.

If the Call Me Bwana has any interest at all it derives from the company that produced it EON productions, the legendary group that filmed and continues to film the James Bond films.  There is something almost odd about seeing this film with the same cinematographer, editor, special effects man, production designer and producers essentially the men who produced the classic Sean Connery James Bond series, pumping out this unfunny mess.

102 minutes.

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