My Favorite Blonde (1942)




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Movie Info

Each of Bob Hope's "My Favorite" films (My Favorite Blonde, My Favorite Brunette, My Favorite Spy) was, by accident or design, a parody of a dead-serious movie genre. 1942's My Favorite Blonde, for example, was a takeoff of Alfred Hitchcock in general and Hitchcock's 39 Steps in particular. Two-bit vaudeville entertainer Hope gets mixed up with gorgeous blonde British-spy Madeline Carroll. The "maguffin" (Hitchcock's nickname for "gimmick") which ties the two stars together is a ring which contains the microfilmed plans for a revolutionary new bomber. Hope and Carroll are forced to take it on the lam when Hope is framed for murder by Nazi-agents Gale Sondergaard, George Zucco et. al. Highlights include Hope eluding capture by impersonating a famed psychologist (watch for Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer as Hope's most contentious "patient"). Madeline Carroll also got several opportunities to shine comedically, especially when she lapsed into cloying baby talk while posing as Hope's wife. Bob Hope was hesitant to work with My Favorite Blonde director Sidney Lanfield, having heard of Lanfield's reputation as an on-set dictator. However, the two got along so swimmingly that they would collaborate on such future top-notch Hope farces as Let's Face It (1943) and The Lemon Drop Kid (1951).
NR (not Rated)
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Universal Studios Home Video


Bob Hope
as Larry Haines
Madeleine Carroll
as Karen Bentley
Gale Sondergaard
as Mme. Stephanie Runick
George Zucco
as Dr. Hugo Streger
Walter Kingsford
as Dr. Faber
Charles Cane
as Turk O'Flaherty
Crane Whitley
as Ulrich
Esther Howard
as Mrs. Topley
Edward Gargan
as Mulrooney
James Burke
as Union Secretary
Dooley Wilson
as Porter
Bing Crosby
as Man Giving Directions
Milton Parsons
as Mortician
Tom Fadden
as Tom Douglas
Addison Richards
as Herbert Wilson
Matthew Boulton
as Col. Ashmont
Wade Boteler
as Conductor
William Forrest
as Col. Raeburn
Isabel Randolph
as Frederick's Mother
Edward Hearn
as Train Official
Leyland Hodgson
as English Driver
Jack Luden
as Spectator
Mary Akin
as Spectator
Monte Blue
as Cops at Union Hall
Jack Clifford
as Cops at Union Hall
Dick Elliott
as Backstage Doorman
Arno Frey
as Male Nurse
Lloyd Whitlock
as Apartment Manager
Vernon Dent
as Ole, Bartender
Sarah Edwards
as Mrs. Weatherwax
Paul Scardon
as Dr. Higby
Bill Lally
as Telegraph Operator
Minerva Urecal
as Frozen-Faced Woman
James Millican
as Truck Driver
Edmund Cobb
as Yard Man
Jimmie Dodd
as Stuttering Boy
Eddie Dew
as Pilot
Kirby Grant
as Pilot
Art Miles
as Cop Outside Union Hall
Max Wagner
as Man with Truck
Charles R. Moore
as Pullman Porter
Charles McAvoy
as Brakeman
George Hickman
as Elevator Boy
Joe Recht
as Newsboy
Rex Moore
as Newsboy
Gerald Pierce
as Newsboy
Allan Ramsey
as Newsboy
John Erickson
as Newsboy
David McKim
as Newsboy
Frank Mills
as New York Taxi Driver
Frank Marlowe
as Chicago Taxi Driver
Michael Lally
as Chicago Taxi Driver
Nell Craig
as Woman
Ciera Rose Allen
as Outraged Woman
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Critic Reviews for My Favorite Blonde

All Critics (6)

Lives up to its rep as one of Bob Hope's better comedies.

Full Review… | June 26, 2006
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

One of Bob Hope's best comic-thriller vehicles… benefits from its semi-serious spy-thriller ambiance… and above all one of the more human, less caricatured, less one-dimensionally narcissistic characters in Hope's movie oeuvre.

Full Review… | August 9, 2003
Decent Films Guide

Great comedy thriller. Probably Hope's best film.

November 30, 2002
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Quote not available.

June 30, 2005

Quote not available.

August 22, 2003
Las Vegas Review-Journal

Quote not available.

August 29, 2002
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Audience Reviews for My Favorite Blonde


A Curiously Generic Spy Pic At one point, the movie makes a confused reference to Nazis, but mostly it's "their side" or "the enemy." The truly odd thing about that is that the film was released late enough in 1942 so that it was almost certainly made after Pearl Harbor. After all, it's not as though the average Bob Hope movie took a lot of work. There's one shot which has obvious optical effects, but other than that, special effects weren't a big issue. Filming would not have been complicated. In short, I can't see that this would have taken more than a month or so to make, and while I don't know how long it would have taken to get into the theatre after that, it still seems odd. The Hollywood system was another aspect of US industry gearing up for war, and it's true that there was a little bit of lag between the declaration of war and the real era of Hollywood war movies. But this is a war movie that's basically ignoring the fact that there is a war. Karen Bentley (Madeleine Carroll) is a British agent carrying plans for the deployment of some bombers, I think. She is being pursued by every spy in Manhattan. While she is hiding, she ducks into a vaudeville theatre, where she claims to be a friend of Percy and Haines--but Percy is a penguin, with Bob Hope as Larry Haines, the penguin's partner. Through a convoluted series of events, she ends up on a cross-country chase dragging man and penguin along. They go to Chicago, to various small rural towns, to Riverside, to Los Angeles. Pursued by the same group of spies, so I guess it's every spy in the US. Along the way, the spies convince the police that the pair are the killers, and I suppose it's true that there is a body in the Chicago apartment they go to. They're also taken out of there by the police. But the whole thing gets a little ridiculous, because this is a Bob Hope movie. There's even a gratuitous Bing Crosby cameo. Really, the point of any Bob Hope movie is to listen to Bob Hope make wisecracks. The plot is basically superfluous, and we all know it. Including Bob, of course. He tended to use a gimmick of some sort; in this case it's the penguin, to which his character really does seem genuinely attached. Oh, he cares about the money he'll get from putting the picture in show business. A penguin act can pay for a lot of fish. But probably one of the reasons the penguin is such a great gimmick for him is that it doesn't have any lines. Meaning that, unlike Bing, the penguin can't step on them. Though I'm not sure there was ever a girl in a Bob Hope picture who wasn't there to feed him straight lines, and it's true that the penguin can't do that. Still, he gets to make all sorts of snarky comments about her, about the penguin, about the spies. About anyone who'll hold still long enough, in short. And that's exactly what we expect from him and from the picture. I don't know if it was the intent, but movies like this serve to remind us that the war wasn't just fought by heroes. At the same time that Bob Hope was battling Nazis, whether the word was used or not, a lot of ordinary guys were heading to recruiting offices. Many of them would see Bob Hope perform, wherever they ended up, and not all of them would make it home. Oh, yes, Bob Hope's character wasn't exactly planning to go into uniform; no one even suggested that he would. And Bob Hope himself didn't actually join. I feel certain I must have read why once, though I don't know quite when, and I don't remember the reason anymore. (I read a book about the USO, and it was probably in that.) I know the British government told Cary Grant he was doing more for the war effort by not joining, and it's possible Bob Hope had that going. Not to mention that he wasn't exactly a young man anymore, though that didn't stop a lot of the greatest names in Hollywood. Even if they weren't attempting suicide through it, like Clark Gable. This is light, whimsical fare--well, it's a Bob Hope movie. It never even really feels as though Bob Hope and the girl (she has a name, but it really doesn't matter any more than the name of his character matters) are in serious danger. About the only people we see in uniform are cops. There's a plane crash, but it happens offscreen and no one is even injured. Really, the villains of this piece could have killed Bob Hope half a dozen times with no worries before he even knew what was going on, and they never do. The fact that the story doesn't entirely make sense also doesn't matter. A lot of this sort of movie was made, and the goal was to be a mild distraction from what was actually happening at the time. Bob Hope chases a girl and dodges danger all at once. Accompanied by a penguin. If you're looking for something more complicated than that, what are you doing watching a Bob Hope movie in the first place?

Edith Nelson
Edith Nelson

Another very funny Bob Hope movie. It has humor, excitement, and a bit of suspense. If you're a fan this is a must see.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

Great comedic moments from Hope in this classic.

Anthony Valletta
Anthony Valletta

Super Reviewer

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