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Monsieur Beaucaire

Posted on

Monsieur Beaucaire

Current Status:
In Season
Bob Hope, Joan Caulfield

We gave it a C

These new releases (pegged to Hope’s 90th birthday on May 29) display the comic in his prime-some time ago, of course. My Favorite Blonde remains the most durable. A thinly veiled remake of Hitchcock’s 1935 The 39 Steps, featuring the same female lead, it casts Hope as a vaudeville artist who gets involved with a British spy (Carroll) trying to transmit a secret code to Los Angeles. The quaint Monsieur Beaucaire lamely showcases Hope’s good-natured cowardice and self-deprecation, in a tale of a French barber who gets pulled into intrigue in 17th-century France and Spain. Director Frank Tashlin’s much broader Son of Paleface has college boy Hope go out west to collect his daddy’s inheritance and cope with the copious charms of a saloon keeper (Russell), not to mention Roy Rogers’ Trigger hogging his bed sheets. Wherever Hope went, his surroundings seemed exotic and he was an unlikely fixture in them. Now that he’s our National Fixture, it’s hard to remember how funny that used to be. Monsieur: C