Fancy Pants [1950]

Bob Hope is up to his classic shenanigans in Fancy Pants, a loose remake of the comedy favorite Ruggles of Red Gap. Hope plays Humphrey, an American actor playing a British butler in a hokey play in London. When a fortune-hunter hires the cast to help him woo a wealthy American girl (Lucille Ball, playing her character like a female John Wayne), the girl's domineering mother takes a shine to Humphrey and hires him to be their butler back in New Mexico. But when they arrive out West, the townsfolk believe that Humphrey is British nobility, and even Teddy Roosevelt drops by for a visit. Despite their different comic styles, Hope and Ball have an oddball chemistry together; throw in some musical numbers, physical slapstick, and a shaggy dachshund, and the results will please any Hope fan. (There are, however, some unfortunate racial stereotypes.) --Bret Fetzer

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