Princess and the Pirate [1944]

Director: Sidney Lanfield, David Butler
Stars: Bob Hope, Virginia Mayo, Walter Brennan, Walter Slezak, Victor McLaglen
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Romance
Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Runtime: 94 minutes

Bob Hope is in top form in this Technicolor parody of pirate pictures, doing his best vaudeville shtick as an inept performer trying to save princess Virginia Mayo from the evil clutches of governor Walter Slezak and pirate Victor McLaglen. It's all ridiculous fun, of course, but if you're a fan of Hope, you never tire of his self-effacing gags and double-entendres. His out-of-place show biz jabs were always clever, and they're all the funnier in this period setting--particularly the Bing Crosby jokes. But Walter Brennan nearly steals the film as a wacky pirate scheming to steal buried treasure, and tattooing the map on Hope's chest. Yet the two best routines are when Hope tries to conceal his chest while taking a bath with Slezak, and when he tries to impersonate McLaglen as "the Hook." --Bill Desowitz

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