Monsieur Beaucaire/Where There's Life [DVD]
- SKU: 13129189
- Release Date: 10/08/2002
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- Theatrical trailer
- Production notes
- Cast and filmmakers
- Closed Captioned
Bearing traces of such earlier hits as My Favorite Blonde and The Ghost Breakers, Where There's Life is one of the best of Bob Hope's postwar vehicles. The inimitable Mr. Hope is cast as New York radio personality Michael Valentine, who's poised to marry his long-time fiancee Hazel O'Brien (Vera Marshe). But destiny takes a hand when, in the far-off kingdom of Barovia, King Hubertus II (William Edmunds) is felled by an assassin's bullet. To avoid a revolution, the King's cabinet hurriedly searches for Hubertus' sole heir -- who, according to all reliable sources, is one Michael Valentine. Gorgeous General Katrina Grimovich (Signe Hasso) is dispatched to New York to bring Valentine back to Barovia, while a group of insurrectionists, headed by Krivoc (George Coulouris) and Stertorius (George Zucco), conspire to kill Valentine before he can ever leave American soil. When Valentine is apprised of his royal lineage, he assumes that he's the victim of a practical joke perpetrated by his announcer Joe Snyder (George Zucco). Once he's convinced that it's no joke, Valentine and Katrina scurry about the streets of Manhattan, dodging potential assassins at every turn -- not to mention keeping out of the way of Hazel's muscle-bound policeman brother Victor (William Bendix), who assumes that Valentine is merely trying to weasel out of his wedding. Full of bright dialogue and hilarious gag situations, Where There's Life is vintage Bob Hope. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Monsieur Beaucaire, Booth Tarkington's novel about an 18th-century French barber who poses as a swashbuckling aristocrat, was the surprising source for this Grade-A Bob Hope comedy. While in the original novel the tonsorial hero pretended to be someone he wasn't by choice, in this 1946 film Hope is coerced into posturing as a nobleman on the threat of death. It's "out of the frying pan" time here, since Hope will be a target for execution the moment he weds a Spanish princess in place of genuine noble Patric Knowles. Bob's actions will prevent a war between Spain and France, but it's likely he won't be around to celebrate the Peace. Hiding his cowardice by cracking wise at every opportunity, Hope manages to save both the day and himself; he even rescues Joseph Schildkraut, the film's nominal villain, from the guillotine. The female contingent is represented by Joan Caulfield as Bob's covetous girl friend, Marjorie Reynolds as a princess, and Hillary Brooke as a haughty schemer (who is given her just desserts in an early slapstick set-piece). Woody Allen has long expressed his affection for Monsieur Beaucaire, an affection made doubly obvious in "homage" fashion by Allen's 1975 costume comedy Love and Death. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Cast & Crew
- Bob Hope - Michael Valentine
- Signe Hasso - Gen. Kattina Grimovitch
- William Bendix - Victor O'Brien
- George Coulouris - Krivoc
- Vera Marshe - Hazel O'Brien