20 mars 1947. Le temps est gris, le vent froid souffle. La tête rentrée dans les épaules, les mains enfouies dans les fouilles, le Passant Cinéphile se sent triste. Devant un café bien chaud, il lit la dernière critique de Bosley Crowther consacrée à My Favorite Brunette. « Bon dieu mais c’est bien sur, comme dirait le commissaire Bourrel. Voilà le genre de programme qu’il me faut ! »
Critique d’époque :
« If, perchance, you should note a strong resemblance between Bob Hope’s new comedy, My Favorite Brunette, and his previous display of tomfoolery vis-a-vis the fairer sex, My Favorite Blonde, don’t think it isn’t intentional. And don’t let it trouble you a bit. Paramount knows a good thing when it sees one, especially when it earns a pile of bucks. And it also knows that there is magic in the juxtaposition of Mr. Hope and a dame – any dame this side of Woodlawn – and a preposterously turbulent plot. That’s why the Paramount’s new picture, the aforementioned My Favorite Brunette, which candidly observes these criteria, is a commendably funny film.
Granted that its particular to-do about a skittish photographer who aspires to become an ace detective and finally gets his chance follows the same general pattern as that former « Favorite » film, which plunged a ‘fraid-cat vaudevillian into a turmoil with a dame and Nazi spies. Granted that it repeats the concept of Mr. Hope as a self-inflated mouse and that it rings in Bing Crosby for a sight gag such as has become a standard fixture in Hopeful films. It has faith in the long-proved popularity of swift, unrelenting burlesque, and it has Mr. Hope. As for clarity, what would it want with such as that ?
For this is a wild and reckless rat-race in which Bob, the Boy Detective, becomes involved with a lady pursued by silky villains who seek a valuable map which she holds. And, in the course of his fearful endeavor to stand between her and them – and, at times, to reverse those positions – Mr. Hope gets into some screaming jams. He follows his nose (quite a project!) into a dark and mysterious country home, he gets trapped in a millionaire nut-hatch and he chases clues in a Washington hotel. Toward the end he is tagged for a murder (which, of course, he didn’t commit) and is saved from execution by the skin of his oft-exposed teeth.
All of this fumbling, tumbling slapstick moves at a magnifying pace, thanks to Elliott Nugent’s direction and to the plot contrivances of Jack Rose and Eddie Beloin. And, of course, it is generously lubricated by the gags which Mr. Hope lets slide out of the side of his mouth as he moves swiftly from frying pans into fires. Popping eyes, fluttering fingers and occasional tentative utterances of the wolf, gurgled in more heroic moments, are distinctions by which he is known.
As the lady who leans upon his succor (and frequently falls upon her face) Dorothy Lamour also does very nicely, having had plenty of chances to learn how. And Charles Dingle, Peter Lorre, Lon Chancy Jr. and a gentleman whom Paramount calls John Hoyt, but who is really the eminent pub satirist, John Hoysradt, act mean as high-class thugs. Altogether they feed the ancient fodder of farce situation to Mr. Hope and he, being a ravenous comic artist, very neatly and quickly gobbles it up.On the stage at the Paramount are Jimmy Dorsey and his orchestra, Pat Henning, Lyn Shirley and Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five ». Par Bosley Crowther pour le New York Times.
Bosley Crowther aime rire. C’est surprenant. Mais il a aimé My Favorite Brunette. Tout comme il avait aimé My favorite Blonde. Il a apprécié la réalisation d’Elliott Nugent, l’interprétation de Dorothy Lamour, les simagrées de Bob Hope. Et ce même s’il plante une petite banderille dans le dos de la Paramount accusé d’aimer l’argent et de produire ce qui rapporte.
Ma critique enjouée de La Brune de mes Rêves par ici.
La Brune de mes Rêves (My favorite Brunette) est toujours disponible en dvd chez Artus Films par ici.