|NEVER SAY DIE (director: Elliott Nugent; screenwriters: from a play by William Post/Preston Sturges/Don Hartman/Frank Butler; cinematographer: Leo Tovar; editor: James Smith; music: Charles Bradshaw; cast: Bob Hope (John Kidley), Martha Raye (Mickey Hawkins), Frances Arms (Momma Ingleborg), Paul Harvey (Jasper Hawkins), Sig Ruman (Poppa Ingleborg), Ernest Cossart (Jeepers), Andy Devine (Henry Munch), Gale Sondergaard (Juno Markoff), Alan Mowbray (Prince Smirnov), Monty Woolley (Dr. Schmidtt), Christian Rub (The Mayor); Runtime: 80; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Paul Jones; Paramount; 1939)|
|"Has a few sweet spots."
by Dennis Schwartz
frothy rom/com about a hypochondriac tycoon who thinks
he will die in a month. It's mostly a miss, but it has
a few sweet spots. Writers Preston Sturges, Don
Hartman and Frank Butler adapt it from a
play by William Post. Director Elliott Nugent ("The
Great Gatsby"/"My Outlaw Brother"/"My Favorite
Brunette") adequately directs. The farce catches
future mega-star Bob Hope on the brink of stardom and
it's the first-time his character plays a full-fledged
millionaire John Kidley (Bob Hope) vacations at the health
spa at Bad Gaswasse, Switzerland, to spend what
he believes will be his last days on Earth. What he is
unaware of, is a chemist mistook a dog's stomach acid
report for his. Barely getting out of a marriage to
the murderous adventurous, the widow stalker of
eligible bachelors, Juno Markoff (Gale Sondergaard),
he meets at the spa and befriends Texas heiress Mickey
Hawkins (Martha Raye). She's in the dumps
because her dad (Paul Harvey) has
promised her to the gold digger Prince
Smirnow (Alan Mowbray).
Unfortunately she's in love with the hometown bus
driver Henry Munch (Andy Devine). Hope
suggest that she can solve her problem by marrying
him. It will also help him get rid of the pursuing
widow. On their honeymoon, Henry tags along and the
jilted fortune hunters, the Prince and Juno, blame
Hope for cheating them out of their expected riches
and they band together to attack him.
The cast seems to be having more fun than the viewer.
REVIEWED ON 3/18/2016 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ