Re: RARA-AVIS: "best private eye parody"?

From: Brian Thornton (
Date: 03 Aug 2003

At 12:07 PM 7/29/03 -0700, you wrote:
>Re your comments below:
> > > [Hope's] "My Favorite Brunette" may be the best
> > private eye parody (of "Murder My Sweet") ever
> > filmed.
> >
> > *
> >
> > As soon as you use that word "best," you're gonna
> > have yourself an argument.
>That wasn't my comment. It was Dick Lochte's. I was
>piggy-backing off it remembering a line of V/O
>narration I found both particularly funny, and
>typically Hope.
> > For my money, I prefer the "Girl Hunt" number in
> > "The Band Wagon," with Fred Astaire as a Mike Hammer
> > caricature named Rod Riley and the following lines
> > of pseudo-tough narration (written by an uncredited
> > Alan Jay Lerner):
> >
> > "She came at me in sections. More curves than a
> > scenic railway."
> >
> > "She was bad, she was dangerous, I wouldn't trust
> > her any further than I could throw her -- but -- she
> > was my kind of woman."
>I like it, too, and, I think Mickey Spillane did as
>well. It always struck me as more than a coincidence
>that his Mike Hammer "comeback" novel was entitled THE
> > And shouldn't we also mention Daffy Duck in the
> > Robert Clampett-directed "Great Piggy Bank Robbery"?
>And who can forget the V/O narration from that
>classic? "She had guilt written all over her face,"
>muses Daffy, as we see a close-up which shows that, by
>God, she really does have guilt written all over her
> > As long as we're talking "My Favorite Brunette,"
> > though, it might as well be noted that the story's
> > being told as a flashback from a jail cell counts as
> > parody of "Postman Always Rings Twice." Its plot is
> > kicked off by Hope's character, a baby photographer,
> > "minding the store" for a detective played (in
> > cameo) by Alan Ladd -- thus making it all a reaction
> > to such Ladd vehicles as "Blue Dahlia" and the
> > second "Glass Key." And, given that the plot turns
> > on Hope's specialized camera with its ability to
> > take photos through keyholes, you could easily claim
> > that "Brunette" is a film founded upon voyeurism ...
>To a lesser degree, it also recalls MURDER, MY SWEET
>which is told as a flashback from a police station
>where Marlowe is undergoing a grilling.
>Just before we're shown Alan Ladd as the "real"
>detective, Hope tells Ladd's character that he wants
>to be a hard-boiled private eye, "like Humphrey Bogart
>and Dick Powell. And Alan Ladd."

 From a life-long Bob Hope fan, this is a GREAT conversation, guys. I have
"My Favorite Brunette on DVD, and am going to watch it right now. I've never seen "They've Got me Covered" or "The Great Lover" but thought "My Favorite Spy" was terrific. I'm going to look for those other two...

All the Best,


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