|THE PRINCESS AND THE PIRATE (1944)|
|"If you don't tell anybody I'm not a gypsy, I won't tell anybody you're not an idiot."|
|Time: 94 mins.|
Rating: Not Rated
Academy Award nominations for Best Art Direction and Original Score.
SYNOPSIS: An inept performer finds trouble and love on the high seas in the form of a princess trying to escape from both an arranged marriage and a group of greedy pirates out for her fortune.
BOTTOM LINE: An uneven mixture of one-liners and physical comedy that Hope manages to make more entertaining than the plot should allow. His modern sensibility is out of place in a film that takes place on the high seas; however, since his dialogue is so funny it almost doesn't matter. He made a career of playing an unlucky loser in love and this film is no exception. The lady he pines for in this instance is the lovely Virginia Mayo, who seems to really enjoy playing with the boys. This is one of her first starring roles and she goes for it with gusto. Her princess is no shrinking violet, keeping up both verbally and physically with Hope without losing her femininity, which is no easy task. High energy and a brilliantly funny supporting cast including Brennan, as Hope's pirate ally, and McLaglan, as the vicious captain Hook keep the plot moving and spirits up. As usual, Hope is looking to win both an easy fortune (of course there's a buried treasure) and the heart of the princess, landing in many outrageously silly and dangerous situations along the way. He even winds up impersonating the Hook his character is a "master" of disguise in a great bit that's been done many times before, but rarely so well. The elaborate sets and costumes shot in Technicolor raise the level of the production one notch higher. The only original parts of this picture are Hope's jokes, which despite their age, are still clever enough to make this frothy flick enjoyable enough.