Monday, December 7, 2015

My Favorite Brunette (1947)

"You mean DOOM Syndrome is a real thing?"

What film from the golden age of Hollywood do you show to a person who has only seen new movies? What if they say they don't like black and white? How do you get them to see that the oldies are not only good, buy better than the films of today? It is these questions that the Try It, You'll Like It! Blogathon hosted by Sister Celluloid and Movies Silently are answering.

The film I chose is My Favorite Brunette (1947) starring Bob Hope, Dorothy Lamour, Peter Lorre, and Lon Chaney Jr. Why did I choose this film? It has a little bit of something for everyone: likeable characters, an interesting plot, suspense, comedy. There's good guys and bad guys, mysterious people, creepy houses, and a range of locations from the city (San Francisco and Washington D.C.), the shore, and the country.

The film starts in jail. Ronnie Jackson (Bob Hope) has been arrested for a crime he didn't commit and is telling his story to the newspapers before he heads off to the chair. We then go back in time, to when everything began.

You see, I wanted to be a detective too. It only took brains,
courage, and a gun... and I had the gun.

Jackson is a baby photographer. Next door to his office is a private detective (brief appearance by of Alan Ladd as the detective). Sam McCloud asks Jackson to watch his office for him while he is gone. Just moments after he leaves, and while Jackson is pretending he is a detective, a beautiful woman rushes in (Lamour). She introduces herself as Carlotta Montay. She keeps shushing him and hurriedly whispers part of her story to him before hurrying out in fear. She tells him to meet her at an abandoned mansion, where she is staying (it still exists on Carmel-by-the-Sea's famous 17 Mile Drive). When Jackson arrives there he is immediately thrown into a mystery of deception and intrigue. Unsure of who is on his side and who isn't, he bumbles his way through danger, ending with his arrest for murder. Will he be cleared before the death sentence can be fulfilled? You can read the full plot synopsis here.

I found this movie at Dollar Tree many years ago (it's in the public domain) and it became an instant favorite with me and my brothers. The reason I chose this film is that is has an element of suspense that is present in most modern films. Generally, people who don't like old films say it is because they are slow and boring. My Favorite Brunette is very fast paced and really keeps you on your toes. Plus, you can never go wrong with Bob Hope's zaniness. You can watch the entire film below.

Be sure to read all of the other great posts of must-watch movies here!


  1. It's been a long time since I've seen this, and I can't wait to see it again. It's a great film to introduce someone to classic film. And thanks for embedding it in your post! :)

  2. I have to confess something, Phyllis: I've been meaning to watch this film (it's in the public domain, as you wrote) for a while, but never quite got around to really starting it. A good thing is that my admiration for Bob Hope has been growing with time, so I think I'll enjoy the film a lot more now that I'm a bigger Hope fan.
    Don't forget to read my contribution to the blogathon! :)

    1. I have a lot of "those" films haha. I've just been finally getting around to watching and re-watching some of them.

      I know you'll like it though! It's one of my top Hope films :)