Critic's Choice (1963)
Critic's Choice (film)
Critic's Choice is a 1963 comedy film directed by Don Weis. Based on the 1960 Broadway play of the same name by Ira Levin, the movie stars Bob Hope and Lucille Ball and includes Rip Torn, Marilyn Maxwell, Jim Backus, Marie Windsor and Jerome Cowan in the cast.
This is the last of four films that Hope and Ball made together.
This section needs expansion with: story resolution. You can help by adding to it. (October 2015)
Parker Ballantine (Bob Hope) is a theatrical critic, busily praising or disparaging the shows of Broadway. His wife Angela (Lucille Ball) is feeling useless and restless, so she writes a play about her mother and sisters.
Angela doesn't believe Parker should review her work, since he will look prejudiced if he does so favorably and it will hurt her feelings if he knocks it. Parker has read it and isn't impressed. A major producer, however, decides to back it.
Handsome Dion Kapakos (Rip Torn) directs the play and tries to strike up a romantic interest in the playwright. Angela continues to resist, but she's getting more fed up with Parker's negativity by the hour.
Before the play's first out-of-town tryout in Boston, the conflicted Parker goes to see his ex-wife, Ivy (Marilyn Maxwell), and gets a little tipsy. He decides to go to the opening, then writes a negative review. The trouble gets worse when he gets home.
- Bob Hope as Parker Ballantine
- Lucille Ball as Angela Ballantine
- Marilyn Maxwell as Ivy London
- Rip Torn as Dion Kapakos
- Jessie Royce Landis as Charlotte Orr aka Charlie
- John Dehner as S.P. Champlain
- Jim Backus as Dr. William Von Hagedorn
- Ricky Kelman as John Ballantine
- Dorothy Green as Mrs. Margaret Champlain
- Marie Windsor as Sally Orr
- Joseph Gallison as Philip 'Phil' Yardley (as Evan McCord)
- Joan Shawlee as Marge Orr
- Richard Deacon as Harvey Rittenhouse
- Jerome Cowan as Joe Rosenfield
- Donald Losby as Godfrey Von Hagedorn
- Soupy Sales as Boston Desk Clerk
- Jack Mower as Audience Member (uncredited)
- Hal Smith as Drunk (uncredited)
The New York Times wrote, "It is pleasing to look at in its expensive décor, color and scope, ably played by its experienced stars and ingratiating in its quieter insights into a sophisticated marital relationship. So long as it meanders modestly through some above-average repartee, it provides an agreeable way to pass an evening. Instead of leaving well enough alone, unfortunately, the director, Don Weis, has tried to upholster the shaky plot with slapstick and broad burlesque...Both stars, old hands at this sort of thing, go through their paces with benign good humor, but their subtler comic talents remain untapped. At this rate, the critics' popularity seems unlikely to improve."