(These events took place in 2000)
Tuesday, May 23, 2000 (6:30 pm)
Project 20: The World of Bob Hope (NBC, 1961). (60 min., sd., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll., courtesy NBC).
The Bob Hope Christmas Special: Around the World with the USO (NBC, 1969). Dir.: Dick McDonough. Cast: Bob Hope, Connie Stevens, Neil Armstrong. (90 min., sd., col., video; LC Coll., courtesy NBC).
In conjunction with the opening of the Bob Hope Gallery of American Entertainment, we celebrate Bob Hope's storied career with six nights of programming, throughout this entire week. We open with a behind-the-scenes documentary produced for the occasional series Project 20, in addition to the 1969 USO Christmas Show, the production of which is featured in the Gallery.
Thursday, May 25, 2000 (7:00 pm)
The Foy Family in "Chips Off the Old Block" (Vitaphone, 1928). Dir.: Bryan Foy. (8 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Warner Bros.)
The Seven Little Foys (Paramount, 1955). Dir.: Melville Shavelson. Cast: Bob Hope, Milly Vitale, James Cagney. (95 min., sd., col., 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Hope Enterprises). Hope stars as Eddie Foy, paterfamilias of The Seven Little Foys; his dance with James Cagney (reprising his Yankee Doodle Dandy role as George M. Cohan) is a standout. The feature film is preceded by an early Vitaphone short starring the real Foys.
Friday, May 26, 2000 (6:00 pm)
Casanova's Big Night (Paramount, 1954). Dir.: Norman McLeod. Cast: Bob Hope, Joan Fontaine, Basil Rathbone. (86 min., sd., col., 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Paramount).
Love and Death (United Artists, 1975). Dir.: Woody Allen. Cast: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton. (85 min, sd., col., 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy UA).
Woody Allen has long claimed Bob Hope as his favorite comedian and tonight's double bill illustrates just how much the seemingly idiosyncratic nebbish character of Allen's owes to Hope's earlier screen persona. Casanova's Big Night and Love and Death find the cowardly, yet romantically idealistic adventuring pair absurdly spoofing icons of Italian and Russian literature and lore as their anachronistic wisecracking inanities deflate pomposity with trademark false bravura and self-deprecating ironies.
Thursday, July 20, 2000 (7:00 pm)
Double Exposure (Vitaphone, 1936). Cast: Bob Hope, Johnny Berkes. (21 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Warner Bros.)
The Paleface (Paramount, 1948). Dir.: Norman McLeod. Cast: Bob Hope, Jane Russell. (91 min., sd., col., laserdisc; LC Coll., courtesy Universal).
Hope stars as "Painless" Peter Potter, the shakiest gun in the west in The Paleface, an enjoyable spoof of The Virginian.
Friday, August 25, 2000 (7:00 pm)
Watch the Birdie (Vitaphone, 1935). Cast: Bob Hope. (21 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Warner Bros.)
The Road to Morocco (Paramount, 1942). Dir.: David Butler. Cast: Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Dorothy Lamour. (83 min., sd., b/w, DVD; LC Coll., courtesy Universal).
Bob and Bing in perhaps the funniest of the Road pictures, with all the requisite gags and knowing asides.
Tuesday, November 7, 2000 (6:30 pm)
The Bob Hope Special (NBC, 1954). Cast: Bob Hope, Jack Benny, Rosemary Clooney. (60 min., sd., b/w, video; LC Coll., courtesy NBC).
The Cat and the Canary (Paramount, 1939). Dir.: Elliott Nugent. Cast: Bob Hope: Paulette Goddard. (72 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Universal).
Bob Hope at his best tonight, starting with a uniformly hilarious installment of The Bob Hope Special, originally aired on April 13, 1954. The Cat and the Canary was Hope's first starring feature film role, and he made the most of it. It firmly established him as a major star, and cemented the "scaredy cat" image he would reprise time and again.