Coming to DVD via the Warner Archive Collection on August 20th, Critic’s Choice marked the fourth and final silver screen teaming of Bob Hope and Lucille Ball. Based on the 1960 Broadway play of the same name by Ira Levin (who is arguably best known for writing the novel on which Rosemary’s Baby was based), this comedy classic stars Hope as drama critic Parker Ballantine, who faces professional and personal crisis when wife Angela (Lucille Ball) writes a play…and he’s underwhelmed after reading it. Tensions go from simmer to boil when Angela’s work goes into production, the director (Rip Torn) flirts with her, and Parker turns to his ex-wife (Marilyn Maxwell) for solace.
The hilarious theatrical trailer for Critic’s Choice features Ball and Hope (obviously reading from a teleprompter) talking about themselves intercut with footage from the film. It’s a silly sneak preview that more than does its job of selling the picture while clearly having a good time mugging for the cameras.
(As an aside, wouldn’t it be great to see contemporary stars try to sell their movies in such a fun fashion?)
Critic’s Choice broad humor is a perfect time capsule of early-’60s comedy. Thanks to the Warner Archive Collection, it will have another shot of making your own personal Best Films list!