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Ira Levin wrote the stage comedy Critic's Choice as a good-natured retort to a comment made by critic Walter Kerr. In his essay How Not to Write a Play, Kerr noted that the worst possible scenario would involve a drama critic forced to review a play written by his wife. Levin utilized this very scenario, and the result was a Broadway hit. Bob Hope portrays theatrical critic Parker Ballantine, while Lucille Ball plays his wife Angela. Feeling "useless," Angela writes a play as a lark, then is amazed when it is optioned by a major producer. Parker does his best to get out of the responsibility of reviewing the play (which very well may be as bad as he thinks it is), but cannot escape the responsibility. Much of the verbal wit of the Levin original is sacrificed in favor of one-line quips; there is also an overabundance of gratuitous slapstick during a little-league game and the climactic "opening night" sequence. Still, Hope and Ball work together well as always.

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WA113716 Critic's Choice DVD (1962/Bob Hope) $19.99