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Critic's Choice (1963)

Bob Hope , Lucille Ball , Don Weis  |  NR |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, Marilyn Maxwell, Rip Torn, Jessie Royce Landis
  • Directors: Don Weis
  • Writers: Ira Levin, Jack Sher
  • Producers: Frank P. Rosenberg
  • Format: Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC, Color
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: June 19, 2007
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000O76ZRG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #149,080 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Critic's Choice" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Vintage comedy short "Calling All Tars" with Bob Hope
  • Oscar-nominated cartoon "Now Hear This"
  • Theatrical trailer

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

1963 comedy pairing Lucille Ball and Bob Hope. Broadway fans will enjoy the inside jokes of this movie based on a play by Ira Levin. Ball is a young playwright while Hope is her husband - and a drama critic.

With a light touch of New York sophistication, Critic's Choice is a smartly grown-up vehicle for Bob Hope and Lucille Ball, making their fourth appearance as an on-screen duo. Adapted from the Broadway play by Ira Levin, it's a fitting follow-up to the pair's previous comedy (1960's The Facts of Life), with its upscale story about top-ranking theater critic Parker Ballantine (Hope) and the trouble he gets into when his second wife Angela (Ball) decides to write a play. Given Parker's snobbishly influential reputation for writing scathingly negative reviews, it's only a matter of time before he's forced to confront the issue of reviewing "Sisters Three," the comedy that Angela has written, rewritten and polished with the help (and romantic advances) of Dion Kapakos (Rip Torn), one of Broadway's hottest young playwrights. Complicating matters even further is Parker's touch-and-go friendship with his ex-wife (Marilyn Maxwell) and the disapproval of his young, intelligent son John (Ricky Kelman), who serves as his father's much-needed voice of conscience. Add it all up and Critic's Choice is an easygoing comedy that occasionally falls flat (veteran TV director Don Weis can't decide if he's directing an all-out comedy or a marital melodrama), but Bob & Lucy make it surprisingly enjoyable, and Levin's source material has a lot to say about marriage, divorce, and the foibles of playwrights and critics in the high-pressure world of New York theater. It's also interesting to see Rip Torn so early in his long-running career, and the fine supporting cast includes such '60s stalwarts as Jim Backus, Richard Deacon, and John Dehner. Also available in The Lucille Ball Film Collection, this DVD includes two noteworthy short subjects from the Warner Bros. archives: "Calling All Tars" is a 19-minute Vitaphone comedy short from 1936, starring Bob Hope in one of his earliest screen appearances, and "Now Hear This" is an Oscar-nominated "Looney Tunes" cartoon from 1962, directed by the great Chuck Jones in the kind of innovative, abstract design style that was in vogue among animators in the early 1960s. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very funny! Reminded me of"I LoveLucy"! July 3, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This movie is a must see for Lucy fans! If you enjoy "I Love Lucy", then you'll enjoy this movie. Lucille Ball is fantastic! I admire her very much. She is my idol. No other actress, or person for that matter, has left such a legacy. She shines in this movie. I don't care what the professionals think. If you love Lucy as much as me, then you'll love her in this movie. It reminded me in some ways of "I Love Lucy", because in this movie Parker Ballentine(Bob Hope), doesn't think that his wife, Angela(Lucille Ball)has enough talent to write a play, similar to the way that Ricky doesn't think that Lucy has the talent to be in his shows. This movie is great for all the Lucy fans!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful! April 14, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
This movie doesn't really fit in well with the other Ball-Hope movies; it's much better. There is a lack of slap-stick comedy and a presence of realism that I found refreshing. If you are looking for a typical Hope movie, try "Fancy Pants," but if you are looking for a great semi-dramatic movie, try this. Just try to remember that the characters are not Lucy Ricardo and the usual Bob Hope: they are the Ballentines. Highly Reccomended!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THERE'S HOPE FOR LUCY. August 29, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Bob is cast in his usual one-dimensional character as theatre critic Parker Ballantine - who must review his wife's new play!...With the comfort of booze, analysis, and the comfort of his first wife (Marilyn Maxwell), Bob labouriously decides to pen a review...Arriving drunk at the opening, and himself immediately being the center of attention, Lucy takes the expected measures, which lead to a comical - if routine - conclusion. A funny comedy which was even a more successful Broadway play. Implausible as it is, the great talents of Hope and Ball will undoubtedly please their many admirers. The costumes by Edith Head are above par and the supporting cast is excellent: Jessie Royce-Landis, Jim Backus, Lurene Tuttle, Jerome Cowan, Rip Torn, John Dehner and Richard Deacon.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Ball and Hope star in a "Choice" comedy romp December 28, 2009
Based on Ira Levin's hit Broadway play, CRITIC'S CHOICE (1963) marked the final screen pairing for the beloved comedy duo Bob Hope and Lucille Ball; and I think it's the perfect last fling.

Parker Ballantine (Bob Hope) is New York's most feared and revered theatre critic. One stroke of his pen can cause a show to post closing notices, and he's even been responsible for putting his actress ex-wife Ivy (Marilyn Maxwell) out of work on several occasions! When his second wife Angela (Lucille Ball) decides to write a play based on her colourful mother, Parker experiences every critic's worst nightmare: how on earth will he manage to stay neutral and honestly review the play just as he would any other? And how will Angie react if he pans the entire affair?! Angie's Broadway bow might just end in the divorce court in this snappy backstage comedy.

Rumoured to be loosely based on Walter and Jean Kerr, CRITIC'S CHOICE is filled with choice (no pun intended) comedy moments for each star to shine. Jessie Royce Landis co-stars as Ball's mother, with Rip Torn, Marie Windsor, Joan Shawlee, Jim Backus and Ricky Kelman.

The DVD includes the 1935 VitaPhone short "Calling All Tars" with Bob Hope, plus a Looney Tunes cartoon ("Now Hear This") and the trailer. Also available in the Lucille Ball Film Collection (Dance Girl Dance / The Big Street / Du Barry Was a Lady / Critic's Choice / Mame).
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5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite Hope/Ball film! March 14, 2009
Critic's Choice is the fourth on-screen pairing of comedy titans Bob Hope and Lucille Ball (following Sorrowful Jones, Fancy Pants, and The Facts of Life), and I'd probably rank it as my favorite of their films together. Hope and Ball play off each other extremely well, and it's no stretch at all to imagine them as a married couple. Hope plays a high-brow New York theater critic known for how he relishes in eviscerating plays through his reviews. When his wife (Ball) takes it into her head to write a play based on her childhood, and when said play is actually finished and goes into production, the result is (mostly) comic marital discord. The feel of the movie kind of reminds me of the classic rom-coms Doris Day and Rock Hudson made together, only a shade deeper and more serious in how it deals with relationship friction between a married couple. For my money this flick is a thoroughly enjoyable way to while away a couple of hours. It's well-scripted, fast-paced, and does an excellent job of balancing humor with the more serious emotional and relationship issues Hope and Ball have to work through regarding their clashing careers, his clingy ex-wife, and her admiring director. The DVD has two extras - one, the comedy short Calling All Tars, is a lot of fun and is actually one of Bob Hope's earliest screen appearances, while the second is the so-so cartoon "Now Hear This."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Critic's Choice March 9, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a great movie, if you love Lucille Ball (and Bob Hope, of course). These two iconic actors make a wonderful team on screen. Two thumbs way, way up!!!
Peace, K :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Critics Choice September 11, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I have always loved this movie, and now I can watch it anytime I choose. It's fabulously funny.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very funny! Lucy is exceptional, as usual! March 2, 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This movie is great! Lucy is the world's best actress, and she shines in this funny film. Lucy and Bob make a great team. Lucy looks beautiful in this movie, as she does in everything else she's in. Lucy lovers will love this movie, and Lucy even more. Watch it!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 22 days ago by C. Deubel
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
all is great
Published 2 months ago by Armond Martin
5.0 out of 5 stars Critic's Choice
Bob Hope is always a treat.
Published 3 months ago by Jules
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 of thee funniest movies we'vw seen in along time
These two actors are soooo great together. We didn't even know this movie was out there. Extremely hilarious/entertaining. LAUGH OUT LOUD movie!!!!!!
Published 3 months ago by denise breece
1.0 out of 5 stars Not This Critic's Choice
I happened to see this movie in the library, and saw the big names on it. Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, as well as other major stars, sounds like the makings of something great,... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Long Tom
2.0 out of 5 stars "It's a good thing you can't be shot for having an opinion!"
A decidedly nasty theater critic (Bob Hope as Parker Ballantine) decides his wife (Lucille Ball as Angela Ballantine) can't write and forewarns her that he will be brutally honest... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Einsatz
3.0 out of 5 stars critics choice
Starring two great comedians of our time. Bob has to criticize his wife play and didn't care for it. It was kind of boring. Watch only to see two great stars.
Published 13 months ago by beth holman
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Funny
It was a disappointment. It certainly was not Bob Hope nor Lucille Balls best. You would think with these two great comedians it would be funny. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Mary white
4.0 out of 5 stars Great old movie
Jimmy Stewart is always good. I had seen it when I was young, and appreciated it much more as an adult.
Published 16 months ago by bkluvr
3.0 out of 5 stars OK
Just wanted a copy and it is a good oldie. I was not sure what the movie was about. But it is ok. Thanks.
Published 16 months ago by Pat A. Goodrich
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