Critic's Choice 1963 NR CC

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(27) IMDb 5.7/10
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Bob Hope and Lucille Ball play husband and wife in a humorous tale about a scathing theater critic who must review a new play... written by his wife.

Starring:
Bob Hope, Lucille Ball
Runtime:
1 hour, 40 minutes

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Critic's Choice

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Product Details

Genres Comedy
Director Don Weis
Starring Bob Hope, Lucille Ball
Supporting actors Marilyn Maxwell, Rip Torn, Jessie Royce Landis, John Dehner, Jim Backus, Ricky Kelman, Dorothy Green, Marie Windsor, Joseph Gallison, Joan Shawlee, Richard Deacon, Jerome Cowan, Donald Losby, Lurene Tuttle, Ernestine Wade, Stanley Adams, Pamela Austin, Kathy Bennett
Studio Warner Bros.
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Jimmy Stewart is always good.
bkluvr
He encourages his son and his mother-in-law to gang up on his wife to keep her from writing a play he knows he will hate.
Einsatz
I have always loved this movie, and now I can watch it anytime I choose.
Joanne K. Campbell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 3, 1999
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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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By "mandybreann" on 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 By "scotsladdie" on 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Byron Kolln HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on December 28, 2009
Format: DVD
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ruth Anderson VINE VOICE on March 14, 2009
Format: DVD
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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By dean59 on March 22, 2015
Format: DVD
About a theatrical critic whose wife writes a play, and the marital complications arising both from (what he sees as) his professional duty to review it, as well as his wife's growing closeness to the play's director, the movie is one of those concoctions about sophisticated, cocktails-and-adultery artsy world Manhattanites that relies heavily on verbal wit and cleverness to succeed. Lucille Ball and Bob Hope are the wrong actors for this even if the wit were present, which it mostly is not.

There is also a problem with the "serious" side concering the critic's big dilemma between his (supposed) ethical obligation to review the play's Broadway opening and the consequences for his marriage. I don't know what the Theater Critic's Guidebook says (if there is one), but I don't see two equal sides here. Isn't it an obvious conflict of interest to review the production of a spouse's play, especially after having already read it and declared it no good; and how ethical is it to review that (or any) production after showing up at the theater late and falling down drunk? And from the selections we hear, the review itself is hack work, a series of pre-digested, leadenly sarcastic quips that could be inserted into a critique of almost anything.

Somehow, the movie manages to clamp on a happy ending reconciliation, in ridiculously short order, and on rather strange terms. The critic will in future not only be more supportive of the playwriting efforts of his wife (although nothing indicates that his estimation of her talent has risen), but he will also render uncredited assistance in her writing (and then review the results??
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