Bob Hope's gags are tossed off in his usual slick fashion. And a great number of them are slyly but pointedly directed at Anita Ekberg's stimulating sculpture. The visual situations and incidents need spacing out a little more but they invariably crop up just in time to disguise the occasional repetition of plot.

Bob Hope’s gags are tossed off in his usual slick fashion. And a great number of them are slyly but pointedly directed at Anita Ekberg’s stimulating sculpture. The visual situations and incidents need spacing out a little more but they invariably crop up just in time to disguise the occasional repetition of plot.

Hope has built up a phoney reputation as an intrepid explorer of the jungles of Darkest Africa, by writing successful books based on old, secret diaries of his uncle. Actually, the nearest the timid character has ever been to Africa is to visit his aunt in Cape Cod. When an American moon-probe capsule is lost in the jungle and it’s necessary to locate it before foreign powers get their thieving mitts on it, Hope is detailed for the task because of his supposed expert knowledge of the locale.

Overall, there’s enough fun to keep this bubbling along merrily. There is Hope going through bravery tests to escape the native tribe, getting mixed up with a rogue elephant, a lion in his tub, having his pants repaired by Ekberg while he’s wearing ‘em (and with the poisoned needle from his suicide kit), and eventually becoming airborne in the moon-capsule.

Though most of the responsibility falls on Hope and his personality, Edie Adams gives a pleasantly unobtrusive performance and La Ekberg, though an unlikely Mata Hari, is a sound and decorative foil for Hope. Only the most fastidious carper will protest that the jungle often reeks of Pinewood Studio.

Call Me Bwana

UK

Production

Eon. Director Gordon Douglas; Producer Albert R. Broccoli; Screenplay Nate Monaster, Johanna Harwood; Camera Ted Moore; Editor Peter Hunt; Music Muir Mathieson, Monty Norman;; Art Director Syd Cain

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1963. Running time: 93 MIN.

With

Bob Hope Anita Ekberg Edie Adams Lionel Jeffries Arnold Palmer Percy Herbert
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