'Bob Hope - Entertaining The Troops'
(Various / DVD / NR / 2015 / MVD Visual)
Overview: World War II affected everyone, and everyone found his or her own way of helping the cause. For American entertainers, choices included enlisting, selling war bonds, visiting the wounded, and entertaining the troops. In this 90-minute documentary, filmmaker Robert Mugge pays tribute to hundreds of well-known (and not so well-known) performers who assisted the military both at home and abroad.
DVD Verdict: In truth, EVERY Bob Hope fan should try and purchase this title. Inclusive of a reunion of Bob Hope's World War II troupe of performers (videotaped just three days before Hope's 85th birthday), this 90-minute documentary, filmmaker Robert Mugge pays tribute to hundreds of well-known (and not so well-known) performers who assisted the military both at home and abroad.
Simply put, 'Bob Hope - Entertaining The Troops' is a flashback to a golden era, albeit a time of unrest, that watching this DVD today has made me sadly yearn for (although the war aspect, not so much!). The first hour has Dorothy Lamour telling about her involvement with War Bond Drives, and it has some wonderful footage of Hollywood's greats doing what they can for the cause, either by signing up, or Bond drives, or showing up at the Hollywood Canteen to entertain the troops before they went over seas.
Also included in this jam-packed bonanza are rare period performances by the likes of, of course, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Jack Benny, Dorothy Lamour, Frances Langford, the Andrews Sisters, Abbott and Costello, Lena Horne, Carole Landis, Dinah Shore, Jerry Colonna, Danny Kaye, Eddie Rochester Anderson, Larry Adler, Kay Kaiser, Cass Daley, Irving Berlin, Bugs Bunny, and many others, as well as special appearances by such prominent actors as Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Marlene Dietrich, Carole Lombard (in the last appearance before her untimely death), and Edward G. Robinson.
After Dorothy Lamour has lamented, there is then a half hour with the man himself, Bob Hope - and a reunion with super singer, Frances Langford (the Bamboo Blonde), dancer Patty Thomas, and his guitar player Tony Romano. They tell some funny stories, and laugh a lot and even sing a little. They all look like there was no war going on and that it was just some backyard party at a friends house that they were all attending one day!
Rounding out this tribute are "updated" 1987 interviews with Dorothy Lamour (the Bond Bombshell), Frances Langford (the G.I. Sweetheart), Mel Blanc (the voice of World War II's Private Snafu, alias the Sad Sack), and Maxene Andrews of the Andrews Sisters. This is a Full Screen Presentation (1:33.1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.
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