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Rhythm Romance

Rhythm Romance, starring Bob Hope, Shirley Ross, Gene Krupa, Una MerkelRhythm Romance, starring Bob Hope, Shirley Ross, Gene Krupa, Una Merkel

Editorial review of  Rhythm Romance courtesy of Amazon.com

Bob Hope puts his best talents forward as Nicky Nelson, a fast-talking promoter with more angles than a funhouse. Originally titled Some Like It Hot (and since renamed for obvious reasons), the film follows the desperate schemes of a would-be entrepreneur seemingly on the verge of success. He’s got Gene Krupa’s band under his management and he’s in love with aspiring singer Shirley Ross, but after gambling away all his chances he’s left in the cold while his discoveries rise to glory without him, and he has one last shot to prove his worth. Hope’s scrappy, risk-taking hustler buoys the razor-thin plot with deadpan wisecracks and quipping asides, but this persona soon melted away in a career redefined by self-deprecating humor and coward gags. The film is a remake of 1934’s Shoot the Works, which is in turn based on a play by Ben Hecht and Gene Fowler. By 1939 little evidence of its roots are left–it’s a Bob Hope vehicle all the way. The other reason to see the film is, of course, the hot swing music of Krupa and his band, which performs three Frank Loesser tunes, including “Heart and Soul.”–Sean Axmaker