What’s Old Is A New Release Again (2021) with… Nothing But The Truth (1941)

We’ve got another Bob Hope film today, and that would be his third pairing with actress Paulette Goddard, the 1941 comedy Nothing But The Truth!

Coming Up Shorts! with… Car Of Tomorrow (1951)

(Available on Blu-ray and DVD as part of Tex Avery Screwball Classics Volume 2 from Warner Archive Collection)

(Length: 6 minutes, 19 seconds)

We are shown the “cars of tomorrow.” This one is fun, as it shows different types of cars. Some car features work (in a literal way), and others backfire. But the gags come fast and furious (and, building off of The House Of Tomorrow, it even throws in one “mother-in-law joke”). There are a few jokes based on stereotypes that haven’t aged well, but it’s only one or two instances. I enjoyed a few good laughs with this one, even if it did just seem to be a series of gags with different types of cars.

And Now For The Main Feature…

Stockbroker T. T. Ralston (Edward Arnold) is in trouble: his niece, Gwen Saunders (Paulette Goddard), is trying to collect $40,000 for charity, and he has promised to give her $20,000 if she can raise the other half. Of course, he doesn’t want to keep that promise, and, behind her back, convinces everybody he knows not to donate. However, she has managed to collect $10,000, and turns to the one person he hasn’t talked to: the newly-hired Steve Bennett (Bob Hope). Gwen asks him to invest the $10,000 in something that will double her money in a quick period of time (without telling her uncle or anybody else where the money came from). Before Steve can do anything, his boss T. T. tries to get him to sell some bad stock. Steve is unwilling to do so, believing that honesty is the best policy. T. T. and his partners, Tom Van Dusen, a.k.a. “Van” (Leif Erickson) (who also happens to be Gwen’s boyfriend) and Dick Donnelly (Glenn Anders) decide to call him on the idea by betting him that he can’t the tell the truth and nothing but the truth for twenty-four hours. Steve takes up the bet, using Gwen’s money, since he figures he can win easily. With nobody allowed to tell about the bet, the three men decide to stay close to Steve to keep him honest (and try to force him to lie). He’s stuck going with them on T. T.’s yacht for the weekend, and, with their constant pestering in an attempt to get him to lie, he manages to insult almost everybody on the boat. To make matters worse, Dick Donnelly (who is married to T. T.’s daughter) also finds himself trying to avoid trouble, when his mistress, actress Linda Graham (Helen Vinson), comes on board, looking for the money that she had been promised would be put into her show. Since Dick had promised her that Steve would pay, she appeals to Steve by trying to tell him about the show (and, in the process, convincing some of the eavesdropping women that the two are an estranged couple). With everybody mad at Steve (including Gwen, whom he had fallen for), will he be able to win the bet, or will he tell a lie to get himself out of trouble (and lose all that money)?

Nothing But Trouble was the third and final pairing of Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard. Like the previous two films, it was based on another property, which first came about as a 1914 novel by Frederic S. Isham before being turned into a 1916 stage play by James Montgomery, and which was then made into a movie twice before (in 1920 and 1929). The basic story, that of somebody betting that they can tell the truth (and only the truth) for a set amount of time has been done many times, both on the big and small screen, so the plot itself is nothing new. What does matter is how well done it is, and I personally think that the cast of this film makes it work quite well here! We still have Bob Hope early in his career, when he did do more as a romantic lead (and did quite well here). Compared to her two previous outings with Bob Hope, actress Paulette Goddard is given a lot more to do as a comedienne, and she shines in that regard, providing just as many laughs as Bob! Edward Arnold, Leif Erickson and Glenn Anders are all fun as the trio trying to trip up Bob (while also keeping their own noses clean), and the rest of the cast is solid, too. While he doesn’t have a lot to do, actor Leon Belasco, who portrays the psychiatrist Dr. Zarak, manages to leave an impression, as he comments on everybody’s actions (mostly by referring to names of famous psychiatric cases he knew of in Europe). The film’s weak spot (for better or for worse) is black actor Willie Best as Hope’s servant, and all the black stereotypes that come with it (although at least he’s not scared all the time like he was in The Ghost Breakers). As I said, this is not a new concept story-wise, but it’s a well-done comedy, and worth seeing!

This movie is available on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics, featuring a new 2K master. Personally, I think the movie looks wonderful! The detail is improved over the old masters that were previously available, and the image has been cleaned up of dirt and debris! The only problem I have with this release (and sadly, it’s more of an issue than I wish it was), is that the movie is not uncut. I know there is some footage missing at about the hour mark (that had been present on an earlier DVD from Universal). According to a representative from Kino, the missing footage is not on any of the film elements available at Universal (who owns the movie), and may have been a scene cut in the U.S. (and therefore the footage may have been found for the DVD in elements from another territory). That’s the last I have heard on the subject, and I don’t know if anything further will be done about it. It’s disappointing, as it leaves us with a fairly obvious jump cut that takes away from some of the scene’s humor. Hopefully, that’s something that might still get fixed somewhere down the line, but, if it doesn’t, it certainly makes this release a question of whether you want better picture quality (for which it is recommended), or the entire film (for which I would be a bit more hesitant to recommend it).

Film Length: 1 hour, 30 minutes

My Rating: 10/10

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List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

Caught In The Draft (1941) – Bob Hope – My Favorite Blonde (1942)

The Ghost Breakers (1940) – Paulette Goddard

Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (1939) – Edward Arnold – Ziegfeld Follies (1945)

The Ghost Breakers (1940) – Bob Hope/ Paulette Goddard (screen team)

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