Fancy Pants


Comedy / Musical / Western

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Lucille Ball Photo
Lucille Ball as Agatha Floud
Bruce Cabot Photo
Bruce Cabot as Cart Belknap
Bob Hope Photo
Bob Hope as Humphrey
Percy Helton Photo
Percy Helton as Mayor Fogarty
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
847.5 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 32 min
P/S ...
1.54 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 32 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by theowinthrop8 / 10

An improved version of RUGGLES OF RED GAP?

Bob Hope was at the height of his comedy career and reputation when he did FANCY PANTS. Unlike some of the other movies he made in the forties and fifties he actually had a female partner here who matched him as a comedian. Here it was Lucille Ball. Ball and Hope actually proved to be a good pairing.

FANCY PANTS is based on RUGGLES OF RED GAP. Instead of Hope being a genuine butler/valet he is an actor who is playing a butler/valet. Renamed "Humphrey" or Arthur Tyler, Hope is a dreadful actor. His company is performing a ramshackle mystery where he is the villain. The best part of this is Eric Blore as the head of the family, critically wounded in an assassination attempt by "Humphrey" the butler, who shouts out an incomprehensible and accusingly nasty string of words at "Humphrey" ending with the words "DEMNED LYING SCOUNDREL!!" Hope, frightened at being exposed, looks at the other angry cast members and says "He's lying!!".

The cast is hired by a fortune hunter using them to pretend to be his aristocratic family to impress the Flouds and marry their daughter. But the Flouds are not impressed except with "Humphrey" because he tried to overcompensate with his work as a butler when he kept stepping on the "performances" of the others. As a result, Mrs. Floud (Lea Penman) purposely trips him so that he is fired by the fortune hunter (and so Mrs. Floud can hire him).

Despite the suspicions of Mr. Floud (Jack Kirkwood) and daughter Agatha (Ball),Humphrey accompanies the family back to their western estate in the Arizona territory. The territory is looking forward to becoming a new state. Anything that would speed this is encouraged.

It turns out that President Theodore Roosevelt is visiting the territory. The townspeople are excited as it might assist them in pushing for statehood. But there is a misunderstanding: word that Agatha had been pursued by an English lord spread around, and when Humphrey showed up it was assumed he was the Earl of Burnley. The Flouds find they can't disavow this mistake and are forced to treat Humphrey as a potential son-in-law. To add to the natural anger of the Flouds at this error and it's attending problems of stomaching a now arrogant Humphrey, there is the danger from Cart Belknap (Bruce Cabot) a neighbor who has had a kind of understanding with Agatha about eventually marrying her. Everything comes to a head when the President (John Alexander) shows up. For a change Humphrey manages to portray his role perfectly - too perfectly. He boasts too much about his riding abilities, and ends up involved in a fox hunt with the President and the townspeople. To complicate matters, Belknap is double checking "the Earl" and is physically threatening him.

The changes in the script improve it, as the original movie had tedious stretches when nothing was happening to Ruggles and the other characters. There is more unity of actions and Hope's cowardly conniver is quite funny. For example, when he arrives in the west he gets lost and separated from his stagecoach. Suddenly Humphrey refuses to be realistic. Walking through several full puddles and ponds, he convinces himself they are all mirages. There is also a moment when, still believing Humphrey is the perfect butler, Agatha insists he help her fix her hair. Not knowing what to do Humphrey teases her hair upward into a "hive" style, and puts a bird in a cage into the center of it.

The film's structure is smoother even though it does not include the "Gettysburg Address" speech. The cast is quite good especially Hope and Ball, Blore (briefly),Cabot, and John Alexander reprising (this time "legitimately") his "Teddy Roosevelt" from ARSENIC AND OLD LACE.

Reviewed by bkoganbing8 / 10

Belly Laughs

Fancy Pants is a musical comedy remake of Ruggles of Red Gap in which Charles Laughton had one of his best roles in the 1935 version that was directed by Leo McCarey. To say that Bob Hope's interpretation of the English butler who went west is different from Laughton's is the difference from porterhouse steak to hog's livers to use one of old Ski nose's favorite expressions.

Not that Fancy Pants is bad, in fact it's very funny and definitely the best of the four films that Bob Hope made with Lucille Ball. Ruggles of Red Gap was funny, but it was also whimsical and dramatic in spots and it was about a shy and proper English butler who adjusts to the new environment in America he finds himself and in the process makes some real friends.

To begin with Hope isn't a butler, he's an actor and a clod of an actor who has the knack for spilling all kinds of liquid on fellow player Norma Varden. The whole company is hired by a guy who was posing as titled nobility to woo wealthy American Lucille Ball.

Unlike a lot of Hope's leading ladies, Lucy gets her innings, especially playing this Calamity Jane type. She and mother Lea Penman are touring the continent and Penman decides Hope is just the guy to put a little refinement into their home and incidentally make them the envy of their small New Mexico town.

One thing leads to another and Hope winds up having to pose as nobility himself when the townspeople are misinformed and President Theodore Roosevelt comes to town for a visit. That doesn't sit well with Bruce Cabot who has designs on Lucy.

John Alexander who was 'Theodore Roosevelt' in Arsenic and Old Lace gets a chance to play him for real in Fancy Pants. His scenes with 'Earl' Hope are classic. I also liked Eric Blore who played the unintelligible 'Earl' in Hope's repertoire company.

Though director George Marshall and stars Hope and Ball go for belly laughs rather than some wry chuckles, Fancy Pants holds up very well after almost 60 years. But if you are looking for Hope to try and out do Mr. Laughton, than don't bother with it.

Reviewed by vincentlynch-moonoi7 / 10

Good news / bad news

The good news is that this is the type of role that Bob Hope usually excelled in playing. It's not exactly his "coward" role, with which he could run away with a picture. But it's close -- in this case a British actor portraying a British servant, playing a British earl...this time a somewhat cowardly braggart. There's nothing wrong with Hope's performance here.

And then there's Lucy, playing an American Western woman looking for a husband. As with Hope, it's a good performance.

And, Bob and Lucy always were good together...and were here.

So what's the problem? Well, many stories need a set up to get going. But the set up for this story lasts about 40 minutes, and that set up is only moderately entertaining. Once the Westerners mistake Hope's character for an earl, things pick up and the film gets relatively entertaining.

It's also a rather lush production with high production values.

The supporting cast here does okay...with the emphasis on "okay". Bruce Cabot wants to be Lucy's love interest, but of course Hope is in the way; Cabot was, in my view, a marginal supporting actor, although he often looked right for his parts. Jack Kirkwood plays Lucy's father; again, he does "okay". Lea Penman does fairly well as Lucy's overbearing mother. Clearly the studio wanted to save money here -- the supporting actors are largely unknown to the American audience.

What I find interesting here is the wide division between reviews here. People either love this film or hate it. I'm more in the middle.

BTW, this is somewhat of a musical. The songs sorta work, but it's pretty clear that Lucy is lip-syncing (to Annette Warren singing).

Chase scenes can be funny...but 3 chase scenes in a row is a bit much.

I'll give this film a weak "7"

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