They Got Me Covered (David Butler, 1943): USA

Reviewed by Kathleen Amboy.  Viewed on TCM.

 Robert “Kit” Kittredge (Bob Hope) is a fumble bum war correspondent in Europe, when he relies on a bad lead and sends his boss at Amalgamated News a telegram which reads “…Germany will positively not invade Russia,” but the headlines across America read GERMANY INVADES RUSSIA!

Kittredge is summoned home and promptly fired, when he meets up with Gregory Vanescu (John Abbott), a source who gives him a lead regarding a Nazi spy ring in the United States.  His girlfriend Chris (Dorothy Lamour) agrees to meet with Vanescu in order to transcribe his notes, but through mistaken identity Chris’ roommate is dictated the message instead, then chased down and abducted by the Nazi spies.

Kit and Chris follow every clue beginning at a Morrocan night club where they speak with “gypsy Rose Lee,” and later meet up with a Civil War veteran to play “bullet, bullet, who’s got the bullet?”  Kit is slipped a mickey and awakens at Niagara Falls, where he discovers he’s tied the knot with a burlesque doll named Gloria the Glow Girl (Marion Martin).

Gloria however is nobody’s stooge, and soon decides she’s not fronting “for a bunch of swastinkers!”  As the curtain goes up, she’s about to confide the truth to Kit, but her life is cut short, and Kit must be content with the corsage clue that Gloria places in his hand.

They Got Me Covered  is one of only a few pairings of Hope and Lamour, sans Bing Crosby, and is one of my favorites.  Mixing humor, intrigue, and the wonderful musical number Palsy Walsy written by Johnny Mercer, it is propaganda film noir at its best.

There’s one crazy antic after another with Bob Hope in his prime and Dorothy Lamour absolutely divine.  Included are a cast of outstanding faces, which was the norm for many of Hope’s films.  These great character actors could often be found in many films portraying the same type of persona, such as Eduardo Ciannelli (usually a bad guy), Donald Meek (a meek type), Florence Bates (a busy body), and famed director Otto Preminger who often played a Nazi, and also a cameo – err of sorts – by none other than Bing!

 

 

 

 

 

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