If you saw LIAR LIAR with Jim Carey a couple of years ago, you saw a variant on this movie's central premise: We are so jaded in society that we are willing to accept lying as second nature, and will lie to smooth over social relations and business relations. As long as the lie is not uncovered it is accepted. John Ford said it on a more serious basis in THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE: If you have a choice between printing the colorful legend or the bare bones truth, print the legend.
Bob Hope works at a stock brokerage house owned by Edward Arnold, alongside Gleen Anders (Arnold's somewhat straying son-in-law) and Leif Ericson. Paulette Goddard, a niece of Arnold, gets him to promise to pay up to $20,000.00 to make up the balance of $40,000.00 needed for a charity that is building an old people's home. Goddard has promised this to the head of the charity, Grant Mitchell. She has $10,000.00 of the collected money of the charity, but Arnold will fully match the $20,000.00 if Goddard invests her $10,000.00 in a "sure thing" that will double the investment quickly.
Arnold has no intention of this altruism. He know Goddard gave Hope the money to invest, and with Strange and Ericson they bet $10,000.00 together against this $10,000.00 that Goddard gave Hope if for 24 hours the latter will only speak the truth.
The plot shows the pitfalls such a bet entails. Hope constantly is put on the spot by Arnold and company, asking embarrassing questions in private or at a dinner party he has to attend. And he keeps on having to make insulting revelations to people. They hope that Hope will give in and lie, but he is determined to see it through. Of course some of this backfires: Arnold is pushing a dubious mining venture, and when a would-be investor asks Hope's opinion the latter refuses to support the idea of investing in the company. Anders has been playing around with an actress pushing a play, and has to cover up by his own lying when Hope may be asked the truth by Anders' wife about Anders and the actress. And Goddard has to hope that Hope does not reveal anything to Mitchell about the investment of the $10,000.00 before 4 P.M the next day.
The idiocy of such plots always is that the hero or heroine caught in them does not insist on his/her right to tell everyone about the bet. If that was allowed, everyone would be circumspect about what they ask that person. Instead the hero/heroine has to act stupidly for the entire story until the deadline is reached.
Yet it is an amusing plot all the same (as Carey's film demonstrated). We do depend, despite our best wishes, on lying to get along all over the globe. It can't be avoided. So for all the ill-logic involved it remains a plausible enough commentary about human beings.
Hope and Goddard made an attractive pair of leads, in this, the third and last film they did together. Their co-star from THE GHOST CATCHERS and THE CAT AND THE CANARY, Willie Best reappears too, still doing some racist style humor (catch the suntan lotion joke), but also showing a degree of common sense Hope fails to latch onto. Arnold is good, but has been in better comedies (DEAR RUTH comes to mind) Anders is interesting because he is best recalled as Everett Sloans' weird and doomed partner Grisby in Orson Welles' classic THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI, a straight and dark role. Anders made few movies in his career (usually he was on Broadway) so it is nice to see him trying comedy. Leif Ericson (who had been in THE BIG BROADCAST OF 1938 with Hope) was usually playing stick-in-the-mud characters in this period. He would not do good characters parts until the 1960s. Clarence Kolb is a newspaper owner who finds the editorials he writes put Hope to sleep. Leon Belasco is a Hungarian psychiatrist who is now practicing in Miami (where the film is set), who finds Hope and the others interesting potential clients.
The film seems based on a 1917 comedy of the same title that had a good run for the period. In looking over the cast of that play only William Collier had any Hollywood career (mostly in the silent period, and later as a writer or director). But the film is amusing and will be a welcome addition to Hope fans (especially as it is rarely shown).
Nothing But the Truth
Action / Comedy / Romance
Nothing But the Truth
Action / Comedy / Romance
Stockbroker T.T. Ralston has promised his niece Gwen to double it if she can raise $20,000 for charity. But he connives so those she asks refuse to give her more than the $10,000 she's already raised. Gwen secretly gives T.T.'s new partner Steve Bennett the $10,000 and asks him to double it. Later in a discussion with T.T., business partner Dick and client Van, about truth in business Steve bets the $10,000 that he can tell the truth for 24 hours. Having already accepted an invitation for a weekend on T.T.'s houseboat, Steve is subjected to 24 hours of attempts to get him to lie or divulge the bet, which would lose him (and Gwen) the $10,000.
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
May 06, 2021 at 08:25 AM