Spotlight on They Got Me Covered
I’ve long been a fan of the Road Pictures. You know the ones where Bob and Bing head off on some crazy adventure and always happen to run into Dorothy Lamour. In fact, they were my first introduction to Ms. Lamour. After watching the films I was curious to discover more about the exotic beauty who managed to hold her own against the comedy dynamos. I sought out more of her films and was pleased to find she had three additional pairings with Bob Hope – Caught in the Draft, My Favorite Brunette and They Got Me Covered. When I heard about The “Dot” Blogathon hosted by Font and Frock and Silver Screenings I knew I wanted to write about of these pairings and settled on They Got Me Covered.
Funny enough, out of the three above I’m least familiar with They Got Me Covered. I’ve long loved My Favorite Brunette (though I have yet to see a decent copy thanks to public domain) and have seen Caught in the Draft several times. But I only discovered They Got Me Covered a few years ago and was excited to re-watch it.
The film was released in 1943 in the heart of World War II and the war is the dominant theme. You see, Hope is one Robert Kittredge, a hapless reported based in Russia who didn’t foresee the German invasion. This bungle has sent him back to the US where he finds himself out of a job. This isn’t great for his long suffering girlfriend Christina (played by Lamour) who’s patiently stood by him for years. Luckily, one of Kittredge’s most valuable informants stops by with a huge tip that could change the couples fortunes for good. But they’re in Washington D.C. at the height of World War II and spies are everywhere. Needless to say, things don’t go quite as planned and Bob and Dot find themselves in a tangled web they may not come out of alive.
It may sound pretty dramatic for a Bob Hope vehicle but it’s really a lot of fun. Hope is at the top of his game and his bumbling ineptness leads to a lot of laughs. Meanwhile, Dorothy plays it straight and is the real brains of the duo. You often wonder just what she sees in this particular goofball. They’re surrounded by a game cast including John Abbott, Lenore Aubert and Otto Preminger.
While the movie does have its fair share of laughs I was disappointed at how little Dorothy Lamour is in the film and there are several scenes where she disappears altogether. At the time Bob Hope was at the height of fame and I’m sure the producers wanted to capitalize on his appearance. In fact, he was on loan to Samuel Goldwyn specifically to make this film and The Princess and the Pirate. Still, he and Ms. Lamour have great chemistry and I think more scenes together would have been a lot of fun.
They Got Me Covered may not be the most memorable film in either actor’s canon but it’s a fun movie and an interesting glimpse into a specific era. Both actors are in their prime and there’s even a fun cameo from Der Bingle himself. It’s worth watching for any fan of classic comedy.