My Favorite Spy (1951)

93 mins | Comedy | December 1951

Full page view
HISTORY

The working title of this film was Passage to Cairo . According to studio publicity material, Bob Hope's character, "Peanuts White," was first conceived as a schoolteacher who, while impersonating a recently deceased gangster, is sent to Cairo to obtain information. In the scene in which Peanuts talks on the phone with President Harry S. Truman, Truman's voice is not heard. The following actors were announced as cast members in HR news items: Kit Guard, Frank Meservey, Angelina Baur, Ann Beck, Violet Cane, Joe Gray, June Earle, Isabel Cushin, Lavonne Battle, Bill Wallace, Mary Louie, Alex Ball, Walter Findon, Clive Morgan, Jack Lucas Fisher, Larry Carper, Paul Stathes, Doris Lee Cole, Ann Cornwell, Sue Curtis, Marie Deauville, Kathleen Dennis, Wanda Flippen, Sylvia Lamarr, Harry Cording, Ed Laredo, Hazel Boyne, Arthur Dulac, Anton Northpole, Theodore Rand, Patricia Page, Shirley Lew, Joanne Rio and Bernard Campbell. The appearance of these actors in the final film has not been confirmed.
       According to studio publicity material, technical advisor Gysele Smith was a newspaper woman and public relations consultant for Voice of America in Tangier. A Mar 1951 HR news item announced that Stuart Thompson was filling in for cinematographer Victor Milner, who was ill with a virus. According to a Feb 1951 HR news item, the chase scene at the end of the picture was shot in Palos Verdes, CA.
       As noted in news items, the "world premiere" of the film took place in Bellaire, OH, in the living room of Anne Kuchinka. The Ohio housewife won a letter writing contest sponsored by Hope's radio show in which participants gave reasons why the premiere ... More Less

The working title of this film was Passage to Cairo . According to studio publicity material, Bob Hope's character, "Peanuts White," was first conceived as a schoolteacher who, while impersonating a recently deceased gangster, is sent to Cairo to obtain information. In the scene in which Peanuts talks on the phone with President Harry S. Truman, Truman's voice is not heard. The following actors were announced as cast members in HR news items: Kit Guard, Frank Meservey, Angelina Baur, Ann Beck, Violet Cane, Joe Gray, June Earle, Isabel Cushin, Lavonne Battle, Bill Wallace, Mary Louie, Alex Ball, Walter Findon, Clive Morgan, Jack Lucas Fisher, Larry Carper, Paul Stathes, Doris Lee Cole, Ann Cornwell, Sue Curtis, Marie Deauville, Kathleen Dennis, Wanda Flippen, Sylvia Lamarr, Harry Cording, Ed Laredo, Hazel Boyne, Arthur Dulac, Anton Northpole, Theodore Rand, Patricia Page, Shirley Lew, Joanne Rio and Bernard Campbell. The appearance of these actors in the final film has not been confirmed.
       According to studio publicity material, technical advisor Gysele Smith was a newspaper woman and public relations consultant for Voice of America in Tangier. A Mar 1951 HR news item announced that Stuart Thompson was filling in for cinematographer Victor Milner, who was ill with a virus. According to a Feb 1951 HR news item, the chase scene at the end of the picture was shot in Palos Verdes, CA.
       As noted in news items, the "world premiere" of the film took place in Bellaire, OH, in the living room of Anne Kuchinka. The Ohio housewife won a letter writing contest sponsored by Hope's radio show in which participants gave reasons why the premiere should be held in their home. Prior to the screening, a star-studded parade and radio broadcast were held in the town. According to a 19 Nov 1951 Time article, Corp. Karl K. Diegert of the Army Hospital at Camp Atterbury, IN, persuaded Hope, who was known for his USO shows, to do a second screening at the camp the day after Bellaire's. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
6 Oct 1951.
---
Box Office
1 Dec 1951.
---
Daily Variety
5 Oct 51
p. 3.
Film Daily
5 Oct 51
p. 6.
Hollywood Citizen-News
28 Dec 1951.
---
Hollywood Reporter
3 Oct 50
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Feb 1951
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Feb 51
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Feb 51
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Feb 51
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Feb 51
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Feb 51
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Mar 51
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Mar 51
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Mar 51
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Mar 51
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Mar 51
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Mar 51
p. 16.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Apr 51
p. 41.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Oct 51
p. 3.
Los Angeles Examiner
15 Aug 1950.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
6 Oct 51
p. 1049.
New York Times
24 Dec 51
p. 9.
New York Times
26 Dec 51
p. 19.
Time
19 Nov 1951.
---
Time
31 Dec 1951.
---
Variety
10 Oct 51
p. 6.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Laura Elliott
Jean DeBriac
Paul "Tiny" Newlan
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Dial dir
Dial dir
PRODUCER
Prod
WRITERS
Story and adpt
Story and adpt
Scr
Addl dial
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Fill-in photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
Props
Props
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
Mus score
Mus adv
Vocal arr
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
DANCE
Dance dir
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit prod mgr
Tech adv
Tech adv
SOURCES
SONGS
"I Wind Up--Taking a Fall," words and music by Johnny Mercer and Robert Emmett Dolan
"Just a Moment More," words and music by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Passage to Cairo
Release Date:
December 1951
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 24 December 1951
Los Angeles opening: week of 27 December 1951
Production Date:
late January--early April 1951
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
25 December 1951
Copyright Number:
LP1379
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
93
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
15264
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

At an airport, international playboy spy Eric Augustine eludes FBI agents waiting to take him to Tangier, and a bulletin is issued for his arrest. Soon after, Augustine's unsuspecting double, burlesque comedian Peanuts "Boffo" White, is picked up and questioned by agent Donald Bailey and General Fraser, who refuse to believe he is not Augustine. When police spot Augustine still at the airport, however, Peanuts is released. The comic is soon brought back in after Augustine is wounded while trying to flee again. Fraser and Bailey explain to Peanuts that they must retrieve some top secret microfilm that another spy, Rudolph Hoenig, has agreed to turn over to Augustine for one million dollars. Peanuts at first refuses to cooperate, but changes his mind when President Harry S. Truman phones him and commands him to do his patriotic duty. After studying Augustine's manners and habits, including his nylon-running kissing technique, Peanuts flies to Tangier, where he narrowly escapes being killed at the airport. He then finds himself in a taxi with enticing singer Lily Dalbrey, Augustine's lover, who accompanies him to his hotel. Although she and Augustine had recently parted on bad terms, Lily flirts with and kisses Peanuts. Once alone in his room, Peanuts encounters Tasso, his contact, who is posing as his valet. Tasso warns Peanuts that everyone in Tangier will be after his money belt, and Peanuts panics until Tasso pulls a gun and demands that he carry out his mission. Lily, meanwhile, meets secretly with the bird-loving Karl Brubaker, Augustine's treacherous rival, who is plotting with Lily to obtain the microfilm. Using her relationship with Augustine as leverage, Lily negotiates ... +


At an airport, international playboy spy Eric Augustine eludes FBI agents waiting to take him to Tangier, and a bulletin is issued for his arrest. Soon after, Augustine's unsuspecting double, burlesque comedian Peanuts "Boffo" White, is picked up and questioned by agent Donald Bailey and General Fraser, who refuse to believe he is not Augustine. When police spot Augustine still at the airport, however, Peanuts is released. The comic is soon brought back in after Augustine is wounded while trying to flee again. Fraser and Bailey explain to Peanuts that they must retrieve some top secret microfilm that another spy, Rudolph Hoenig, has agreed to turn over to Augustine for one million dollars. Peanuts at first refuses to cooperate, but changes his mind when President Harry S. Truman phones him and commands him to do his patriotic duty. After studying Augustine's manners and habits, including his nylon-running kissing technique, Peanuts flies to Tangier, where he narrowly escapes being killed at the airport. He then finds himself in a taxi with enticing singer Lily Dalbrey, Augustine's lover, who accompanies him to his hotel. Although she and Augustine had recently parted on bad terms, Lily flirts with and kisses Peanuts. Once alone in his room, Peanuts encounters Tasso, his contact, who is posing as his valet. Tasso warns Peanuts that everyone in Tangier will be after his money belt, and Peanuts panics until Tasso pulls a gun and demands that he carry out his mission. Lily, meanwhile, meets secretly with the bird-loving Karl Brubaker, Augustine's treacherous rival, who is plotting with Lily to obtain the microfilm. Using her relationship with Augustine as leverage, Lily negotiates a bigger cut and encourages Brubaker to assassinate her lover once the scheme is completed. Later, Peanuts tries to romance Lily in her room, and she notices his sudden lack of confidence. Tasso then directs Peanuts to the hotel restaurant, where Theresa, a spy disguised as a fortune-teller, passes him Hoenig's address on a tarot card. Lily, who is performing, and Brubaker and his men observe the exchange and attempt to steal the information, but Peanuts eats the card. Dressed in a camel costume, Peanuts and Tasso escape the hotel but are closely pursued by Brubaker's men. Peanuts slips into the casino where Hoenig is waiting and, as Tasso has instructed, plays roulette recklessly. From a back room, Hoenig watches Peanuts and sends for him once he is satisfied that he has the right man. As soon as Peanuts gives Hoenig his money belt in exchange for three tiny canisters of microfilm, Willie, Hoenig's cohort, pulls a gun and grabs the money and the film. Hoenig takes out his own gun, however, and kills Willie. Peanuts retrieves the film and rushes to the hotel to pack. Shaken, Peanuts drops one of the film rolls under the bed and scrambles to answer the door when Lily knocks. While professing her love, Lily manages to get one film roll out of his pocket, then agrees to marry him. Unknown to both of them, the real Augustine has escaped to Tangier and is now spying on them. After Lily phones Brubaker from her room, Augustine confronts her, knocks her out and takes her microfilm. Peanuts retrieves the roll under the bed and goes to Lily's room, while Brubaker's men shoot Augustine in Peanut's room and steal his roll. Peanuts finds Lily unconscious, and when she revives, she starts hitting him. Peanuts, who has hidden both of his film rolls in Lily's empty lipstick case, returns to his room and discovers Augustine's body. Lily then storms in and, while deducing that Peanuts is an imposter, demands the microfilm at gunpoint. After Peanuts promises to get it for her, Lily puts her lipstick case in her purse, unaware of its contents, and escorts him outside. Brubaker waylays them, however, and drives them to his villa, where the alcoholic Dr. Estrallo injects Peanuts with truth serum to force him to reveal the microfilm's whereabouts. Still unaware of Peanuts' true identity, Brubaker is perplexed when he starts singing and making jokes. Lily, however, is moved by Peanuts' uninhibited declaration of love and sets an adjoining room on fire to create a distraction. The couple dashes off, chased by Brubaker and his men. After ducking into a fire station, Lily and Peanuts don firefighting outfits and return to Brubaker's burning villa with the responding firetruck. Brubaker almost nabs Peanuts, but Lily jumps in the truck and scoops him up on the end of the ladder. Lily races off with Peanuts dangling on the ladder, and after a long chase, they hide in a barrel. When the barrel is moved, Brubaker realizes they are inside and shoots at it, but Tasso shows up in time to arrest him. The barrel then collapses, revealing Lily and Peanuts happily kissing. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.