Fancy Pants (1950)

91-92 mins | Comedy | September 1950

Director:

George Marshall

Producer:

Robert L. Welch

Cinematographer:

Charles Lang Jr.

Production Designers:

Hans Dreier, Earl Hedrick

Production Company:

Paramount Pictures Corp.
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HISTORY

The working titles for the film were Ruggles of Red Gap and Where Men Are Men . Harry Leon Wilson's novel was adapted for the stage by Harrison Rhodes (New York, 25 Dec 1915). The opening credits read: "Starring Mr. Robert Hope (Formerly Bob) and Miss Lucille Ball." According to information in the Paramount Collection at the AMPAS Library, Paramount began production on this film in 1947, with Mel Epstein slated as producer, Edmund Hartmann working on the screenplay, and Betty Hutton as the star. The tentative titles were Lady from Lariat Loop and Lariat Loop . News items report that Hutton declined the role, and that the studio attempted to borrow Jane Russell from Howard Hughes to co-star with Hope, but the deal fell through. The production was canceled, and was rekindled in 1949.
       Additional information in the Paramount Collection reveals that the production was delayed by a series of script changes, and by Bob Hope's back injury, which occurred on the set on 1 Aug 1949. Production was "temporarily" closed on 13 Aug 1949 due to the injury. Some scenes were shot on location in Santa Fe, NM, and at Busch Gardens and Chatsworth in Los Angeles, CA. Actor John Alexander, who plays "Teddy Roosevelt" in this film, also portrayed a character who believed he was Theodore Roosevelt in Warner Bros.' 1943 film Arsenic and Old Lace , directed by Frank Capra, and the 1941 stage play of the same by Joseph Kesselring.
       Other films based on Ruggles of Red Gap , all of which were released under that title, include a 1918 Essanay ... More Less

The working titles for the film were Ruggles of Red Gap and Where Men Are Men . Harry Leon Wilson's novel was adapted for the stage by Harrison Rhodes (New York, 25 Dec 1915). The opening credits read: "Starring Mr. Robert Hope (Formerly Bob) and Miss Lucille Ball." According to information in the Paramount Collection at the AMPAS Library, Paramount began production on this film in 1947, with Mel Epstein slated as producer, Edmund Hartmann working on the screenplay, and Betty Hutton as the star. The tentative titles were Lady from Lariat Loop and Lariat Loop . News items report that Hutton declined the role, and that the studio attempted to borrow Jane Russell from Howard Hughes to co-star with Hope, but the deal fell through. The production was canceled, and was rekindled in 1949.
       Additional information in the Paramount Collection reveals that the production was delayed by a series of script changes, and by Bob Hope's back injury, which occurred on the set on 1 Aug 1949. Production was "temporarily" closed on 13 Aug 1949 due to the injury. Some scenes were shot on location in Santa Fe, NM, and at Busch Gardens and Chatsworth in Los Angeles, CA. Actor John Alexander, who plays "Teddy Roosevelt" in this film, also portrayed a character who believed he was Theodore Roosevelt in Warner Bros.' 1943 film Arsenic and Old Lace , directed by Frank Capra, and the 1941 stage play of the same by Joseph Kesselring.
       Other films based on Ruggles of Red Gap , all of which were released under that title, include a 1918 Essanay film, directed by Lawrence C. Windom and starring Taylor Holmes; a 1923 Famous Players-Lasky film, directed by James Cruze and starring Edward Everett Horton; and a 1935 Paramount production, directed by Leo McCarey and starring Charles Laughton (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20 ; F1.3804; 1921-30 ; F2.4730; and 1931-40 ; F3.3847). As several reviews state, Fancy Pants was very different from the 1935 film, with many additional comic bits geared towards Hope and Lucille Ball. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
29 Jul 1950.
---
Daily Variety
19 Jul 50
p. 3.
Film Daily
19 Jul 50
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Feb 1948.
---
Hollywood Reporter
14 Apr 1949.
---
Hollywood Reporter
19 Jul 50
p. 3.
Los Angeles Examiner
12 Jun 1948.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
22 Jul 50
p. 397.
New York Times
31 Aug 50
p. 21.
Variety
19 Jul 50
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
2d asst dir
Asst dir of 2d unit
2d asst dir of 2d unit
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Contr to scr const
Contr to dial
Contr to dial
Contr to dial
Contr wrt
Contr wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Fill-in cam
2d unit cam
Cam op
Cam asst
Gaffer
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
Props asst
2d unit prop shop
COSTUMES
Women's cost
Men's cost
MUSIC
Mus score
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
DANCE
Specialty number staged by
Dance dir asst
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Hair
PRODUCTION MISC
Dial coach
Tech adv
Tech adv
Scr supv
Scr supv
Grip
Head grip of 2d unit
Grip
Painter
STAND INS
Double for Bob Hope
Double for Lucille Ball
Double for Bruce Cabot
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor color consultant
Technicolor cam op
Technicolor cam asst
Technicolor tech
Technicolor cam mech
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Ruggles of Red Gap by Harry Leon Wilson (New York, 1915).
SONGS
"Yes M'Lord," "Fancy Pants" and "Home Cookin'," words and music by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Lariat Loop
Where Men Are Men
Ruggles of Red Gap
Release Date:
September 1950
Production Date:
21 June--31 August 1949
7 September--12 September 1949
Hope dance routine: 15 September 1949
addl scenes: 23 September 1949
13 April--14 April 1950
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
13 July 1950
Copyright Number:
LP402
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
91-92
Length(in feet):
8,288
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

In 1905, on a cricket field outside London, George Van Basingwell, a British gentleman, meets Mrs. Effie Floud, of the American nouveaux riches , and her daughter Agatha, who is beautiful but has coarse manners. George invites the Flouds to a borrowed country estate, because he has none, and hires a troupe of actors to pose as his aristocratic family. George's butler, "Humphrey," is played by American actor Arthur Tyler, who is broke and stranded in London. After repeatedly spilling trays of beverages on his co-star, who is impersonating George's mother, Lady Brinstead, "Humphrey" is fired. Effie then enthusiastically hires him for her estate in Big Squaw, New Mexico, hoping his cultured British demeanor will reform her down-to-earth husband. Mr. Floud misunderstands Effie's note informing him of Humphrey's arrival and tells the townsfolk that an earl is visiting. Humphrey agrees to pose as the earl, while dodging the efforts of Aggie's tough fiancé, Cart Belknap, to kill him for stealing his bride. President Theodore Roosevelt decides to pay Big Squaw a visit in order to meet the earl, and the town hopes that a good impression will win New Mexico a vote for statehood. Arthur, terrified, leaves town, but Aggie goes after him, and after he confesses his real identity, she convinces him to impersonate the earl for the president. The president and the earl get along famously until Arthur agrees to lead a fox hunt, even though he cannot even ride a horse. Aggie teaches him to ride and confesses her love. The next day, while the fox is being rubbed with gravy to entice the "hounds"--a motley mob of local house ... +


In 1905, on a cricket field outside London, George Van Basingwell, a British gentleman, meets Mrs. Effie Floud, of the American nouveaux riches , and her daughter Agatha, who is beautiful but has coarse manners. George invites the Flouds to a borrowed country estate, because he has none, and hires a troupe of actors to pose as his aristocratic family. George's butler, "Humphrey," is played by American actor Arthur Tyler, who is broke and stranded in London. After repeatedly spilling trays of beverages on his co-star, who is impersonating George's mother, Lady Brinstead, "Humphrey" is fired. Effie then enthusiastically hires him for her estate in Big Squaw, New Mexico, hoping his cultured British demeanor will reform her down-to-earth husband. Mr. Floud misunderstands Effie's note informing him of Humphrey's arrival and tells the townsfolk that an earl is visiting. Humphrey agrees to pose as the earl, while dodging the efforts of Aggie's tough fiancé, Cart Belknap, to kill him for stealing his bride. President Theodore Roosevelt decides to pay Big Squaw a visit in order to meet the earl, and the town hopes that a good impression will win New Mexico a vote for statehood. Arthur, terrified, leaves town, but Aggie goes after him, and after he confesses his real identity, she convinces him to impersonate the earl for the president. The president and the earl get along famously until Arthur agrees to lead a fox hunt, even though he cannot even ride a horse. Aggie teaches him to ride and confesses her love. The next day, while the fox is being rubbed with gravy to entice the "hounds"--a motley mob of local house pets--Arthur feigns a hurt leg to avoid riding a wild horse. Cart smears Arthur's clothes with gravy, and after a chase with the dogs through the house, Cart finds Arthur's acting scrapbook and threatens to expose him. When Roosevelt comes to say good-bye to his good friend the earl, Cart exposes him. Aggie and Arthur are run out of town while driving a handcar on the railroad tracks. Just after Arthur assures Aggie that nothing could pull them apart, a train collides with them in a tunnel and the handcar is cut in half. +

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

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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.