Starring Bob Hope, Vera Zorina, Victor Moore, Dona Drake, Raymond Walburn, Maxie Rosenbloom
Uninspired. Satisfactory. Inhibited.
Jim Taylor (Hope) is one the verge of a major scandal. Senator Loganberry (Moore) is on his way to town, and he plans to root out all corruption. Taylor knows that Loganberry is unimpeachable, so he plans to discredit the Senator, by hiring the beautiful Marina (Zorina) to seduce him (she needs the money to bring her mother over from France). The premise has more than enough potential for real, biting satire, but Louisiana Purchase settles for hi-jinks and slapstick. Bob Hope is too often sidelined or lost in the elaborate (albeit lovely) scenery, and not given much time to develop a believable romance with his leading lady. The film also reveals right away that Jim Taylor is innocent and the victim of the corruption of his superiors. I would have preferred that he be a more dubious character; a bad guy who falls in love and has a change of heart would have been better for the material. As it is, Louisiana Purchase is a perfectly fine film without any special distinction.
-Walter Tyrone Howard-