Critic's Choice (film)

Critic's Choice is a 1963 comedy film directed by Don Weis. Based on the 1960 Broadway play of the same name by Ira Levin, the movie starred Bob Hope and Lucille Ball and included Rip Torn, Marilyn Maxwell, Jim Backus, Marie Windsor and Jerome Cowan in the cast.

Critic's Choice
Directed byDon Weis
Produced byFrank P. Rosenberg
Screenplay byJack Sher
Based onCritic's Choice
1960 play
by Ira Levin
StarringBob Hope
Lucille Ball
Rip Torn
Marilyn Maxwell
Music byGeorge Duning
CinematographyCharles Lang
Edited byWilliam H. Ziegler
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • April 13, 1963 (1963-04-13)
Running time
100 min.
CountryUnited States
Box office$1,250,000 (US/ Canada)[1]

This was the last of four films that Hope and Ball made together.[2]

Plot summary

Parker Ballantine (Bob Hope) is a theatrical critic, busily praising or disparaging the shows of Broadway. His wife Angela (Lucille Ball) is feeling useless and restless, so she writes a play about her mother and sisters.

Angela doesn't believe Parker should review her work, since he will look prejudiced if he does so favorably and it will hurt her feelings if he knocks it. Parker has read it and isn't impressed. A major producer, however, decides to back it.

Handsome Dion Kapakos (Rip Torn) directs the play and tries to strike up a romantic interest in the playwright. Angela continues to resist, but she's getting more fed up with Parker's negativity by the hour.

Before the play's first out-of-town tryout in Boston, the conflicted Parker goes to see his ex-wife, Ivy (Marilyn Maxwell), and gets a little tipsy. He decides to go to the opening, then writes a negative review. The trouble gets worse when he gets home.[3]


Critical reception

The New York Times wrote, "It is pleasing to look at in its expensive d├ęcor, color and scope, ably played by its experienced stars and ingratiating in its quieter insights into a sophisticated marital relationship. So long as it meanders modestly through some above-average repartee, it provides an agreeable way to pass an evening. Instead of leaving well enough alone, unfortunately, the director, Don Weis, has tried to upholster the shaky plot with slapstick and broad burlesque...Both stars, old hands at this sort of thing, go through their paces with benign good humor, but their subtler comic talents remain untapped. At this rate, the critics' popularity seems unlikely to improve."[4]

See also


  1. "Top Rental Features of 1963", Variety, 8 January 1964 p 71. Please note figures are rentals as opposed to total gross.
  2. "Critic's Choice (1963) - Articles -". Turner Classic Movies.
  3. "Critic's Choice (1962) - Don Weis - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  4. "Movie Review -- 'Critic's Choice' and 'Lad: 'A Dog' Open -".
  • Martin, Mick and Porter, Marsha "DVD & Video Guide 2006"
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