This forum is for discussions of the radio and television programs done by Jack Benny


Postby Gerry O. » Sat Oct 22, 2005 7:21 pm

As Jack would say, "Well, THIS I don't understand at ALL!"......

Just about everything that I've ever read about Jack's 1940 film with Fred Allen, "Love Thy Neighbor", MASSACRES it! Even respected film critics who normally enjoy Jack's films HATE this movie. They say that it's contrived, a big disappointment to both Benny and Allen fans, etc.

Frankly, I don't think that the film is that bad. I enjoy "Buck Benny Rides Again" more, but I find "Love Thy Neighbor" quite entertaining....and it gives us a chance to see Jack working with Mary Kelley ("I get around, Kid!").

For those of you who have seen "Love Thy Neighbor", what are YOUR thoughts on the film? Am I missing something here? Are the critics?
Gerry O.
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Postby LLeff » Sat Oct 22, 2005 9:08 pm

Gerry O. wrote:For those of you who have seen "Love Thy Neighbor", what are YOUR thoughts on the film? Am I missing something here? Are the critics?

Well, it is contrived. But heck, aren't a LOT of the movies of that era? Like everything starting with "The Big Broadcast of...", etc.?

Personally, I like it. The only other time that Jack and Fred appear together on screen is in "It's In the Bag", and they're definitely not on feuding terms at that time (as Fred fraudulently represents himself as the...ahem...President of the Jack Benny Fan Club....WELL!). So it's nice to have a visual version of the radio feud. And the ending is just downright silly.

Ignore the critics. See it.
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Postby Gerry O. » Sat Oct 22, 2005 9:41 pm

Something else that I don't understand.....many of the current reviews and write-ups of "Love Thy Neighbor" pan the film because they say that the Benny-Allen feud was already passe and "old news" by 1940. True, the feud was at its nail-biting best in 1937, but the feud was still very much alive in 1940. Both Jack and Fred were still referring to each other and insulting each other on their respective programs.....so I don't know where these critics and "film historians" are getting this "passe" idea from.
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Postby akomic » Wed Oct 26, 2005 7:02 pm

I thought it was pretty good! Which movie do you think is the funniest one he made? I saw an episode of Laugh-In on DVD recently where Jack benny was the main guest! Now that was funny because they played on how Jack's slow delivery contrasted with the quickness of the skits. I also saw a Dean martin roast of Jack Benny that was good too. I've heard all the shows and think they're great too!
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Postby Familyghost » Sun Jul 10, 2016 6:00 am

Oh boy, for a Jack Benny Show fan, this one is a must. I watch it every New Year's eve.

It was written, not by Hollywood schmucks, but by Jack and Fred's radio show writers; Morrow and Beloin, with Myers and Pagano. So the whole patter plays like a long sketch from both shows.

Fred nails each scene and is terrifically funny:
Mrs. Teasdale: "Not much flavor in this candy.."
Fred: "Candy? These are sleeping tablets. I've taken 48 of them and my foot isn't even asleep!"

You get to see the Maxwell. Notice that the sound it makes is the exact one from the show, including the horn. Mary Kelly has a cameo. Rochester has a song and dance number. Don Wilson a voice over. Costumes by Edith Head.

The only thing missing is Kenny Baker and Dennis Day facing off.

What throws critics and audiences is that the script wasn't really finished. They must have had half a script done when they had to start shooting. Once the pair leave New York, the movie crashes and burns. If they had taken a few more weeks to write an ending, this would be a holiday classic.
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