Man’s Favorite Sport?
Release year: 1964
Director: Howard Hawks
Screenwriter: John Fenton Murray, Steve McNeil, Pat Frank (based on the story by)
Starring: Rock Hudson, Paula Prentiss, Maria Perschy, John McGiver, Charlene Holt, Roscoe Karns, Norman Alden
Moviegeek Sunday Classic #311, week 23 2020
When it comes to giving advise on fishing there is no one better than author of a best-selling fishing guide Roger Willoughby (Hudson). But when he is entered into a fishing competition by his boss, Roger must confess to the public relations woman (Prentiss) handling the event, that he has in fact never fished in his life. Determined to get her publicity scoop she gives Roger a crash course in fishing.
A funny screwball comedy but with several slapstick moments of comedy delight, Man’s Favorite Sport? sees Hawks (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, 1953) deliver a comedy so wonderfully silly it probably would have been produced by Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison company if it were to be released today. Hudson (Pillow Talk, 1959) brings class to the picture with his good looks and undeniable charm while Prentiss (The Stepford Wives, 1975) is pure comic delight with her manic Abigail, unintendedly driving poor Roger crazy while he tries to maneuvers through her ups and downs or simply just keep up with he energetic and fast-talking movie. There is several moments leaving you laughing and there is absolutely no need to be into fishing to enjoy this fishing comedy, after all, neither is Roger.
This film was meant to be an homage/remake to Hawks’ Bringing Up Baby (1938), and Hawks even wanted Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant to star in the movie. The scene where Maria Perchy’s character tears her dress and Rock Hudson has to walk out close behind her, telling his boss that he will be with him in a minute is lifted almost verbatim from a scene from Bringing Up Baby.
Original run time of the movie was +145 min. After previews audiences were very positive but producers still insisted on cutting at least 20 minutes as they found it way too long for a romantic comedy. Hawks was not exactly very happy with the final version.
The story idea was based on a line in a magazine article Hawks had read about a fishing expert who had never been fishing
Picture copyrights: UIP