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Monsieur Beaucaire, Booth Tarkington's novel about an 18th-century French barber who poses as a swashbuckling aristocrat, was the surprising source for this Grade-A Bob Hope comedy. While in the original novel the tonsorial hero pretended to be someone he wasn't by choice, in this 1946 film Hope is coerced into posturing as a nobleman on the threat of death. It's "out of the frying pan" time here, since Hope will be a target for execution the moment he weds a Spanish princess in place of genuine noble Patric Knowles. Bob's ...

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