Casanova’s Big Night (1954)

Raphael, a duke, hires the world-renowned ladies man Casanova to tempt his fiancée in order to test her fidelity before the wedding. If Casanova succeeds he is to bring back the intended’s wedding gift (a special petticoat) to the Duke.

However, the real Casanova has skipped town and Raphael has mistaken Casanova’s tailor Pippo (Bob Hope) for the licentious lover. The duke offers 10,000 ducats to the poor tailor (who can’t resist) and the story begins.

As with many Bob Hope comedies, the script is just an excuse to watch Hope weasel out of hilarious scrapes while rattling off a lot of anachronistic one-liners. There are even a couples of scenes where Pippo as Casanova is treated like a 1950s rock star, complete with screaming fans.

This time he is joined by Joan Fontaine as his love interest; Basil Rathbone as Casanova’s valet and Pippo’s coach in all things suave; and Vincent Price makes a brief appearance as Casanova. Every one of Hope’s cohorts seems to be having lots of fun making this film. Joan Fontaine often looks on the verge of laughing at any moment.

Whether the tailor succeeds is completely immaterial; this film is all about the laughs.


  1. Nice to see one of Bob Hope's funnier vehicles get some recognition! Basil Rathbone is very good in this (though he was even better in THE COURT JESTER).

  2. Hi Rick,

    I was surprised to discover THE GREAT Basil Rathbone playing a valet and not something more swashbuckling, since this film has lots of sword play. He is hilarious!

    I liked Rathbone's performance in THE COURT JESTER as well, but in CASANOVA'S BIG NIGHT he at least gets to make jokes along with everyone else, which was a nice change.

    Thanks for stopping by.


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