Caught in the Draft (1941): Bob Hope Avoids Draft, Marries Dorothy Lamour

In this comedy, directed by David Butler at Paramount, Bob Hope plays Bob Dolton, a famous movie star who does his best to avoid the pre-war draft, but nonetheless ends up in uniform.

Hope marries Dorothy Lamour, the daughter of Army colonel Clarence Kolb, hoping that their union will help him sidestep military service. However, stuck in boot camp, Hope is a screw-up until he redeems himself during a battle in “heroic” action.

Hope’s Bolton is hooked when one of his schemes backfires. His induction into an army camp and subsequent misadventures as a gun-shy ex-star who faints at the sight of blood, brought laughter to audiences at a time when they needed it.

Uncertain that Hope could carry a film by himself, Paramount teamed him with Eddie Bracken, Dorothy Lamour, and Lynne Overman. Despite the efforts to make Bob Hope just one part of the large ensemble, he stole every scene he was in, proving that he was star material.

This effective flag-waver offers Hope one of his best and funniest screen roles. Hilarious situations and dialogue abounded, and Hope wound up both a hero and a bridegroom. “Caught in the Draft” was released just months before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, when comedy could still be made about the conflict.

Appearing with Hope were Dorothy Lamour, as the colonel’s daughter with whom Hope falls in love; Lynne Overman, in a supporting role as Hope’s agent, and Eddie Bracken as Hope’s girl-crazy valet, who follows his boss into the army, along with the agent, whose percentage of Hope’s pay is not enough to support him.

Bob Hope as Don Bolton
Dorothy Lamour as Tony Fairbanks
Lynne Overman as Steve
Eddie Bracken as Bert
Clarence Kolb as Col. Peter Fairbanks
Paul Hurst as Sgt. Bums


Released: June 25, 1941
Running time: 82 Minutes.
Produced by B.G. De Sylva.
Directed by David Butler.
Screenplay by Harry Tugend.