Fact Check

Greatest Movie Line Ever

Clip from a Bob Hope movie describes Democrats as 'zombies.'

Published Oct 28, 2008

Claim:   Clip from a Bob Hope movie describes Democrats as "zombies."

Status:   True.

Example:   [Collected via e-mail, September 2008]

Email video clip of Bob Hope in a movie comparing zombies to Democrats. It's funny, but wondered what the movie was and if he really said Democrats, or if someone dubbed it in.

Origins:   "I am not a member of any organized party — I am a Democrat," quipped Will Rogers in one of the more famous examples of American political humor. The clip displayed above is more humor in a similar vein, a segment from the 1940 Bob Hope film The Ghost Breakers, synopsized thusly on the IMDb:

Mary Carter (Paulette Goddard) inherits her family's ancestral home, located on a small island off Cuba, and, despite warnings and death threats, decides to take possession of the reputedly haunted castle. She is joined by radio broadcaster Larry Lawrence (Bob Hope) who, believing he has killed a mob gunsel, flees New York with his butler, Alex. Once on the island the threesome enter the eerie castle and, after viewing the ghost of one of Mary's ancestors and fighting off a menacing zombie, they find the key to the castle's treasure but are interrupted by an all-too-human foe.

In the scene shown here, Larry Lawrence and Mary Carter inquire of Geoff Montgomery (Richard Carlson) about the nature of creatures known as "zombies," providing the set-up for a Bob Hope zinger:

Lawrence: "You live here?"

Montgomery: "Yes."

Lawrence: "Then maybe you know what a zombie is"

Montgomery: "When a person dies and is buried, its seems there are certain voodoo priests who ... who have the power to bring him back to life."

Carter: "How horrible!"

Montgomery: "It's worse than horrible because a zombie has no will of his own. You see them sometimes walking around blindly with dead eyes, following orders, not knowing what they do, not caring."

Lawrence: "You mean like Democrats?"

Last updated:   28 October 2008


David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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