29 December 2000 | clive-38
Hope, Crosby and Lamour excel in one of the best of the "Road" series
Duke Johnson (Bing Crosby) and Chester Hooton (Bob Hope) are struggling entertainers down on their luck who travel to Alaska. Killers Sperry and McGurk steal a vital map showing the location of a gold mine. Our two heroes manage to obtain the map and decide to impersonate Sperry and McGurk which leads them into more trouble than they could ever have imagined. Along the way they meet saloon singer Sal Van Hoyden (Dorothy Lamour) and as usual both men compete for her charms. With Sperry and McGurk hot on their trail plus other assorted villains after them Hope and Crosby get into many tight corners but they still find time for some catchy songs along the way including "Put It There Pal" which is a typical Hope/Crosby kind of number and Dorothy Lamour puts over "Personality" with her usual flair.
Of all seven of the "Road" pictures there are four which to me are outstanding and superior to any other comedy films from that same period. The "Road" films have certainly stood the test of time over the years and not become dated. My four favourites are the Roads to "Morocco", "Utopia", "Rio" and "Bali". Hope and Crosby worked well together as a team and in "Road to Utopia" reached new comedy heights. The film is very fast moving with gag following gag, talking animals, many hilarious comedy routines and situations, and even has Robert Benchley occasionally interrupting the proceedings to give an entertaining commentary on the film. The film is told in "flashback" and has a brilliant pay-off line at the end (one of the best in the entire "Road" series).
Some favourite lines from the film:
Bob Hope (to Bing Crosby): "I didn't think there was one more way to get the cops after us but you found it!".
Hope (to Crosby): "Next time I'll bring Sinatra!". (When Crosby loses a talent contest on board ship).
Hope (to Crosby): "It may be a mountain to you but it's bread and butter to me".
Hope (to Douglass Dumbrille): "I'll take a lemonade .... in a dirty glass!".
Hope (to audience): "We adopted him!".
The "Road" films never won any Oscars but brought an enormous amount of pleasure to a lot of people during the 40's. Hope and Crosby were a great team and made seven "Road" films in total. They both had very successful careers separately in movies, television, radio and on the stage and were probably two of the biggest stars to come out of Hollywood in the thirties and forties. 10/10. Clive Roberts.