Road to Singapore (1940)

“That’s our agreement — no women, remember?”

Synopsis:
A pair of friends (Bing Crosby and Bob Hope) escaping marital obligations flee to Singapore, where they meet and both fall in love with a beautiful dancer (Dorothy Lamour).

Genres:

Response to Peary’s Review:
As Peary notes, this early “Bob Hope-Bing Crosby comedy sets the formula” for the enormously popular and lucrative set of Road To… movies: “both pals fall in love with Dorothy Lamour despite past troubles with women; they are chased by the law; [and] they repeatedly betray and compete with each other for Dorothy’s hand, but ultimately each is willing to sacrifice his own personal happiness for his friend” (to a certain extent, anyway). Peary argues that “while there aren’t many funny moments, the picture is breezy” and “benefits from some lively songs, several Hope-Crosby ‘Patty-Cake’ routines, … and capable supporting work”. Indeed, fans of the series’ particular brand of humor will surely find much here to enjoy (though there’s obviously none of the self-referential humor evident in the later entries). Watch for a fun supporting performance by Judith Barrett as Crosby’s jilted fiancee; her lack of discomfiture at Crosby’s continual attempts to break off their engagement is truly unexpected, and most amusing.

P.S. According to TCM’s article on this first film in the series, “Though both men knew a major cash-cow when they were riding one, and thus were able to maintain a facade of deep friendship, they were highly competitive egotists who never missed an opportunity to belittle each other. And it wasn’t always in good fun.” Click here to read more.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • An innocuously enjoyable screenplay

Must See?
No, though it’s certainly of interest as the first of the extremely popular Road To… series — and one could argue that it’s must-see simply for its historical relevance.

Links:

One Response to “Road to Singapore (1940)”

  1. Not a must.

    First viewing.

    Quite simply, one of the dullest movies ever. ’nuff said.

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