“I can’t figure that Lucy out: one minute she’s sweet as pie, and the next, a heel!”
A pair of out-of-work musicians (Bob Hope and Bing Crosby) stow away on a cruise ship to Rio, where they meet a wealthy young woman (Dorothy Lamour) who’s being hypnotized by her evil caretaker (Gale Sondergard).
This fifth entry in the enduringly popular Road to… film series is also its longest, and shows signs of the comedic formula beginning to wear thin. While Hope and Crosby are still in fine form together, and Lamour is as lovely as ever, a number of the running gags — including an extended sequence involving Hope, Crosby, and Lamour teaming up with a trio of non-English-speaking singers, played by the Wiere brothers — fall somewhat flat. Despite its status as one of the “least” of the series, however, there’s still plenty of enjoyable shtick here for fans to appreciate. Followed in 1952 by Road to Bali — the only “Road” film (inexplicably) not listed in Peary’s book — and then in 1962 by the series’ humorously off-beat final entry, The Road to Hong Kong.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Hope and Crosby, still going strong in their humorous rivalry
- Creative opening credits
- Memorable one-liners: Hope [greeting Sondergard under his breath]: “It’s tall, dark and cyanide!”
No, though it’s an enjoyable enough entry in the series, and certainly must-see for diehard Road to… fans. Listed as a Cult Movie in the back of Peary’s book.