“I bet you never thought you’d have a fortune riding in the old melon.”
When a con-man (Bob Hope) accidentally memorizes a secret formula coveted by an underground terrorist organization (led by Robert Morley), one of its members (Joan Collins) does everything she can to wrest it from him; meanwhile, she finds herself falling in love with his partner (Bing Crosby).
This final entry in the long-running, enormously popular Road to… franchise is often dismissed as its worst, and cited as evidence that the series had finally run its course; therefore, I was surprised to find myself enjoying its silly sci-fi premise (a spoof of Dr. No, released the same year) as much as I did. Hope and Crosby, despite their advancing ages, still manage to generate plenty of amusing comedic synergy, and gamely allow themselves to get into all sorts of foolish situations; meanwhile, the space travel plot is so ridiculous — in true Road to… fashion — that you can’t help watching in anticipation of what bizarre twist will come next (just wait for the banana-feeding machine). Meanwhile, Collins is actually a fine replacement for Lamour, exhibiting natural chemistry with both aging leads, and taking the silly plot just seriously enough. Speaking of Lamour, however, her brief cameo appearance late in the film is unfortunately a bit pathetic. While she had every right — as an essential member of the earlier Road to… trio — to insist on appearing in this film, her over-the-top nightclub performance here (playing herself) simply doesn’t provide her with a dignified exit from the series.
P.S. Watch for Peter Sellers in an early, uncredited scene as an Indian neurologist attempting to diagnose Hope’s memory loss — he (temporarily) steals the film.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Peter Sellers’ brief but indelible early scene as an Indian neurologist
- A number of incredibly silly jokes, sequences, and gags
No, but it’s actually recommended for good, clean Hope & Crosby fun.
Posted on March 4th, 2011 by admin
Filed under: Original Reviews