All of the “Road To” movies are musical comedies that are short on plot, but chock full of wise-cracks, sight gags, running jokes, and lines that seem to be ad-libbed, having little to do with the story. While none of the six “Road” movies that followed “Singapore” are sequels, Hope and Crosby’s characters in all of them are interchangeable. Basically, Bing would play a sharp con man while Hope was his cowardly, but hysterically funny sideman. During all of their misadventures, the duo would travel to an exotic locale, find themselves in dangerous predicaments, and meet up with Dorothy Lamour, who appears in all of the “Road” films. (Interesting to note, Hope is billed third, behind Crosby and Lamour, in the first “Road” film, “Road To Singapore”)
Actually, all of the “Road To..” movies are spoofs of many of the popular film genres of the day, including African jungle flicks, Arabian Nights films and South Seas adventures, with a few songs thrown in along the way. Hope and Crosby’s willingness to abandon the films original scripts and throw in their own ad-libs became legendary, as well as Hope’s tendency to break the fourth wall and speak directly to the audience. Much of the humor consisted of inside jokes, that poked fun at themselves, Paramount Studios, and the very films they were staring in.
Turner Classic Movies will follow “Road To Singapore” with “Road To Zanzibar” (1941) at 6:30pm, pst, “Road To Moracco” (1942) at 8:15, pst, “Road To Utopia” (1946) at 9:45, pst, and “Road To Bali” (1952) at 11:30pm, pst. “Road To Bali” is unique to the series in that it is in color, and has several cameos, including Jane Russell, Humphrey Bogart, and another famous comic duo, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.
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