Thursday, 16 July 2015


The third entry in the 'ROAD' series of films was a
staple of Sunday afternoon TV viewing over the course
of many years, and I've lost count of the number of times
I've now seen this comedy classic.  I'm sure I saw it at my
grandparents' house at least once, but the last occasion I
recall was on one of the rare times they visited us on a
Sunday, rather than us visiting them.

I saw it again after that, of course - several times,
but somehow that's the day that seems foremost in my
mind, when six of us sat around the TV set and laughed up-
roariously at BING & BOB's antics, with my father giving
a running commentary on what was coming up next.  Not
that it mattered much of course, because we'd all seen
it before and practically knew it off by heart.

I now have the complete set of 'Road' movies in a
gloriously remastered DVD box set and it goes without
saying that I have memories associated with all seven films.
However, ROAD To MOROCCO is probably my favourite
of them all, which is high praise indeed because the other six
are all pretty durn funny.  HOPE & CROSBY were planning
an eighth film - ROAD To The FOUNTAIN Of YOUTH -
when Bing died suddenly on a golf course in Spain in 1977.
There was talk of Bob doing the film with GEORGE
BURNS, but it never happened.

Perhaps it was just as well;  good as George Burns
was, Bing & Bob had a special chemistry that was diffi-
cult to beat.  Altogether now - "Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake,
Baker's man, bake me a cake as fast as you can..."


Anonymous said...

I loved the Road movies when I was a kid, I always associate them with bank holidays and wouldn't Dorothy Lamour make a worthy babe of the day, Kid ? I've never heard about Bing and Bob planning a final Road movie in '77 - surely they were too old by then, it might have been terrible. In the '80s one of the Sunday tabloids claimed that when Ronald Reagan stood down as president he was planning to return to Hollywood and team up with Bob Hope to make a new Road film - what an appalling idea, of course it must have been true if it was in a Sunday tabloid :)

Kid said...

I've intended to post Dorothy for a while now - actually thought I had done, but just checked and can't find her on the blog. Given the title, I think one more Road movie could've worked if it had a decent-sized budget and played on the age factor. I met Bob Hope in 1984 (7 years after Bing died) and he looked only about 60 - he was 81.

TC said...

When I was a child, I saw part of a comedy movie on TV one weekend afternoon. There was a scene with two guys lost in the desert. They saw a drive-in restaurant, and ran toward it. Of course, it turned out to be a mirage, and disappeared. For years, I thought it was Abbott & Costello, but when I later watched their movies with a desert setting ("Lost in a Harem," "A&C in the Foreign Legion," "A&C Meet the Mummy"), none had a scene like that. Then, I finally saw "Road to Morocco" on TCM, and realized I had been on the wrong track. It was Bob & Bing, not Bud & Lou.

"Morocco" is probably my favorite in the "Road" series. "If we run into danger, we'll have no fear/because our contract with Paramount is for five more years," and "Where we're going, I'm not really sure/but I'll bet you that we'll meet Dorothy Lamour."

Joan Collins described working on "Road to Hong Kong" in her autobiography. She seemed to like Bob Hope, but, apparently, Crosby was not so easy to get on with. She was talking to a janitor or stage hand on the set, and said, "If you think your job is lousy, just remember, I have to do love scenes with that jerk." And he said, "Oh, darlin', I feel sorry for you. I'd rather kiss Hitler."

I believe there were several attempts to do "Road to the Fountain of Youth" over the years, but they never could get the project ready to go when Hope, Crosby, and Dorothy Lamour were all available at the same time.

Kid said...

Maybe Dorothy Lamour was holding out for a bigger fee, TC. Hope & Crosby had a profit-sharing deal with Paramount on at least a couple of the movies, but Lamour was a salaried performer. When the soundtrack album of one of the films was about to be recorded, Lamour insisted on a third of the profits, so Bing & Bob got Peggy Lee to do the album in her place. I'd say 'Morocco' is my favourite too.

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