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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Road to Rio (released in 1947) - starring Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour

The ultimate comical trio, Bing Cosby, Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour star yet again in this wacky comedy where we have the action all aboard an ocean liner bound to Rio in Brazil. This movie is directed by Norman McLeod.
Scat Sweeney and Hotlips Barton are out of work musicians travel around the world trying to stay out of trouble and women. But inevitably they fail and after starting a fire in the circus with their hare brained act, they become stow aways in a Rio bound ship. They meet Lucia Maria Andrade and are immediately smitten by her. But Lucia blows hot and cold every moment. One time she is sweet and welcoming and the next minute she hands them over to the captain as unwelcome visitors.
Lucia is accompanied by her aunt Catherine Vail who seems to have an uncommon influence over her. She tells them that Lucia is to be married to her brother in Rio. Soon the stow aways discover that Vail is hypnotizing Lucia to keep her under control and some “papers” safe between them.

Both Scat and Hotlips plan to help out Lucia and get her off from Vail's influence. They soon succeed, but the uncanny Lady Vail puts her back under her spell and Lucia slaps them both. She even hypnotizes both of them and makes them fight against each other to the kill. But the boys soon figure out the evil designs of the devilish Aunt and soon reach Rio to rescue the damsel in distress. Lucia is all set to marry Vail's brother and a mysterious stranger informs the boys that the only way to stop the wedding is to retrieve “the papers”. So Scat and Hotlips reach the venue with Hotlips disguised in drag. They manage to hypnotize (again) Aunt Vail's henchmen and retrieve the papers. Scat reads them through and when Hotlips asks him what they are he says “the world should never know”.
So they use these papers to stop the wedding and the ultimate scene includes a cavalry charge from Hope's frequent sidekick Jerry Colonna to rescue the two wedding crashers. So the wedding is crashed, the girl is rescued and the evil aunt put to the test. Hotlips gets the girl and Scat sees him hypnotizing the girl but cannot do anything. The papers are revealed to be the best ultimate secret, the cutest of gags.
This road movie is the longest of the series running up to 100 minutes. But the gags are the same and the punches perfect. My favorite scene is the one when Bing and Bob introduce the Portuguese singers as Americans and teach the musicians one American line each by rote. Just imagine strong Portuguese men with Spanish accent's saying an American phrase by rote: "You're in the groove, Jackson", "You're Telling Me," and "This is Murder." Perfectly hilarious. You need a dose of the road movies to get the blues off your hazy eyes. Good watch always.

Road to Rio (released in 1947) - starring Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour

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