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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Road to Utopia (released in 1946) - starring Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour

This is the fourth installment of the “road” movies starring Bing Cosby, Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour. The road to Utopia is the one movie which does not have a real place mentioned even though Alaska is referred to the ultimate destination in the movie. This movie is directed by Hal walker and it is narrated by humorist Richard Bentchley with the real story in flashbacks.
Sal and Chester are an old couple who are reunited with an old pal Duke and they reminisce about their adventure in pursuit of the gold mines in Alaska. Sal is the daughter of Professor Van Hoyden who has the map of a gold mine in Alaska. Two thugs, McGurk and Sperry murder the professor and make off with the map. But Van Hoyden in his dying moments tells Sal about the maps and the thugs. He asks Sal to meet Ace Larsen in Alaska and Sal manages to get in to the last boat to Alaska before the thugs.
The thugs, in order to hide from the cops, get in to the stage room where Chester and Duke are performing a vaudeville. The thugs force them to flee from the theater with an angry mob on the tow. Chester tries to split the earnings with Duke, but Duke picks his pockets to make a run to the boat leaving for Alaska. Chester manages to get in to the boat just as the two thugs. After much activity, Chester manages to lose the entire money and both of them are forced to work on the boat for a passage. During their duties they steal the map, overpower the thugs and take their identities to leave the boat.

Meanwhile Sal on reaching Alaska finds employment in Ace Larsen's saloon and both Ace and Kate (his girlfriend) plan to double cross her. As Chester and Duke reach the saloon disguised as the thugs, Sal encourages their attentions to steal the map. Ace also encourages her mission and plant Kate to spy on her. Sal two times both Chester and Duke who fall head over heels in love and steals the map. But Chester and Duke realize that they are being led soon fight over the girl.
After a lot of comedy Sal realizes that she has fallen in love with Duke and tells Ace that she will give the map only if both of them are spared. To augment the confusion, the real thugs arrive on the scene and chase them over the cold Alaskan terrain for the map. Soon Ace also encourages a posse to hunt them down. So the chase begins and they flee on a dog sled. But then Ace splits with Sal on Chester on one side and Duke on the other with the posse. Duke throws them the map and urges them on.
After many years the friends meet at Sal's and Chester's married home and Duke tells them how he beat the posse and make his way. And all is well with the terrific trio. A madcap adventure comedy which will enthrall the viewers with its general wackiness and one-liners. I would recommend this laughter antidote anytime of the day.

Road to Utopia (released in 1946) - starring Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour

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