Road to Morocco (1942)

Article #1399 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-12-2005
Posting Date: 6-11-2005
Directed by David Butler
Featuring Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Dorothy Lamour

Plot: Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour appear in a road picture. Actually, that’s as good a plot description as any…

Believe it or not, I will be covering all the Road pictures as part of this series. Though this may be surprising, it’s not totally unexpected. If there’s anything innovative about these movies, I’d say it was that they took not taking themselves seriously to a new level. Consequently, anything could really happen, and some of what happens falls into the realm of the fantastic. In this movie, there are at least three fantastic elements; Bing and Bob are haunted by the ghost of their Aunt Lucy (Bob Hope in drag), a ring that grants three wishes appears at one point, and we have talking camels (but no appearance of Humpy, the Educated Camel).

I’m not a particular fan of either Hope or Crosby, but I find myself inordinately fond of the Road movies. They’re anarchic, but casual instead of frantic, and the humor never feels forced or strained. It makes no attempt whatsoever to convince you it’s really happening. Some of the exteriors in this movie are so obviously interiors that it would destroy any sense of reality, but since the movie never aspires to reality, you recognize it for what it is — part of the joke. I love the charm of the joke and admire the chutzpah used in putting it over.


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