ROAD TO RIO (1947)
Article 2855 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 3-2-2009
Posting Date: 6-7-2009
Directed by Norman Z. McLeod
Featuring Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Dorothy Lamour
Two vaudevillians stow away on a boat to Brazil, where they encounter a woman who is being forced into a marriage by a greedy female schemer.
It looks as if I’m going to be covering six of the seven Road movies for this series (the only omission – ROAD TO SINGAPORE), but I personally am under the impression that the genre limits are being stretched a bit too far on some of these; from what I’ve heard, only ROAD TO HONG KONG (which I haven’t seen) really makes sufficient use of fantastic elements. Here the main fantastic element is the use of hypnotism, mainly by the female villain to keep her ward under her control. This is supposed to be one of the better Road movies, but I’m disappointed; the less plot there is, the more I like them, and this is one which actually seems to have a story. I do like the in-jokes (and wish there were more of them), but, for the most part, I think the side performances steal the movie. Gale Sondergaard is always great as a villainess, and the musicians Hope and Crosby hook up with (The Wiere Brothers) steal the movie every time they appear. Tor Johnson appears as a strong man who intimidates Hope into doing a dangerous bicycle-on-a-high-wire stunt, Charles Middleton has a cameo as a farmer, the Andrews Sisters do a song with Crosby, and Jerry Colonna rides to a belated rescue.