THE ROAD TO HONG KONG (1962)
Article 3048 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 9-11-2009
Posting Date: 12-18-2009
Directed by Norman Panama
Featuring Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Joan Collins
What it is: Hope/Crosby Road film, final installment
Two entertainers find themselves the target of a secret criminal organization when one of them memorizes a secret rocket fuel formula.
This was the final Hope/Crosby Road movie, and though the movie isn’t bad, one can see why the series was retired; despite the more modern touches (a science fiction/spy plot in particular), one can sense that this type of amiable comedy had run its course. The self-referential humor is a bit clumsy here, especially with the constant references to early Road movies, and the movie spends a surprising amount of time sticking to the plot, something the other Road movies wouldn’t dream of doing. Hope and Crosby are both beginning to show their age, and though Joan Collins has a certain appeal, I’d rather have seen more of Dorothy Lamour (who doesn’t end up in a sarong in this one, though a couple do pop up). Still, stray jokes work quite well, and Peter Sellers steals the movie in his scenes as a crazed neurologist. This is also the Road movie with the most prominent fantastic content, with two trips into outer space and a running joke about special effects adding to the fun. And even if it is the weakest of the Road movies, it’s also possibly Bob Hope’s best movie from the sixties, which is another way of looking at it.