Monday, February 4, 2008
Road to Rio
"Road to Rio" (Norman Z. McLeod, 1947) I've got a weakness for the "Road" movies--those Paramount programmers with Hope, Crosby and Lamour--where the least excuse for a plot is thrown together (usually the boys are scammers on the run), Hope and Crosby do their best to ad-lib over the other one, and the fourth wall is practically nonexistent. In fact, one of my favorite jokes in this one, has Crosby and Hope do a 3/4-quarters-in recap of the plot and what has to happen to resolve everything, when suddenly there's an off-screen scream. "What was that?" says Bing, and Hope looks askew and says "It's the Warner Brothers--they're jealous." Right. This, the fifth in the "Road" series has the boys on the lam to Rio De Janeiro, where they hope to keep Lamour, hypnotized by her scheming aunt, from marrying a hand-picked ne'er-do-well. And with that much sophistication to the plot, you know Hope-Crosby have to get hypnotized, too. It ain't art-house material--more like burlesque-house--but it is entertaining.