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|Index||40 reviews in total|
Typical Hope and Crosby nonsense. More of a "big budget home movie"
than anything else, but funny and enjoyable anyhow.
By the Time "Morocco" was created, the Road Pictures had been embraced and enjoyed and the formula was set in stone: An exotic locale, Dorothy Lamour, a couple of songs and go easy on the script because Bob and Bing are gonna "jab-lib" their way through it regardless. The result here is a slick and entertaining yarn about absolutely nothing. Don't let the current climate of "Islam/Arab/Terrorism" mindset disturb you about the on screen antics because this was filmed in a different era and has nothing to do with the goings on in our world today.
Bing gets a chance to croon the very lovely Moonlight Becomes You, which to this day is still one of the most touching love songs ever written; Bob gets to do his "screen persona schtick" and it is hilarious; Dorothy has a forgettable song and a funny reprise of Moonlight Becomes You, sung in the desert accompanied by the boys and it is extremely funny. Anthony Quinn (who was a Road Picture Regular) returns in a typical villain role in which he does his best.
A couple of notes. Early in the picture Bob and Bing get involved with a camel who licks them. At the end of this routine as they prepare to ride away on the beast it spits at Bob. This was NOT in the script. The camel ad-libbed and the reactions of both Hope and Crosby are genuine. The director liked the take so much he used it in the final cut. Secondly, it took forever for the boys to sing the theme song, The Road to Morocco. It seems that every time they got to the lyric " . . . like Webster's Dictionary we're Morocco bound. . . " they'd break up over that lyric and would have to re-shoot the song.
It's a breezy, light-weight, fun evening with Der Bingle and Old Slope Nose. Make yourself a bowl of popcorn, grab a large soda and laugh away for 82 minutes. It'll do you good!
The Road to Morocco is the best of Crosby/Hope road movies, in my humble opinion. Yes, the plot is paper thin, but the comedy and self-deprecating humor is there. Much of the comedy is slapstick, but this is a movie that's not afraid to say "It's just a movie, don't take it seriously." In the first song, Crosby and Hope allude to it being just another road movie. Naturally they'll meet Dorothy Lamour, and they have nothing to fear, because Paramount will protect them. This is not a movie to have a serious, philosophical discussion about. This is a movie to pop into the VCR on a Saturday night and forget about your worries.
Talking camels that manifest falsehood in moments of battle. Best friend
rivalry over a beautiful princess in another distant time, in another exotic
setting. Unconvincing sets of desert and sea make viewing a bit of an
eyesore for those wary of its artificial conception. However, the interiors
are done with just the right touch incapable for MGM to create with over
doing the sets entirely without a hint of Ziegfeld. Nor is anyone
Even better, "Morocco" has a hilarious and brilliant script directed by a Paramount director that obviously has an important asset essential for the trademark mix of these films, a sense of humour. Some of the most memorable scenes from any of the "Road" films occur in "Road to Morocco". And they certainly couldn't belong anywhere else.
Perhaps today the third film of the series is unjustly best remembered for some of the hit songs it spawned, "Moonlight Becomes You" and the title song. However, other songs featured in the score should not be forgotten, despite the loveliness and catchiness of the other two.
However, this film has something brilliant going for it that is sometimes missing in other screwball or highly comic films of the era. There is no Cary Grant, and no Carole Lombard. Yet all the actors manage successfully with zany screwball antics typically capable of the above at the highest of standards. The best thing the film has is Bing, Bob and Dottie and the teaming of the trio should not be forgotten as possibly one of the best in comedies.
What this film must have done to wartime morale is amazing in a solemn era difficult to forget post Depression era. Yet today it remains as fresh as ever and anything else featuring Crosby, Hope and Lamour should not be passed over. It was certainly an unexpected gem of a surprise, and probably one of the few movies where the same jokes can get away with working twice.
Whatever its flaws, "Morocco" is one of my twenty favourite films of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, and the fact it's got a short time is even a greater bonus.
Yet once the all too rare movie magic of the film sets in, you never want the road to end.
Bob Hope is a very underappreciated performer. Of course, he was better as a
comedian than as a movie actor, but that's just because he resigned himself
to making lightweight comedies like this one. This comedy is very funny;
yes, it's pretty lightweight, but what did you expect?
I like all the "Road to" pictures, but this is the best that I've seen. Of course, you won't get any great plots or intricate character development with them, but they are highly entertaining. Likewise, "Road to Morocco" is a very funny movie, if not a bit uneven. See this movie for some good laughs.
P.S. This movie is definitely harmless, despite the comment written by someone who seems to think it's homophobic. I'm wondering if he watched the same movie that I did.
When the ocean liner carrying Jeff and Orville is sunk, they find themselves
washed up and on the way to Morocco. In pay for food Jeff sells Orville to
a man only to find that Orville has been sold on to Princess Shalmar and is
now to marry her. However the princess is only marrying Orville as her
first wed is cursed to die within a week leaving her free to marry Mullay
Like an old pair of shoes, the road to movies may not be fantastic but they're comfortable and safe. This is actually one of the better road movies, the plot, though silly, is quite focused and doesn't go off on flights of fancy like some others. The focus of the plot allows a safe environment for Hope and Crosby to do their double act within. The love interest is OK but really it slows the film down a bit.
Crosby is good as ever and gets to do his songs on a regular basis, but really the star is Hope. His Orville is cowardly, treacherous and selfish but he manages to be sympathetic and funny. This is all down to Hope's wit, timing and deliver he is a genuine showman. Stars in the shape of Lamour and Quinn are diverting but this is a Crosby/Hope vehicle all the way.
One of the better Road movies this is funny in an old fashioned way.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
On the third stop in the Road series of pictures we find Bing Crosby
and Bob Hope playing their usual sharpie and schnook. Crosby's schemes
have a little more bite to them in this film, he sells Hope into
slavery. Ah, but the catch is: Dorothy Lamour bought him to be her
husband and is Bing put out about that. No worry there however, he
sings a patented Crosby love ballad and Dottie the princess is his.
Musically, Road pictures seem to break down into the usual choice of songs for the film. That ballad Crosby sang to woo Princess Dottie is Moonlight Becomes You, probably the biggest song hit ever to come from a Road picture. There's a song for Dottie, in this case entitled Constantly, performed in the sultry Lamour manner. You have a philosophical number Ain't Got A Dime To My Name for Bing which is his own genre. And finally the title tune which is one for Hope and Crosby to perform with their usual ad-libbing and banter.
When Decca released an album of 78s for the Road to Morocco, Bing recorded all the numbers solo including the duet with Hope in the title tune. When they later did Road to Utopia, Crosby and Hope recorded Put It There Pal and then the flip side of that 78 included a duet version of Road to Morocco. Since it was a duet in the movie, the duet version of Road to Morocco became the only one after that. Bing's solo version of Road to Morocco disappeared into the Decca vaults, never to be heard again. It's one of his rarest items now, so if you have it, it's worth something providing it's in good condition.
One thing about writing reviews for Road pictures is that there is no plot worth mentioning, just a frame to hang a lot of gags on. No worry of spoilers here. In this journey we have hotfoots, whoopee cushions, talking camels, mirages, dribble glasses and Bob and Bing kissing each other. Is that enough nonsense?
One gag wasn't planned. At the beginning when Crosby and Hope are washed ashore on the Moroccan desert they find a camel. Without any warning the camel spits in Hope's eye. Director David Butler thought it so hilarious, he left it in the film.
This is a typical ROAD movie with the boys chasing Lamour as the
audience waits to see who Dotty will wind up with. The script is pure
escapist, light-hearted stuff and everyone seems to enjoy the tongue in
cheek style of all the gags.
Bing is his usual affable self, tossing off a few songs in the Crosby manner--the best of which is "Moonlight Becomes You". Dorothy Lamour is at her peak of lush beauty as the princess and manages to keep a straight face while the boys cut capers. Bob Hope shines in a part totally suited to his comic skills with one-liners and double takes that keep the high spirits flowing.
If you're a fan of ROAD movies, you'll definitely enjoy this one--although my own personal favorite is still ROAD TO UTOPIA.
With Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and Dorothy Lamour all in good form, plus
an interesting if wacky story, "Road to Morocco" is rather enjoyable
despite the goofy nature of a lot of the material. It has a good
variety of settings and comic material that help it keep going, and for
all that much if it is silly, it is always good-natured and sometimes
The desert setting and characters work all right as long as you don't take them too seriously or view it as any kind of commentary. The gently comic view of the characters and their habits is the source of some good gags, and the contrast between the locals and the two main characters is also used relatively well. There are several self-referential jokes (perhaps a couple too many) to make sure nothing is taken too seriously.
Besides Hope and Crosby, Lamour seems to relish her chance to play a princess, and Anthony Quinn is a suitably menacing adversary. Overall, it has to rank among the better of the stars' collaborations, not memorable so much for the material as for the chance to see the performers together.
Another enjoyable 'Road Show! One of my Favorites.
Crosby and Hope are at their best in this one. Watch for the scene where Hope mimics a starving beggar in the street, its especially entertaining. No matter what Hope tries in the 'Road Shows' he is always foiled, with Crosby always the cool, smooth operator. Anthony Quinn does a superb performance as the domineering Sheik in this light hearted comedy, playing funny scenes as a straight man. Dorothy Lamour as the 'damsel in distress' is as Lovely as ever.
Hope and Crosby are a delightful team, their playful banter and comedic timing are on the money with this one. This is a 'Must See' comedy!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Hope and Crosby Road pictures were very popular in the 1940s and
"The Road to Morocco," the third in the series, shows them at about
their best. Well, maybe "Zanzibar" was at the top, with "Utopia" not
far behind. The climax in this one depends a little too much on minor
gimmicks like dribbling glasses, exploding cigarettes, and whoopee
cushions. A weakness easily overlooked.
The plot takes them to a fairy tale Morocco, more Arabian Nights and Hollywood than French colony. The men wear white suits and fez caps or turbans. The women wear diaphanous veils and tiaras. Dorothy Lamour turns up as a princess who, her fortune tellers say, must marry a man she cares nothing about because he is fated to die a violent death within the week, freeing Lamour to marry the powerful sheik Anthony Quinn. That man she cares nothing about and chooses to marry is Bob Hope. Crosby muscles in on Hope, not knowing what the sooth sayers sayeth.
It's all nonsensical and none of it is taken seriously by the actors, the writers, or the viewers. Even when Crosby is serenading Lamour with a pretty little ballad, "Moonlight Becomes You," he tries to pick a rose to bring her and pricks his finger instead. Some of the sight gags are pretty amusing -- Crosby and Hope imitating mechanical men, when a fly lands on Hope's nose. It's not the only joke involving Hope's notorious nose, and there's a reference to the size of Crosby's ears as well. I don't want to reveal too many of the amusing incidents, but I always laugh when a girl tries to wake up Hope. He shrugs her off, rolls over in bed, and mumbles, "Okay, Ma, I'll get a job tomorrow." And Crosby's line: "Junior, how can you do this to me? Why we went to school together. We were in the same class for years -- until I got promoted."
The script has no hesitation in breaking the fourth wall or slinging anachronisms, self references, or in-jokes around. When Hope asks how they got out of the tight spot we last saw them in, Crosby looks at the camera suspiciously, then leans over and whispers his reply into Hope's ear in order to keep it a secret from us. Some of the gags may be lost on younger, less sophisticated viewers. "Aunt Lucy" shows up as a ghost, giving advice and scolding the two men from time to time. Crosby makes some comment about Aunt Lucy's being dead but you can't keep her down. "Not Aunt Lucy," Hope agrees, "She's a Republican." (Kids: This movie was made midway through the unprecedented, and now illegal, third term of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a Democrat.) I've always enjoyed the relationship between Hope and Crosby in these movies. Both are greedy, libidinous cowards, ready to double cross one another at the first glimpse of a dollar bill or a woman's ankle. (In this one, Crosby sells Hope into slavery to pay for a restaurant meal.) But neither is superior to the other in any way, unlike other popular comedy teams such as Abbott and Costello or Martin and Lewis. These guys are both equally stupid and despicable.
Lots of fun.
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