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Scat Sweeney, and Hot Lips Barton, two out of work musicians, stow away on board a Rio bound ship, after accidentally setting fire to the big top of a circus. They then get mixed up with a potential suicide Lucia, who first thanks them, then unexpectedly turns them over to the ship's captain. When they find out that she has been hypnotized, to go through a marriage of convenience, when the ship reaches Rio, the boys turn up at the ceremony, in order to stop the wedding, and to help catch the crooks. Written by
Road to Rio is directed by Norman McLeod and written by Edmund Beloin and Jack Rose. It stars Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Dorothy Lamour, Gale Sondergaard and Frank Faylen. Music is by Robert Emmett and cinematography by Ernest Laszlo.
Hope and Crosby star as two vaudevillians, who after setting a circus on fire, stow away on a liner bound for Brazil. Once there they encounter a distressed woman (Lamour) who is being coerced into an unwanted marriage by her scheming guardian.
The fifth in the hugely popular "Road To" series of films, Rio follows the same trajectory as before. For fans such as myself this is OK, other film fans venturing in for a first time look may be a bit bemused by it all. In fairness this one does have a solid story at its core, with hypnotism the dastardly weapon of choice, while McLeod neatly blends the comedy and musical numbers and keeps the pace brisk. Hope gets some well written topical gags to deliver and Crosby croons whilst also getting to do a number with The Andrews Sisters. In support the wonderful Sondergaard turns in another one of her memorable villainess performances, and The Wiere Brothers form part of the narrative to produce great comedic results.
With a blazing first quarter, a jovial middle section and a genuinely hilarious finale, Road to Rio achieves everything a "Road To" fan could wish for. 7.5/10
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