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Bob Hope and Bing Crosby return as con men Chester Babcock and Harry Turner, in the last of their road movies. When Chester accidentally memorizes and destroys the only copy of a secret Russian formula for a new and improved rocket fuel, they are thrust into international intrigue, trying to stay alive while keeping the formula out of enemy hands. Written by
Brian W Martz <B.Martz@Genie.com>
The criminal wanted flier on Chester and Harry lists Chester's birth date as May 3, 1921, and his age as 39. The flier is dated May 18, 1961 - half a month past Chester's birthday - which would make his age 40, not 39. See more »
Who do you think they'll be shooting at - you or the schnook with the I.B.M. machine up his univac?
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Chester and Harry are con-men working their way around Asia. When an accident puts Chester in hospital with memory loss, the two contact a doctor who advises them of a ancient herb that will bring back all his memories. The herb also gives him the ability to memorise anything he reads.
A mix-up at the airport with an agent of a cult puts Chester in possession of formulae for a space rocket which the cult plan to use to put weapons on the moon and take control of the earth. The cult pursue the two leading to a range of crazy situations on earth.......and beyond!
That's the plot and, to quote Dorothy Lamor in this film "That's the plot so far? I'd better hide you.....from the critics!". The plot is, as always, a flimsy excuse for banter between Hope and Crosby. However in other "Road to...." movies the plot has been a little less silly. Here it's daft and too complicated to be totally forgotten about. And unfortunately the banter feels a little tired between the two, the other road movies felt fresher.
And it feels like they know it too - there's lots of tired routines, "special effects!" for one, and they have too many self-deprecating jokes. They're quite funny but after a while you realise that they're just saying it before anyone else does. However there still is much to like here - Hope and Crosby are still funny in a bad movie and some of their banter is still great, although the situations that give them the dialogue are daft.
Hope and Crosby play their characters with well rehearsed ease. A young Joan Collins is OK but comes over as a little over earnest. The larger-than-life Robert Morley plays the cult leader with seriousness and Peter Sellers wins the film with his Indian doctor cameo. There are a range of small cameos, some funny some not - Dorothy Lamor returns to the Road series, David Niven turns up for a few silent seconds and Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra take a gentle swipe at their rivals (although it's not very funny -"special effects!").
Overall this is a gentle comedy that you'll enjoy because of Hope and Crosby. The ridiculous plot takes away from it a lot (did they have to make it quite so silly?), and the musical numbers slow it down a bit. But to be honest, there's much better movies in the road series that this one.
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