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Bob Hope and the Road to Success (2002)

Familiarize yourself with a brief background of Bob Hope's growth as an all-around entertainer beginning with vaudeville. He enjoyed being a performer and would do whatever was necessary to entertain the masses.
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Familiarize yourself with a brief background of Bob Hope's growth as an all-around entertainer beginning with vaudeville. He enjoyed being a performer and would do whatever was necessary to entertain the masses.

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Documentary | Short

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5 March 2002 (USA)  »

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Interesting, But No Brilliant Flashes In Promotional Featurette.
15 October 2009 | by (Mountain Mesa, California) – See all my reviews

This brief (15 minute) work is included as a "special feature" in the first four Bing Crosby/Bob Hope/Dorothy Lamour "Road" pictures (to Singapore/Zanzibar/Morocco/Utopia) that have been released both individually and as a set by Universal Studios upon DVDs. Although each of these comedies has been provided with other added items to its package, this particular short's inclusion is consistent with all of them. In addition to snippets from the mentioned titles, along with "Big Broadcast of 1938", several film discourses are recorded for this piece, with writers Richard Grudens, author of "The Spirit of Bob Hope", and Randall G. Mielke, who penned "Road to Box Office", as well as with comedienne Phyllis Diller, although very few fresh insights concerning the productions are in evidence. There are, however, some few facts that will probably be unknown to a number of viewers, e.g., during a period when Hope was attempting to create a following for his fledgling radio show aired at NBC Studios, he decided to snare members of departing live audiences from the adjacent Edgar Bergen/Charlie McCarthy programme, steering them into his own studio wing - - - - Jack Benny rejected the role that went to Hope for "Big Broadcast of 1938", thereby ensuring Bob's success as a cinema headliner - - - - writers for the Road films were on the sets en massse in order to offer creative comedic ideas to Hope and Crosby - - - - The title of "The Road to Singapore" was changed from "the Road to Mandalay" as it was felt to be in conflict with an evergreen popular song, that could possibly cause confusion among potential viewers. A filmed fragment of a U.S.O. radio broadcast that showcases Hope and Lana Turner will in all likelihood be the most agreeable portion of this short piece. The Road films are supplied with story lines that are based in a wide variety of exotic settings, although all were actually shot in Southern California and Arizona. Whereas Paramount Pictures executives decided that Bing would always "win the girl" (Lamour), it was Bob Hope who generated most of the positive audience response. Grudens contributes the most cogent observation when he asserts that, performing either off- or on-script, Hope and Crosby clearly communicated to their fans that they were enjoying themselves, thereby helping to secure their strong appeal at the box office. These initial Road films, in addition to this short, should belong in home video collections of cinema comedy enthusiasts.


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