Road to Utopia (1945) Poster

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8/10
Another fun Road picture--and a tad better than average.
MartinHafer22 November 2010
According to Turner Classic Movies, this movie was completed in 1944 but not released until 1946. Usually a movie being held this long is a bad thing--indicating, most often, that the movie is a dud. However, this great channel indicated that because the previous Hope & Crosby film was so popular, it stayed in theaters longer and the studio decided to wait until 1946 for "The Road to Utopia".

The style of this film is rather different from previous ones in two ways. First, the film begins with an elderly Hope married to an elderly Dorothy Lamour--the one and only time that Bob got her in one of the Road films AND the only one that is, essentially, entirely in flashback. Second, it is narrated by the raconteur, Robert Benchley, who interrupts the film periodically to make comments about it. But, as usual, this film still finds the two men as partners and chiselers. Their fraudulent stage act is discovered and they decide to relocate--heading to the Yukon and the gold rush at the beginning of the 20th century.

Along the way, the pair are mistaken for two famous killers, Sperry and McGuirk, and they take full advantage of it! Everyone in town is so afraid of them that they give them anything they want--and they plan on living like kings. Lamour and her confederates think the pair are Sperry and McGuirk and sets out to weasel the secret of a gold mine from them--a gold mine that they think they boys have but don't.

This film is pretty much what you'd expect, though Hope's one-liners are amazingly flat compared to other Road films. But, on the positive side, I liked how the film broke through the fourth wall repeatedly--making fun of itself, the studio and the roving commentary about the film by Hope and Benchley. As a result, it was a lot of fun--and a bit better than the typical Road film.
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9/10
Delayed Road trip.
bkoganbing23 June 2004
Road to Utopia was one of several films made during World War II and shown to GIs before reaching the civilian public. Saratoga Trunk and The Two Mrs. Carrolls are two other examples. We have some evidence for this statement. First and foremost Robert Benchley died a year before

the film had it's premier at the New York Paramount on February 27, 1946. Benchley, noted humorist and sometime film actor, provided some off and on-screen narration for the Crosby and Hope monkeyshines. He was reputed to be a big fan of both and I think he just wanted in on the fun.

Also, Crosby recorded most of the songs for Road to Utopia on July 17, July, 19 and December 8, 1944 at Decca studios. The song Personality wasn't recorded by him until January 16, 1946, however in the film, Dorothy Lamour sang it.

It was worth the wait for the civilian public. By now the boys had the surreal nonsense down pat. Dorothy Lamour plays Skagway Sal who's father is murdered in the first minutes of the movie by killers Sperry and McGurk. Dotty beats it up to Alaska to look up Douglass Dumbrille, her dad's best friend for assistance. As Douglass Dumbrille invariably does in these films, he's looking for the goldmine her father left for himself.

The killers take the next boat with the map that they stole from Dad in hand. But they don't reckon with the sharpie and the schnook who have stowed away on the boat to Alaska. Crosby and Hope steal the map and the killer's identity.

The plot I've described so far could be a melodrama, but not in any film with the title beginning "Road to......" Between talking bears, talking fish, and a cameo appearance by Santa Claus the laughs come fast and furious.

Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Burke wrote the songs for this surreal madcap and gave Dotty two songs, Would You and the aforementioned Personality. Crosby got his ballad, Welcome to My Dream, and a philosophical song, It's Anybody's Spring. The last one he sang on board on a ship talent contest with Hope accompanying him on the accordion. They lost to an organ grinder and a monkey which prompted Hope to comment on the next road trip he was bringing Sinatra.

And Crosby and Hope sang Goodtime Charlie which didn't make it to vinyl and Put It There Pal probably the best known of the duets they sang together in the Road pictures. Lots of dated references in the lyrics there to Crosby's horses and their respective radio sponsors. But today's audiences would still enjoy it.

One interesting fact was that the Catholic Legion of Decency a very powerful group in those days made objections to suggestive lyrics in Personality. Hard to believe in this day and age, but as another songwriter a generation later put it, "the times, they are a changin'."

Road picture references are sometimes dated, but the laughs are eternal.
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8/10
Hope and Crosby, still entertaining the troops, and everybody else!
mark.waltz3 October 2016
Warning: Spoilers
If you thought the talking camels in "Road to Morocco" were delightfully screwy, wait until you see what talks here. After a three year break between their teaming, the trio of Hope, Crosby and Lamour are back for their fourth entry. This time, they stay in North America, but are as far up north as you can be without going south again. The snow covered terrain of (presumably) the Yukon territory is a setting for plenty of action and thrills, with more comedy at every scene change.

They are on the search for gold, having ended up with a map to a gold mine, taken from two notorious cutthroats who stole it themselves. With the help of the lovely Dorothy Lamour, they end up with the loot, followed by the best ending of the entire series that deals with an obvious potential censorship issue in a very clever way.

This utilizes an introduction by Robert Benchley and wry commentary by him to move it along, plus a few songs to parody what they had already done successfully in "Road to Morocco". The title song from that is easily followed up by "Put it there, pal", a very funny inside joke. Lamour gets a good solo with " Personality", one of her best solos. The next film in the series, "Road to Rio", ranks as my third favorite, with "Morocco" as the best and "Utioia" second. I'm just sorry that they never did one called "Road to Rhodes".
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7/10
"And I thought this was going to be an 'A' picture!"
classicsoncall29 November 2014
Warning: Spoilers
You know, it's not many films that will offer more than one real good choice for my usual summary line quote, but this one had several. The one I picked came pretty early courtesy of Bob Hope, and it's that kind of self deprecating humor that makes these Road films fun to watch.

Well the story and humor may be dated, but let's face it, with Hope and Crosby in a picture I'm tuning in every time; throw in Dorothy Lamour and that's just icing on the cake. This one used a clever reference to Lamour's appearance in 1942's "Road to Morocco" when the picture borrowed that fantasy scene with her dressed in a sarong. There might have been others but let's face it, the way the boys fire off their zingers it's sometimes tough to keep up with.

With quirky Robert Benchley commentary, nice pacing with the musical numbers and constant confusion supplied by the players, "Road to Utopia" is probably the best regarded film of the series. With this one I'm past the half way point with three more to go (there's seven in total) and it's just a matter of time before I catch the rest. It's nice to settle back and catch these entertainment legends well before the industry entered X-rated territory in order to make a buck. Who knows, maybe next time they'll bring Sinatra.
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8/10
Deliciously lighthearted fare.
rmax30482322 April 2005
If you need some laughs, this is a movie for you. I think this is the fourth of the "Road" pictures that Hope and Crosby made together. "The Road to Rio" was good, too, but the ones that followed demonstrated a flagging of inspiration.

Here, they are the crew are at their best. The plot is screwball, as usual, and not worth spelling out. What counts are the songs, the gags, and the interplay between the three principals -- Hope, Crosby, and Dorothy Lamour.

Most of the Road pictures had one or two songs which wound up on the pop charts. They were usually kind of pretty and unpretentious, "easy listening", to coin a phrase. (Oh, bring it back, sob!) "Moonlight Becomes You," "Personality," "Welcome to My World." And Bing did most of the singing in his smooth baritone. Nothing more than proficient and pleasant to listen to, although he belonged to, I think, a peppy vocal trio in the early 1930s whose arrangements were kind of original.

The gags were usually amusing, sometimes laugh-out-loud funny. There was, inevitably the occasional clunker but everything was so good natured that they are easily forgiven. The script was by Panama and Frank, but many of the jokes were improvised on the set by the actors. Hope also brought in some gags from his platoon of writers (he was a famous radio comedian at the time), giving some of them to Crosby and Lamour as well. There was a good deal of playing with the fourth wall and a lot of in jokes too. Some of these may be lost on modern viewers. Eg., Hope is driving Crosby along on a dog sled, and he raises his arms and says, "Look Ma, no hands." "Look Ma, no teeth," remarks Crosby. "Please," says Hope, "my sponsor." His radio sponsor was Pepsodent Toothpaste.

The three principal actors play off each other well. Dorothy Lamour was an unpretentious actress of modest talents who never pretended to be anything else, although she provided a very nice frame to hang a sarong on. What I like most about the relationship between Hope and Crosby is the measured equality of their stupidity and greed. Hope wasn't really subordinate to Crosby. Everything Hope said and did was within the realm of human reality. He didn't have the flapping run or squeaky voice of Jerry Lewis. He didn't get slapped around like Lou Costello. He wasn't intellectually challenged. And Crosby was much more of a participant in the goings on than a straight man would be. He's hardly less gullible than Hope, and equally cowardly. When they're about to be boiled by cannibals or hanged by vigilantes, they trade wisecracks with one another. Crosby is the promoter and Hope is the stooge, but neither is superior to the others.

This really is a relaxing ride. I spent a summer doing a sociological study of Scagway. The set gives a surprisingly good suggestion of what it still looks like. It's a dramatic place overlooked by a proud glacier the color of blue glass. And the kind of Wild West atmosphere the movie evokes isn't entirely fictional. People had names like "Soapy Smith".
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7/10
Good road movie
blanche-214 March 2010
Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and Dorothy Lamour are on the "Road to Utopia" in this 1946 film, also starring Robert Benchley as a sort of commentator.

Imagine seeing this film and "The Prestige" in the same night. I did. Crosby plays a magician, not quite the magician that Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale are! In this one Hope and Crosby are two con men/performers in the early 1900s who wind up on a ship to Alaska (Hope wanted to go to New York. They find a map leading to gold, unaware that it was stolen by two bearded thieves. The minute you see these thieves with their thick beards and matching jackets you know what's about to happen. Hope and Crosby manage to get the better of them when they're attacked and change into their clothes and don beards. They also each take a portion of the map. When they reach Alaska, everyone is afraid of them. Lamour works on seducing each man to get his portion of the map.

Hope and Crosby are a riot and added their own jokes throughout the film, as they sled through the snow.

Delightful film, very funny. I admit to liking the Road to Singapore a little better, but if you like Hope and Crosby, this is a good one to see.
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8/10
Cowardly custards are always funny!
JohnHowardReid31 May 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Producer: Paul Jones. Copyright 22 March 1946 by Paramount Pictures Inc. New York opening at the Paramount: 27 February 1946. U.S. release: 22 March 1946. U.K. release: 24 December 1945 (sic). Australian release: 25 April 1946. Sydney opening at the State. 8,181 feet. 91 minutes.

NOTES: One of the seven "Road" pictures. Panama and Frank were nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, losing out to The Seventh Veil. With a domestic rentals gross of $4.5 million, number 8 at U.S./Canadian ticket windows for 1946. Number 13 at the U.K. box-office for 1945. Number 9 in Australian ticket sales for 1946.

COMMENT: Two Bobs, a Bing and a Dot have lots of crazy fun in this one, as our zany heros prospect for laughs and love in Alaska. True, some of the gags that seemed outrageously original at the time are now, thanks to many imitations since 1946, a bit dated, but the songs are as tuneful, the bonhomie as infectious as ever.

Lavish production values - despite Bob Benchley's delightfully derogatory remarks, which are, of course, are a further asset to this rib-tickling piece of top-class entertainment.

Cowardly custards are always funny. And when the weak-willed ones are not handsome (and thus pose no threat), yet can rain down a constant barrage of wiseacre whipcrack, well who could resist tuning into their merriment?
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9/10
Road to Utopia was another very enjoyable romp for Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, and Dorothy Lamour
tavm22 March 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Another year-another Road movie starring Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, and Dorothy Lamour. This time, we first see them as elderly friends reuniting in present day before we flashback (as narrator Robert Benchley reminds us) to the turn of the century Alaska during the gold rush. I'll stop there and just say this was quite enjoyable when I first saw this as a kid and it's still very enjoyable now. Good plot, funny lines and scenes (including the reuse of talking animals with animated lips courtesy of Jerry Fairbanks), and nice songs by Crosby, Lamour, as well as two entertaining duets with Bing and Bob. By the way, before Crosby's death in 1977, there were plans to have the three do one more Road picture with them in actual old age. It was to be called The Road to the Fountain of Youth. I'm not sure it would have been as much fun to see them acting their actual old ages instead of simply pretending as here so it's just as well it didn't happen. Oh, and it's also nice to see Hilary Brooke as one of the villains a decade before appearing In the first season of "The Abbott & Costello Show". So on that note, that's a high recommendation of Road to Utopia. Next up, Road to Rio.
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8/10
Is it a road to success? ***
edwagreen13 December 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Hope and Crosby croon along in yet another road film with the always Dorothy Lamour in on it for the ride.

This comedy is a story of double-crossing all the way. Sometimes, you just don't know who to trust anymore. Look how Hope was tricked to venturing to Alaska during the gold rush of that period.

Douglass Dumbrille co-stars in his usual nasty, evil plot.

I found the ending to be a cop-out. It's amazing that Crosby was able to escape and now all elderly, come to Hope and Lamour years later as they recounted that awesome time.

Crosby's voice is always a delight and this film is no exception to that rule.
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5/10
North to Alaska.
michaelRokeefe17 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Grab that fur hat and coat. ROAD TO UTOPIA is one of the seven lucrative and popular Crosby and Hope "road" pictures. Duke(Crosby)and Chester(Hope) are mistaken for two murderers, Sperry(Robert Barrat)and McGurk(Nestor Paiva),after boarding a boat to Alaska. Afterall there is gold in the Klondike and Duke and Chester just happen to find a map to a goldmine. The two vaudevillians have to squire the lovely 'Skagway Sal'(Dorothy Lamour)to become three million dollars richer. The usual quota of sight gags and one-liners. The humorous banter and snow covered scenery hold this comedy together. The brightest part of the film is when Sal performs her sassy song 'Personality'. Also in the cast: Douglas Dumbrille, Hillary Brooke and Jack La Rue. Can't really go wrong with Crosby, Hope and Lamour.
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7/10
Best of the "Road" series...top-flight entertainment...
Doylenf21 September 2006
Bing and Bob traveled many roads, but the ROAD TO UTOPIA was their best. The script is consistently funny all the way through--verbal wit and sight gags in equal amounts--and some funny, inventive bits of commentary by ROBERT BENCHLEY who appears in inserts as a sort of Greek Chorus giving viewers an explanation of the shenanigans.

Bing and Bob are joined by DOROTHY LAMOUR, owner of a stolen map to a gold mine located in Alaska. When Crosby and Hope head for Alaska (after stealing the map from the crooks who stole it and killed Lamour's father), all sorts of funny incidents come into play with Lamour suspecting they're the real killers.

Bing gets a chance to warble "Moonlight Becomes You" and Dotty gets to sing a great Johnny Mercer song, "Personality" as part of a nightclub routine. The plot is too madcap to describe adequately, but it moves briskly through the fake Alaskan snow and provides plenty of amusement for fans of this sort of outing.

Memorable bit: Hope, pretending to act like the tough outlaw at a bar and ordering a drink. "Gimme a lemonade...(he catches himself)...in a dirty glass!" Hillary Brooke is largely wasted in a supporting role but DOUGLAS DUMBRILLE and ROBERT BARRATT (as the villains) have a good time with their roles.
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7/10
ROAD TO UTOPIA (Hal Walker, 1945) ***
Bunuel197617 December 2008
This is possibly the best regarded of the highly popular seven-movie "Road" series of musical comedies teaming Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour (all of which I've now watched and own).

It takes the boys to the Klondike (making the film a sort of Western spoof, a number of which I've scheduled for this Christmas marathon – and to which feast, by the way, there's even a visual reference here); they unwittingly take the identities of a couple of murderers and robbers of a map to a gold-mine. The latter is owned by Lamour's father, and she turns to his old pal Douglas Dumbrille for help in retrieving it – but he obviously has evil intentions (and is flanked by like-minded Hillary Brooke and Jack LaRue).

The series got progressively zanier, sometimes descending into surrealism (including a variety of talking animals!) – with in-jokes galore and even the proverbial breaking of the fourth wall (Hope referring to a mountain as his "bread and butter", and immediately the trademark Paramount stars appear around it!). This, then, adds yet another layer of hilarity with the presence (albeit rather too brief) of celebrated humorist/actor/scriptwriter Robert Benchley, whose last film this proved to be. Incidentally, the picture was shot in 1943-44 but its release was subsequently delayed for two years – due to a surplus of war-themed efforts the studio still had in the pipeline, as well as Bing's newly-acquired stature as an Oscar-caliber actor!

Though there are a few too many interruptions (for my taste) to accommodate the musical numbers, the songs in themselves are quite nice – and the film fast-paced fun all the way, with the star trio in excellent form. By the way, this is the one in which Hope shows his toughness by famously ordering the saloon's bartender to give him "Lemonade…in a dirty glass"!
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7/10
Baked Alaska
writers_reign31 May 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This is, unquestionably, one of the best of the 'Road' franchise. It began with a one-off, Singapore, and even the second, Zanzibar, was more accident than design but with the third entry, Morocco, the franchise was up and running and this, the fourth title, builds on the strengths of Morocco and reaches slightly beyond. By now the two male leads are established as performers, in this case vaudevillians at the turn of the century and all they need is an excuse to light out for the applicable destination and run into Dorothy Lamour. For the record we're talking map of hidden goldmine, acquired by Bing and Bob from the crooks, Sperry and McGurk, who murdered the real owner, and which rightfully belongs to Lamour, the daughter of the murdered man. Along with the usual gags, dismantling of the fourth wall, and the added ingredient of Robert Benchley's narrator, are the songs and this is one of the best bunch in the entire franchise, from Goodtime Charley, through Put It There, Pal, Welcome To My Dream, Should You and Personality. Dated, maybe but out of date, no.
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8/10
"Where do you keep YOUR butter?"
utgard141 December 2014
The fourth Hope & Crosby Road picture is one of the most fun. After a beginning set in the present day that lets us know Bob actually gets the girl this time, we flashback to the turn of the century where Bob & Bing work as vaudeville performers and charlatans. They head to Alaska, hoping to strike it rich as gold miners. But the mine they have a map to actually belongs to Dorothy Lamour. The trio try to avoid being killed by bad guys after the gold mine.

This was filmed in 1943 but not released until 1946. I've read a few different reasons for why this was. Whatever the reason, it's not a sign of this being a poor quality film, as is often the case with movies held back for a later release. Hope and Crosby are both in top form with lots of funny banter, ad-libbing, topical jokes, and fourth-wall breaking. Crosby sings some nice songs, including a lively duet with Hope. Dorothy Lamour is lovely as ever and gets to sing "Personality," one of her best songs from the Road films. Good villainy from Douglas Dumbrille and sexy Hillary Brooke. The talking animals are great fun, as is the Santa Claus bit. The best part of the movie, for me, was Robert Benchley's hilarious commentary. The Road movies were terrific and this is one of the best. Definitely recommended, whether you've seen one before or not.
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6/10
The Fourth "Road Movie"
Uriah4323 July 2016
Having fleeced money from an initially unsuspecting audience, "Duke Johnson" (Bing Crosby" and his best friend "Chester Hooten" (Bob Hope) try to make it out of town as soon as possible before the irate crowd can catch them. They end up on a ship heading for Alaska and because of mistrust between them end up losing all of their ill-gotten gains. Needing money to pay their fare they are then forced to work as crewmen for the ship and while cleaning out one of the berths come upon a map for a gold mine in the same direction they are heading. What they don't know is that two extremely vicious thieves named "Sperry" (Robert Barrat) and "McGurk" (Nestor Paiva) had murdered the previous owner to take possession of it. Neither do they realize that a woman named "Sal Van Hoyden" (Dorothy Lamour) is now the rightful owner of the map and is on the trail of those who took it. At any rate, rather than reveal any more of this movie I will just say that it was decent enough comedy which turned out to be reasonably entertaining all things considered. I especially liked the way the director (Hal Walker) managed to capture the cold climate along with the manner in which Bob Hope breaks the "fourth wall" by speaking directly to the audience during several scenes. In any case, I liked this movie and I have rated it accordingly. Slightly above average.
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10/10
One of the best Road pictures
HotToastyRag7 February 2020
In this hilarious addition to the Road pictures starring Bing Crosby and Bob Hope, there's the usual tongue-in-cheek dialogue about knowing that it's a movie. Bob breaks the fourth wall, there are jokes about sets and casting, references to the studio, and Robert Benchley introduces the film and himself as a studio representative. He says that since these movies are so bizarre and disjointed, he's been hired to make comments to the audience from time to time to make the plot clearer. Whenever he does popup, it's absolutely hilarious. He'll say anything from a needless and very funny explanation of something that was very clear, to simply a shrug and an admission that he has no idea what's going on.

The movie starts off in the home of Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour, an old married couple who receive an unexpected visit from Bing Crosby. They haven't seen each other in 35 years, and it's very cute to see them acting old yet still with the same gimmicks as when they're young. The rest of the movie goes back in time to when they met, and the plot in this installment is very funny: Dorothy Lamour's father had a map to a gold mine in Alaska, but after he dies, the map gets stolen by two murderous crooks, Robert Barrat and Nestor Paiva. Do you think Bob and Bing might get mistaken for the other pair?

Watching the fourth Road movie will make a very enjoyable evening. There might not be any songs that stand out from this one ,but there are tons of hilarious jokes, the classic love triangle, some double-crosses that will keep you guessing, and a dangerous-looking scene with a grizzly bear.
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7/10
Good, but not the best of the Road Pictures
vincentlynch-moonoi11 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
While this is not the best of the "The Road" pictures, it's pretty enjoyable with some memorable comedy bits. One thing that I felt fell completely flat was intermittent narration by Robert Benchley; Benchley was a clever fellow, but here I just didn't think it was well written.

The film begins with Lamour and Hope an an old married couple who are suddenly visited by old DCrosby. They reminisce about their adventures in the Klondike. It's well done and leads into the main flashback story. Two thugs murder a man and steal his map to a gold mine in Alaska. The murdered man's daughter (Lamour) is told on his deathbed to find a man named Ace Larson to get back the gold mine. Meanwhile, two con men (guess who) are performing their crooked vaudeville act, only to have to run from the police and an angry mob. The duo decides to split -- one going to Alaska, the other to New York...but of course Hope gets dragged into the Alaska trip by a more clever Crosby. Meanwhile, the thugs also board the boat to Alaska, and when Hope and Crosby put their money into a safe -- which is actually a port hole -- and lose their funds they work as ship hands...and discover the thug's stolen map to the gold mine...which they promptly steal. In Alaska, Ace Larson plots to cheat Lamour out of her goldmine, while Lamour entertains in his saloon (doing a nice rendition of "Personality"). After stealing the gold mine map and getting caught, Crosby and Hope disguise themselves as the thugs, not realizing that they are crooked. Each of them holds one-half of the map. Once in Alaska they both fall in love with Lamour (naturally), but are pretty inept with their romancing...while Lamour assumes they are the thugs who stole her father's map. She plays them, not realizing they are actually the good guys! The real thugs arrive and Hope and Crosby escape them via dogsled...although exactly where they are going is left up in the air. Nevertheless they are chased by the thugs until they come to a cliff with no escape. But, of course they do escape after some close calls. Meanwhile Ace is in the chase, as well, as is his woman (Hillary Brooke, whom we often saw with Abbott and Costello). Brooke plays a faux love interest for Hope, who has already apparently lost Lamour to Crosby. While once again escaping from the villains, Hope and Lamour gets separated from Crosby when a glacier crevasse opens up, and Crosby is left to face the mob while Hope and Lamour escape. Then we suddenly go back to the present as Crosby doesn't tell Hope and Lamour (or us) how he escaped the mob (that's a little disappointing, but perhaps part of the joke). In the end we find out that Hope and Lamour have a son who looks just like a young Crosby...but of course that wouldn't have been allowed in those days...so Hope informs us that the boy was adopted (wink, wink).

Crosby and Hope are...well, Crosby and Hope. Their chemistry is magic. The "Personality" number may be Dorothy Lamour's best on screen number. Hillary Brooke's performance as the shady woman is fine, as is Douglass Dumbrille's role as the crooked Ace Larson.

I should mention that this film includes one of Hope & Crosby's best buddy songs -- "Put It There Pal". It was a classic that they performed many times over the ensuring years. Great stuff!

Overall the gags are a little better in SOME of the other "Road Pictures", but this is fun and there are some good laughs. The mainstream DVD I have isn't a very good print, unfortunately, but overall it doesn't detract too much from your viewing pleasure.
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Thanks for the laughs,Bob!
Petey-1019 December 2003
At the turn of the century two vaudeville performers Chester (Bob Hope) and Duke (Bing Crosby) go to Alaska to make their fortune.On the way they run in all kind of weird and funny stuff, like talking animals. Road to Utopia from 1946 is one of the 'Road' films with Hope and Crosby and it's very good.These two worked really good together.Bing Crosby (1903-1977) does a very fine job in the lead.Bob Hope was a very funny man.This great comedian passed away last July of pneumonia.He had turned a hundred years last May.He had a great life and a great career and all the fans of Bob will miss him very much.He was one of the kind. Dorothy Lamour (1914-1996) is brilliant as Sal van Hoyden.This movie is filled with great gags.I recommend it to all comedy lovers out there.
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9/10
Klondike-bound, with contested mine map and high jinks
weezeralfalfa6 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The 4th film in the Road series, the favorite of quite a few. To me, the first 3 were nearly as good, I haven't seen the rest. All 4 were big box office successes at the time.

The film begins and ends when the stars are old and frail, the rest of the story being a flashback. The characters played by Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour are still married to each other, and visited by Bing Crosby. At the end of the film, we get a surprise, which must qualify the apparent exception that Bing always got the contested girl.

Bing and Bob are doing a stage con act on the west coast. Seems they can't afford to stay long in any place. They decide to go to Alaska and hunt for gold. Meanwhile Dorothy's father is murdered and his gold mine map stolen by 2 thugs. All board a ship for Alaska, Dorothy taking a ship slightly earlier.

Bing and Bob lose all their money overboard, hence are forced to scrub the deck, shovel coal into the firebox, and clean the cabins to pay their fare. In one cabin, they find and steal the gold mine map. They tie up the 2 thugs when they return to their cabin, and assume their identity, physically, as well as, orally. They tear the map in half, each hiding his half.

Meanwhile, Dorothy establishes a relationship with one Ace Larson, a friend of her father's. He tells her to use her charm to get the map from the 2 thugs, meaning the boys at present. She get's Bing's half, thinking it the whole. Larson realizes they have only part of the map and sends his jealous girlfriend, Kate, and bouncer: LeBec to find the rest of the map. Meanwhile, Dorothy senses that Larson and his bunch are planning to cut her out of the gold mine, and is falling in love with Bing. Thus we have a mad scramble for the whole map between Larson and his bunch, the 2 thugs, and the boys, sometimes with Dorothy. This includes various chases on dog sleds, and up glacier-covered mountains.

I noticed several features that reminded me of the 1934 film "Call of the Wild", starring Clark Gable. Both involve a contested map of a Klondike gold mine map. The hero(s) have a St. Bernard dog, at least part of the time, and rescue a fainted beautiful woman out in the wilderness. In the end, the boys share the mine with the girl, whose deceased father had the map, and one ends up with her.

Douglass Dumbrille(Ace Larson)is seen in over 100 Hollywood films, plus made numerous TV appearances. He usually played an oily villain or authoritarian.

As usual, Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Burke composed the several songs. Perhaps the most memorable is "Personality", sung by Dorothy.
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9/10
Gold Rush Paradise
lugonian21 March 2010
ROAD TO UTOPIA (Paramount, 1945), directed by Hal Walker, the fourth in the popular comedy adventures featuring Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour, is, contrary to the much famous ROAD TO MOROCCO (1942) happens to be the funniest and best in the seven film series, thanks to the Norman Panama and Melvin Frank Academy Award nominated script (excluding the Hope and Crosby ad-libs), comedy material, and the fine chemistry between the three major leads. For an added treat (or treatment), there's occasional narration between scenes provided by Robert Benchley clarifying the plot during individual scenes.

The story opens in at an estate where elderly couple Chester Hooten (Bob Hope) and his wife, Sal (Dorothy Lamour), are seen living comfortably off their $3 million fortune acquired during the Gold Rush. On that very night, the Hootens are visited by Duke Johnson (Bing Crosby), the other member of their party whom they had left for dead in the Klondike some 35 years ago. As Duke explains how he survived a near death experience, the scene fades to turn of the century San Francisco where Duke and Chester, a couple of entertainers in the "Professor Zambini" mind reading act, are exposed as frauds, and run out of town before an angry mob catches up with them. As Chester comes on a steamer bound for Brooklyn, he discovers that his pal, Duke, has taken his savings, causing him to rush towards the other steamer where Duke has booked passage to get back his money, only to end up bound Alaska bound. Losing all their money due to mishaps, the two work find themselves various jobs in order to pay for their passage. While cleaning one of the cabins, they acquire a map to a gold mine. Caught by Sperry (Robert Barrat) and McGuirk (Nestor Paiva), who earlier had stolen the deed belonging to the father of Sal Van Hayden, Duke and Chester outwit the villains, take the deed, and head over to Dawson City disguised as the bad guys. Sal, who had also booked passage to the Yukon, looks up Ace Larson (Douglass Dumbrille), proprietor of the Golden Rail, for assistance, as well as a job working as saloon hostess. The fun begins as Sal tries to win back the deed by flirting individually with "McGuirk/Duke" and "Sperry/Chester." As the real Sperry and McGuirk are hot on their trail, Larson, along with his dance hall girlfriend, Kate (Hillary Brooke) scheme to obtain the deed for themselves.

Others members of the cast include: Will Wright (Mr. Latimer, Sal's murdered uncle); Billy Benedict (The Newsboy); Alan Bridge (The Boat Captain); and Jack LaRue (Le Bec, one of Larson's henchmen).

As traditionally done in these "Road" comedies, there's time out for songs, this time by Johnny Burke and Jimmy Van Heusen including "Sunday, Monday and Always" (sung by Bing Crosby); "Good Time Charlie" (sung by Crosby and Bob Hope); "It's Anybody's Spring" (sung by Crosby); "Personality" (sung by Dorothy Lamour); "Welcome to My Dream" (sung by Crosby); "Put It There, Pal" (sung by Crosby and Hope); "Would You?" (sung by Dorothy Lamour); and "Welcome to My Dream" (sung by Crosby). Lamour's solo, "Personality," may sound familiar for those who might remember hearing it used in a 1970s TV commercial for Wesson oil, retitled "Wessonality."

In spite of this reportedly being a 1946 release, ROAD TO UTOPIA contains material and "in jokes" giving every indication to this as produced much earlier, starting off with Crosby's singing "Sunday, Monday and Always" from his 1943 release, DIXIE; and in the "Put It There, Pal" number where Hope and Crosby make references to each other's 1943 movies: Crosby's DIXIE and Hope's LET'S FACE IT. It's interesting that Robert Benchley's scenes weren't taken out entirely considering he died (1945) before the film's initial release.

What makes ROAD TO UTOPIA stand apart from the others in the series is how Crosby and Hope perform remarkable well together well in a sense of comedy team Bud Abbott and Lou Costello with Crosby the confidence man cheating as well as outwitting his partner (Hope). The scene where they're pocket-picking one another is simply hilarious ("no hard feelings?") next to their meeting up with Santa Claus(!). It should be noted that while ROAD TO UTOPIA has its share of talking bass and bears, along with a debonair taking a "short cut to Stage 10" while the boys are stoking coal, it doesn't contain their usual "paddy cake" routine. As for Dorothy Lamour, who, during her senior moments is heard sounding remarkable like Beulah Bondi's character in MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW (1937), through the stretch of the imagination of Hope, envisions her walking through the Yukon in her sarong. Next to Lamour , Hope and Crosby have a St. Bernard sharing in their search for gold, and he gets some quota of laughs as well.

Formerly on home video (VHS) and later distributed to DVD, its cable TV Broadcast history consists of The Disney Channel (1990s); American Movie Classics (1992-2000) and Turner Classic Movies (2004-present). Contrary to Hope's comment, "And I thought this was going to be an 'A' Picture" after his initial reunion with his pal, Duke (Crosby), ROAD TO UTOPIA is 90 minutes of solid entertainment, with Hope having the last word before the fadeout. So ends Duke Johnson's ROAD TO UTOPIA story. Next installment: ROAD TO RIO (1947). (***1/2)
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9/10
My favorite Road to...film
CubsandCulture14 February 2020
This film walks the line between being bad self-parody and being delightfully meta; far more often than not the film stays on the right side of that line. (Bear sequences is the major offender for when it doesn't). Because so many of the gags are talking about the form of the Road to...films and more broadly Hollywood escapism this film ends up feeling the most contemporary of the Road to... films. It has a contemporary vibe that keeps it fresh and more interesting than the other films. Likewise this one has the most traveling sequences and it just feels the most complete of all the films.

I am so glad I finally got around to watching this series. It is a classic.
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Good show
gazzo-217 April 2000
Oh this one is funny...haven't seen it since High school, years and years ago, but I remember it well...the seen where an aged couple-including Hope, talk about their son-and then in comes Bing Crosby(!!)-where Hope sez to the camera-'We adopted him!'...oh what a riot. And then there is the great scene where they are sledding, and the Paramount stars pop up over a mtn in the background...the constant lines about how, even when they're in trouble, 'Paramount won't let anything happen to us because we're under contract for another 4 pictures' or words to that effect...very funny stuff, Benchley's narration a hoot too.

***, this one is funny and to my thinking the best of the lot.
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8/10
Good stuff
SanteeFats15 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Another movie in the Road franchise. Bob Hope,Bing Crosby,and Dorothy Lamour appear yet again in this excellent comedy. As usual they are running from some thing or some one. In this case two killers they knock out and take their boat to Alaska. When they get there they act like the two killers, Sperry and McGurk. You know the two killers are going to show up and they do. They go after Bob and Bing along with a saloon owner and his saloon girl friend and his nefarious accomplices. All are after the goldmine map that the two have. So they go chasing all over the landscape and at the end Bob gets Dorothy for a change as a crevasse opens up and Bing is left on the other side facing a lot of the bad guys. Bing does show up after 35 years with two young hotties while an elderly Bob and Dorothy are comfortably ensconced in a mansion. They have a son who is Bing. Guess he got in before Bob did.
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8/10
very entertaining
rebeljenn23 October 2005
'Road to Utopia' is a musical comedy starring two performers who are caught up in a conquest to find gold in Alaska. 'Road to Utopia' is a highly entertaining film, and it's easy to get caught up in the adventure.

Some of the comedy elements in the film are probably a little bit dated, but those that are not dated and still very funny and witty. (These include the narrator comments directed to films, the Paramount mountain, the talking animals, and the Santa figure emerging from the Alaskan landscape with gifts for Crosby and Hope). The music is also dated in terms of what traditional audiences enjoy today, but I still thought it was done very well and played an important part in the story.

'Road to Utopia' is enjoyable, and it is highly recommended. If you're tired of all the films made in the past 20-30 years, this is a gem.
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8/10
One of Hope and Crosby's best Road pictures
mlraymond23 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Bob and Bing play their usual shady entrepreneur characters, accidentally exposed to the vaudeville theatre audience they've been swindling ,with their "Ghost-O, Spirit Game of the Orient" act, when two killers are pursued by the police across the stage, and knock over the table under which Hope is hiding and collecting the money that the patrons are putting into the magic spirit box in hopes of doubling their contributions.

This leads to their stowing away on a boat bound for Alaska and the Gold Rush. They get involved with a beautiful gal in search of her murdered uncle's gold mine, and assorted bad guys also after the treasure. Along the way, there are some priceless bits involving a St Bernard dog who tags along after them, Dorothy Lamour singing a naughty dance hall number, the two bumbling heroes impersonating the real killers, feuding over the lovely Dorothy, singing jovially insulting songs expressing true friendship while razzing each other, etc.

Before the picture is over, we've been treated to a guest appearance by Santa Claus, a talking fish, and a talking bear, who grumbles that the fish was given better dialogue. Robert Benchley appears overhead from time to time to comment on the action, and the whole story is framed by a modern day setting, with the elderly Hope and Lamour married, and receiving a visit from their old pal Crosby, who tells the tale of his adventures after they all were parted by an earthquake years before.

This is one of the cleverest and most amusing of the Road pictures and well worth seeing for anyone who enjoys old comedies.
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