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This sixth entry in the Crosby-Hope-Lamour "Road" series was the first (and last) in Technicolor. This time, Bing Crosby and Bob Hope play George Cochran and Harold Gridley, American vaudevillians stranded in Australia. To avoid a dual shotgun wedding, George and Harold sign on as deep-sea divers for sinister South-Sea-island prince Ken Arok (Murvyn Vye). After a contretemps with an octopus (courtesy of stock footage from Reap the Wild Wind), our heroes sail to the prince's Balinese homeland, where they meet and fall in love with gorgeous Princess Lalah (Dorothy Lamour). Though Lalah favors George, she feels obligated to Harold, because he resembles her childhood best friend -- a chimpanzee (this must be seen to be believed). When Ken Arok attempts to usurp Lalah's throne, she and the boys escape to a tropical island, where they meet the inevitable slapstick-comedy gorilla. More adventures await the intrepid trio on another island, this one dominated by an active volcano. Who gets the girl in this one? A hint: the loser tries to physically prevent the "The End" title from flashing on the screen during the final fadeout. Though not as fresh and spontaneous as earlier "Road" endeavors, Road to Bali has its fair share of non sequitur gags, inside jokes and unbilled guest appearances (including Martin and Lewis, Bing's brother Bob Crosby, Humphrey Bogart and Jane Russell). Best bit: when Crosby feels a song coming on, Hope turns to the camera and hisses "He's gonna sing, folks. Now's the time to go and get your popcorn." ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Hoo-boy! The boys are on their last legs in this effort to kick the mule to get another mile out of it, only the poor animal is just about dead. Game and spirited kicking almost give the illusion that animal is moving ... but its not. The only reason to take this trip (as Paramount well understood) was the charisma of its leads, but there's really nothing here for you.
The hapless duo go diving for sunken treasure in the South Pacific, which leaves ample scope for jokes about amorous gorillas, rubber giant squids and a wealth of glamorous island maidens. By this time, the Road movies had settled into a production line comfort zone, and the flat direction which lacks the necessary pizazz of the great musicals combined with the deeply unconvincing sound stage bound locations means that Bali relies entirely on the amiability of its stars. But let's face it, these old pros were never going to disappoint. The stream of Vaudevillian skits and songs are very familiar to anyone who knows the series and Hope and Crosby's usual backstabbing and bickering is just as fun as always. It's a bit like watching an extended sketch from a Morecambe And Wise Christmas Special in that the knockabout charm of its stars outweighs the quality of the gags to the point where you can't help laughing at even the weakest of jokes; the groans are just as amusing as the chuckles! Very old school, but still fun.
A light-hearted comedy and one of the better "Road To" movies featuring Bing Crosby and Bob Hope delivering one-liners and Hollywood inside jokes. The movie kicks off in classic slapstick fashion with Hope and Crosby bailing from the big city to remote South America, to find themselves at the peril of wicked native cults. So far, so good. Crosby and Hope's timing is perfect and you can tell how much of their dialogue is ad-libbed. Yet, despite being inspired by classic comic duos such as Laurel & Hardy or Martin & Lewis, they never reach the same quality. They comic genius of Laurel is nowhere to be found and the music numbers never reach the quality of Dino's. Still, the movie's humour is refreshingly surreal, constantly breaking the fourth wall and you cannot help laughing when Bob Hope proclaims: "He is going to sing now folks, time to get some popcorn". Hope and Crosby joke about the Oscars, other actors, other movies, their off-screen persona, the movie itself ("Is the Picture over ?"). The movie has a tendency to be very campy at times. Have you ever imagined Dorothy Lamour peddling in a lagoon within native ruins, singing and wearing nutin' for the butim' ? Well, here is your chance to see it.
I highly recommend this movie if you are into classic Hollywood, the movie feels like taking a trip with some friends down the Hollywood Blvd.
Watch it here: http://www.classiccinemaonline.com/1/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=200:road-to-bali-1952&catid=92:comedy&Itemid=290
at this point in the franchise, the only real enjoyment factor is watching Bing and Bob exchange zingy one-liners. the problem there is, even they seem a bit tired of it. sharp in-jokes, amusing cameos, some cool moments of special effects and slapstick, but overall a pretty lame and uninspired movie. funny absolutely, but the story's the same old shtick.
so, i haven't seen all of the "Road To" movies, but of the ones that I have seen, this one is undeniably my favorite. the jokes are better then ever and the quick wordplay between Hope and Crosby is at its strongest here. there are so many memorable scenes in"The Road to Bali" that i'm not sure which is my favorite. as for the movie being in color, it was kind of interesting. i did notice that they incorporated some techniques used in black and white movies, though (the shiny ring, in particular). i guess i'm just biased and prefer the old black and whites. anyways, great movie. very funny.
I'm a sucker for these movies... it's pathetic... but I love both Crosby and Hope. Not much substance, but it is amusing... the Bogart cameo was so random--it lasts for a split second but I still cracked up.