Thoughts From The Music(al) Man (2018) on… Road To Rio (1947)

Back on the road again! Here we are, off on the Road To Rio, with Bing Crosby as Scat Sweeney, Bob Hope as Hot Lips Barton, and Dorothy Lamour as Lucia Maria de Andrade!

Scat Sweeney and Hot Lips Barton, both musicians, are both on the run after Hot Lips accidentally burns down a carnival that Scat had conned him into doing a high-wire act for. Stowing a way on a ship to Brazil, they meet Lucia, who is threatening to jump off the ship. She is facing a marriage to her “Aunt’s” (her guardian) brother, whom she doesn’t seem to love. We later find out her aunt has been hypnotizing her. Once they get to Brazil, Scat Sweeney gets them together as a band, along with three others from the area. Scat and Hot Lips are also hypnotized into almost killing each other, before they come to and realize what has been happening to Lucia. Then then go off to try and save her.

This movie is just full of wonderful comedic moments. Some of the best center around the three Wiere brothers. For the most part, they are silent, except for their laugh or whenever they speak Portuguese (I think?). In the movie, they are three local musicians in Brazil whom Bing’s character convinces to join him and Bob’s characters as a band. The catch? They are all supposed to be American musicians! So Bing and Bob teach each member one single phrase to help keep their cover. The result is similar to the “two-line vocabulary” game done on the U.S. TV series Whose Line Is It Anyway? (except of course, they all only have one line).

Of course, we have all the trademarks of Bing and Bob, too.  They do their patty-cake routine.  We have all the quips and the insults that they are known for, and the asides to the audience.  And then there’s… “the papers.”  Of course, we also have a cameo from the Andrews Sisters, joining Bing for the song “You Don’t Have To Know The Language.”

For me, this is one of the best films in the “Road” series, right alongside Road to Singapore.  I recommend it this movie very much, if you need a good comedy!  The movie is available on DVD and Blu-ray from Kino Lorber, and runs about one hour, forty-one minutes in length.

My Rating: 9/10

Audience Rating:

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