What’s Old Is A New Release Again (2019) with… Road To Zanzibar (1941)

Time to hit the road again! This time we’re on the Road To Zanzibar, again with Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour!

Carnival performers Chuck Reardon (Bing Crosby) and “Fearless” (Hubert) Frazier (Bob Hope) have to go on the run after they accidentally burn down a carnival. Instead of buying tickets to go back home, Chuck Reardon buys what turned out to be a phony diamond mine.  When Fearless sells it to a dangerous man, they end up on the run again. They run into Donna Latour (Dorothy Lamour) and Julia Quimby (Una Merkel), a pair of con artists who persuade Chuck and Fearless to take them on a safari to find Donna’s “father” (who is in reality a millionaire that Donna wants to marry). Thing is, while on safari, both Chuck and Fearless fall in love with Donna, and she starts to develop feelings for one of them (and if you know the series, you can guess which one).

For the second film in the Road series, more of the series’ trademarks are falling into place. Bing and Bob bring back their “patty-cake” routine from Road To Singapore, acknowledging that film when, in the first of the two times they use it in this movie, the guy they try to use it on gets them first. Then, of course, there are those marvelous quips by both Bing and Bob, not to mention we see their type of relationship more solidified. Admittedly, this is probably the most politically incorrect movie in the series, in between the background images for the opening credits and the cannibalistic African tribe that they have to deal with.

Personally, I really enjoy this movie and all its wonderful comedic moments. One moment would definitely have to be when Fearless Frazier has to fight a gorilla (ok, so it’s just a person in a gorilla suit). It’s an amusing fight, with Chuck periodically lighting matches from outside the cage to distract the gorilla (although he distracts Fearless at least once). Then, of course, there’s the song “It’s Always You,” which mocks the moments in musicals where the background music just comes out of nowhere. I could easily list quite a few more, but I do like this movie and would easily recommend it (at least, if you can get past the politically incorrect stuff).

This movie has been made available on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber (and has been available on DVD for years from Universal Studios). The transfer on the new Blu-ray looks about as good as I’ve ever seen the movie, with only a few scratches here and there, and is the way I would certainly recommend seeing the movie. The movie is one hour, thirty-two minutes in length.

My Rating: 8/10

Audience Rating:

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