Here we are for the seventh and final movie in the Road series, the 1962 movie The Road To Hong Kong, with Bing Crosby and Bob Hope returning, and joined this time by Joan Collins.
This time, Bing is Harry Turner and Bob is Chester Babcock, a pair of con men. When Chester ends up in an accident during one of their cons that causes him to lose his memory, they go to a lamasery that holds the potential to restore his memory. While at the airport on their way there, Chester is mistaken for an agent of the Third Echelon, and is given a secret rocket formula by Diane (Joan Collins). After Chester regains his memory at the lamasery, he is also given an herb that would allow him to remember word for word anything that he reads after being shown it. When they return, Harry unknowingly has Chester memorize the formula, and burns the paper they were on. Harry makes a deal with Diane, and they go to Hong Kong to meet the leader of the Third Echelon. They have no luck, and they get sent up on a rocket. I could easily keep going, but I need to stop at some point!
Since I should discuss movies I DON’T have as high an opinion of (or otherwise, I may run out of movies eventually), we’ll discuss what I think of this movie. As the seventh and final movie in the Road series, this one shows indeed that the series was running out of steam. The story is somewhat convoluted, and seems at times like the movie is trying to be a “greatest hits” of their material. That would be fine, except Bing and Bob were both nearly sixty at the time they made this movie, and their timing (and physical abilities) show it. I don’t know what the problem is (possibly just the material they were given), as I have seen them together in one of Bing’s TV specials made about the same time to promote the movie, where I thought they were far funnier together.
It hurts even more that they have a much younger female co-star, Joan Collins, instead of Dorothy Lamour, their co-star in the previous six movies (reduced to a cameo here as a compromise, since Bing and a number of others apparently thought she was getting too old, even though she was about ten years younger than Bob and Bing, and wanted somebody much younger, but Bob wanted her in the movie). However you look at it, though, the lack of chemistry shows, and the brief few minutes with Dorothy Lamour are far better than the rest of the movie with Joan Collins.
Now, in spite of what I have said, I do enjoy this movie. I admit, I am only really likely to watch it when I am either watching through the filmographies of Bing or Bob (at least, those I have on disc), or when I am watching the Road series. It is worth a few laughs, but sometimes it depends upon my mood when I watch it. I can’t quite recommend it to anybody else, though, hence my more negative review (if you have read this review and still want to try it, I am still providing Amazon links as usual).
This movie is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Olive Films.
Film Length: 1 hour, 32 minutes
My Rating: 4/10
List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections
High Time (1960) – Bing Crosby – Robin And The 7 Hoods (1964)
Alias Jesse James (1959) – Bob Hope
The Opposite Sex (1956) – Joan Collins
Road To Bali (1952) – Dorothy Lamour
Ocean’s 11 (1960) – Frank Sinatra – Robin And The 7 Hoods (1964)
Ocean’s 11 (1960) – Dean Martin – Robin And The 7 Hoods (1964)
Road To Bali (1952) – Bob Hope/Dorothy Lamour (screen team)
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