What’s Old Is A New Release Again (2021) with… Make Mine Music (1946)

Well, we’re back to start off the new year with a few reviews of some of last year’s new physical media releases. And I’m going to start by branching out into an animated Disney film, something I haven’t done before (mostly because I think everybody has some knowledge of the animated Disney classics and I don’t have much else to say on the subject). I definitely wanted to do today’s film, though, since it features the vocal talents of Nelson Eddy, half of my Screen Team Of The Month! That, of course, makes it the 1946 package film Make Mine Music, which also features the talents of Dinah Shore, Benny Goodman, the Andrews Sisters, Jerry Colonna, Andy Russell, Sterling Holloway, Tania Riabouchinskaya and David Lichine, the Pied Pipers, the King’s Men and the Ken Darby Chorus. Of course, due to the nature of the film, I’ll throw in a Table of Contents to help get to the various sections quicker, if you so choose!

Table Of Contents

Coming Up Shorts! with… Readin’ And Writin’ (1932)

(available on Blu-ray as part of The Little Rascals: The ClassicFlix Restorations, Volume 3 (1932-1933) from ClassicFlix)

(Length: 21 minutes, 2 seconds)

Brisbane (Kendell McComas) doesn’t want to go to school, so he tries to get himself expelled. This one didn’t have a huge amount of plot to it, but it certainly was fun, with all the antics that Brisbane tried in order to get himself expelled. Admittedly, it’s not too original, sharing some similarities to earlier entries in the series with the kids’ answers and Miss Crabtree’s (June Marlowe) double-takes, plus the attempts to play pranks on her (that end up backfiring). Still, original or not, it’s a lot of fun (even if it is, from everything I’ve read, June Marlowe’s last appearance as Miss Crabtree)!

Coming Up Shorts! with… The Band Concert (1935)

(Available as an extra on the Make Mine Music Blu-ray from Disney Studios)

(Length: 9 minutes,18 seconds)

Mickey and his friends are trying to hold a band concert in the park, but have to deal with the interruptions of ice cream vendor Donald Duck and a tornado. Essentially the first Mickey Mouse short done in Technicolor, this also helped Donald Duck on his way to becoming a star at Disney. It’s been a few years since I’ve seen this one, but I can’t deny that it’s still a good one! Watching Donald as he tries to start playing “Turkey In The Straw” on his flute (and, in the process, dragging the rest of the band away from the William Tell Overture, which is what they were supposed to be playing) is a lot of fun! Of course, the relationship between him and Mickey is a bit more antagonistic, but that provides a lot of the humor here (as does the tornado which wreaks havoc on everything, but can’t stop the band from playing the song even as they get swept away). It’s an oldie, but a goodie!

Coming Up Shorts! with… Farmyard Symphony (1938)

(Available as an extra on the Make Mine Music Blu-ray from Disney Studios)

(Length: 8 minutes, 13 seconds)

On the farm, all the animals wake up and start the day when the rooster crows. This Silly Symphony cartoon really has no plot, just an emphasis on music. Honestly, this is one of the few Disney cartoons I’m not overly familiar with. I’ve seen it a handful of times, but I recognize the footage that was reused in the later 1951 Chip ‘n’ Dale short Chicken In The Rough. I much prefer that later short with its humor (and particularly Chip ‘n’ Dale), but this one is fairly entertaining.

Coming Up Shorts! with… Music Land (1935)

(Available as an extra on the Make Mine Music Blu-ray from Disney Studios)

(Length: 9 minutes, 36 seconds)

A war breaks out between the Isle Of Jazz and the Land Of Symphony when a princess violin (from the Land Of Symphony) falls for a saxophone prince (from the Isle Of Jazz). This is a fun cartoon, one that I’ve seen many times over the years. The music certainly helps set the tone here, with the more classical music for one group, and the jazzy music for the other. The methods of “war,” with the rulers essentially leading orchestras that shoot the music at each other is quite memorable. Again, I have a soft spot for this cartoon, and I know I always enjoy seeing it again!

And Now For The Main Feature…

Initially, Walt Disney started out with plans for a follow-up to Fantasia, which would have included some of the music that ended up in Make Mine Music. His plans were put on hold due to World War II, as well as much of his staff being drafted into the army/enlisted to help with training and propaganda films. As a result, he found himself with various ideas and stories that were either too long for theatrical shorts, or too short to be full-length features. So he decided to put these various ideas together into a package film of different segments with varying lengths. The movie itself was fairly well-received by audiences, although its initial theatrical run would be its only time in theaters. Some of the different segments were later reissued as individual shorts instead of getting a wide theatrical reissue for the whole film.

Due to the nature of this film, with its shorter sections, I will in some respects be treating them like my normal Coming Up Shorts! comments on theatrical shorts.

The Martins And The Coys

The King’s Men narrate this tale of a pair of feuding hillbilly families, the Martins and the Coys. The feud starts with a member of the Coy family stealing some eggs (and the Martins retaliating), and quickly almost all members of both families are killed off. Only one member of each family remains (Henry Coy and Grace Martin), and they fall in love with each other, much to the consternation of their deceased relatives watching from the clouds above. This one was new to me, and I will admit that I found the music to be fun, as was the story. Maybe not the absolute best part of this movie, but entertaining enough. This one admittedly has fallen prey to being censored by Disney, as they have removed it completely from the movie on home video in recent years. Most of what I read says it is about the gun violence (which is somewhat ridiculous, in my opinion, as I would say that the short’s ending with its domestic violence would seem more objectionable). Still, that does make it harder to see.

Blue Bayou

In this segment, the Ken Darby Chorus sings the song “Blue Bayou” as we watch a pair of egrets in the Everglades. Nothing really happens here, outside of watching one egret walking through (with the water rippling outward where it walks), so this one might be tougher to enjoy for those who prefer an actual plot or something happening. Apparently, this section was originally created to be part of Fantasia (or any of its originally planned future versions), with the Claude Debussy song “Claire de Lune” recorded by the Philadelphia Orchestra under Leopold Stokowski’s direction. The animation stayed for Make Mine Music, but the recording of “Blue Bayou” was substituted in by the time of the film’s release. Not the most remarkable segment, but the animation is still beautiful to watch.

All The Cats Join In

In this segment, Benny Goodman and his orchestra provide the music for the song “All The Cats Join In.” The story has a group of teens that decide to get together at a malt shop and dance to the music from the jukebox. This one was quite entertaining, especially with some of the various characters, vehicles and places being “drawn” as the story continues to happen (with the kids driving off in their jalopy before the “artist” is even done drawing the car). The song is fun, and this is one of the better segments. Like The Martins And The Coys, it has run afoul of being censored by Disney (although in this case, it’s mainly some mild female nudity that’s been edited out, as opposed to the whole segment).

Without You

This segment features Andy Russell singing a tune as we see nature through a window during and after a rainstorm. Like the earlier Blue Bayou short, this one really doesn’t have any action going on. The animation is interesting, especially as we see nature through the rain falling down the window. That’s honestly the only redeemable part of it, as the song itself is rather forgettable (but mercifully short).

Casey At The Bat

This segment tells the story of “Casey At The Bat” from the poem by Ernest Thayer. Jerry Colonna narrates, as we see the people of Mudville cheer on their baseball star, Casey, hoping he will bring their team victory. I’ve seen this segment separated as a short on TV many times over the years, and it’s one I’ve always found fun (even more so after I saw Jerry Colonna in a few live action movies, like his appearances alongside Bing Crosby and Bob Hope in a few of the Road movies). The story (even if completely true to the original poem) is entertaining and humorous, and as much a warning about being too cocky as anything. One I certainly love to see again and again (and therefore, one of this film’s better segments)!

Two Silhouettes

For this segment, Dinah Shore sings the song “Two Silhouettes.” Onscreen, we have a ballet dance from David Lichine and Tania Riabouchinskaya, who are animated via rotoscoping. It’s fascinating to watch this dance, even if it feels a little too simple compared to what other screen dancers could do with live action. But, I suspect, that is the problem, since the animators would have had to trace over everything, and so, to a degree, the simpler, the better for them. The title song is decent, and the combination of dancing and animation works pretty well. At least this one was more substantial than some of the earlier shorts in the film like Blue Bayou and Without You.

Peter And The Wolf

Sterling Holloway narrates this story of a little boy named Peter who goes out to hunt a wolf with some of his animal friends. I’ve seen this segment many a time (as its own separate short), and it’s always a lot of fun! The way they use the different musical instruments as part of the score to denote the various characters makes this one quite entertaining! Of course, Sterling Holloway’s narration is quite fun, too, especially as he tries to interact with the characters (not that they seem to hear him, anyways). Like I said, this segment is one I know I enjoy, and love to come back to every now and then!

After You’ve Gone

This segment features Benny Goodman and the Goodman Quartet playing the music. Onscreen, we see various musical instruments (led, in particular, by a clarinet) as they go through a musical environment. This is another one without much of a plot, and that’s a bit of a strike against it. The animation is fun to watch, especially when we have a pair of hands (which then turn into a pair of legs) play on piano keys. The music itself is fun, which adds to this segment’s charm. It’s still not a great one, but it’s entertaining enough for a few minutes.

Johnnie Fedora And Alice Bluebonnet

The Andrews Sisters sing a tale about two different hats. Johnnie Fedora and Alice Bluebonnet are a pair of hats in a department store window who have fallen in love (until Alice is sold to a customer). When Johnnie has been purchased, he tries to find Alice, but keeps managing to miss her. I’ve seen this segment before via some of the various programs containing Disney shorts over the years. Until this viewing, I don’t think it sank in that it was the Andrews Sisters narrating, and their presence makes this fun short even better. It’s an entertaining little love story, with good animation and a lot of heart behind it. I know I still like it after all these years!

The Whale Who Wanted To Sing At The Met

Ah, the moment I’ve been waiting for (and, as it’s the reason I’m including this movie as part of my Screen Team Of The Month blogathon for January 2022, it will take at least two paragraphs to talk about it). A whale is heard singing opera out in the ocean, making the headlines of newspapers and causing a lot of debate over whether it is really possible for a whale to sing. Opera impresario Tetti Tatti thinks that the whale has swallowed an opera singer, and sets out with a schooner and a harpooner to “rescue the opera singer.” The whale, Willie, actually can sing, and tries to audition for Tetti Tatti when he hears that the impresario is seeking him out. The schooner’s harpooners find themselves enjoying Willie’s singing, as he dreams of what it would be like for him to sing at the Met.

This is another segment that I’ve seen many a time since I was a kid (although it was the individual short, which had been retitled Willie The Operatic Whale, which I saw on a VHS). Even though it didn’t exactly have a happy ending, I will admit that I liked it as a child, and, seeing it again as an adult, I have even more respect for it! As a kid, I couldn’t have told you who Nelson Eddy was, and I certainly wouldn’t have known that all the whale’s singing was done by him. Now I know, which is what makes this short even better for me! I find it very impressive how they were able to use technology (some of which Nelson Eddy had been fiddling around with on his own) to allow him to sing in different voices, from bass through soprano. I’ll admit, seeing Willie the Whale as Mephistopheles was somewhat scary as a little kid (albeit not in a traumatic way, thankfully), and still is a little scary, even as an adult. Still, it’s an entertaining short that I’m glad to be able to see again!

My Overall Impression

This is probably one of the few animated Disney classics that I hadn’t really seen in its entirety until recently. Mostly, I had seen a few of the shorts through the likes of VHS and TV programs, but never in this form. For me, it’s easy to say that the shorts I was previously acquainted with are the ones that stick with me, especially Casey At The Bat, Peter And The Wolf, Johnnie Fedora and Alice Bluebonnet, and The Whale Who Wanted To Sing At The Met. In particular, Willie The Whale is the one that I have the fondest memories of (to the extent that, even after many years of not seeing it, the music still easily gets stuck in my head, even after one viewing), and helps raise my opinion of the overall film completely on its own. Amongst those that I hadn’t seen before in their entirety, All The Cats Join In was the most memorable, with its fun little story and music. It’s a very inconsistent film in terms of its quality (hard not to be when it is comprised solely of various shorts not all done by the same people), but I still think it is worth seeing and enjoying!

This movie is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Disney. The Blu-ray release is available exclusively through the Disney Movie Club (or, for those who can’t become members, it can also be found through other sellers on eBay and other sites). The pros about the Blu-ray: the transfer looks quite good, in my opinion, and, as indicated above, it has three classic shorts included as extras (a new thing for Disney Movie Club exclusives). The con: it’s the edited version of the film, missing the Martins And The Coys segment and the edited out moments from All The Cats Join In. This is particularly frustrating, as being a Disney Movie Club exclusive makes it that much harder to purchase, and is therefore going to appeal mainly to collectors (who would mostly prefer to have the entire, UNCUT film). As a result, the version of the movie included runs about one hour, eight minutes in length. It’s got the main parts that I like and enjoy, but I can’t deny that I would scoop up the full version if the release were fixed (and I hope it does somewhere down the line).

(Full) Film Length: 1 hour, 15 minutes

My Rating: 8/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collection

Phantom Of The Opera (1943)Nelson Eddy

Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943) – Dinah Shore

Hold That Ghost (1941) – The Andrews Sisters – Road To Rio (1947)

Road To Utopia (1946) – Jerry Colonna – Road To Rio (1947)

Remember The Night (1940) – Sterling Holloway

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TFTMM 2020 & WOIANRA 2019 on… Hold That Ghost (1941)

Continuing on with today’s Abbott and Costello double-feature is their 1941 comedy Hold That Ghost!

At a swanky night club, gangster Moose Matson (William Davidson) is told by his lawyer Bannister (Russell Hicks) that small-time hood Charlie Smith (Marc Lawrence) knows about a recent hold-up Moose was involved in, and threatens to go to the district attorney if Moose doesn’t give him half the money. The next day, Moose stops at a gas station where Chuck Murray (Bud Abbott) and Ferdinand “Ferdie” Jones (Lou Costello) work as attendants. When the police find him, Moose forces Chuck and Ferdie to drive him away, but the cops shoot him and he dies. Chuck and Ferdie are later told by Bannister that Moose’s will stated that anybody with him when he died would inherit Moose’s estate, and he introduces them to Charlie as his associate, who will take them to their inheritance. They end up taking a ride with a group of other passengers, including Doctor Jackson (Richard Carlson), Camille Brewster (Joan Davis) and Norma Lind (Evelyn Ankers), out to an old tavern, which is their inheritance. Upon arriving, their driver takes off with all their luggage, abandoning everyone at the tavern. Charlie disappears not long after they arrive, while they try to scrape together some food. They all try to sleep for the night, but too many ghostly run-ins occur, as they try to figure out what is going on.

After finishing Buck Privates, Abbott and Costello went into production on Hold That Ghost (although the original planned title was “Oh Charlie”), which was inspired by their comedy routine “Moving Candle.” About the time they finished production, Buck Privates was enjoying great success in theatres, and the early test audiences for “Oh Charlie” wondered where the Andrews Sisters were. The film was shelved while they produced In The Navy as another service comedy, with plans to rework “Oh Charlie” later. When they resumed production, they decided to add some more scenes, including the nightclub opening featuring Ted Lewis and the Andrews Sisters, the new ending (also featuring Ted Lewis and The Andrews Sisters), and a few changes to other scenes from the movie. However, particularly for the end scene, actress Joan Davis had already moved on to doing another movie for 20th Century Fox and was unavailable. Of course, the movie was a success, and opened up new doors for Abbott and Costello beyond the service comedies they had been doing, since audiences liked seeing Lou scared.

Personally, I disagree with the original test audiences about the movie. I wish I could see it as “Oh Charlie,” as the scenes with the Andrews Sisters and Ted Lewis just seem way out of place here (especially Ted Lewis doing “Me And My Shadow,” which is definitely not politically correct with a black performer “shadowing” him, possibly in blackface). The new stuff with the main cast still works, though, but the movie is best at the “haunted” tavern! With some of their comedy routines (besides the aforementioned “Moving Candle”) including “Changing Room” as Lou keeps ending up in rooms that change as the place was a former casino, with all the slot machines and tables coming in and out of hiding, plus “Figure Of Speech,” as well as “Comic Ballet,” a fun little comedy dance featuring Lou and Joan Davis, there is much fun to be had here! And, of course, Lou is always hilarious when frightened! The horror aspects certainly work well enough, as you can still feel the tension and terror at those moments! Certainly a wonderful movie that I would recommend highly (and I also recommend skipping through the musical stuff at the start and finish of the movie, since it doesn’t advance the plot at all)!

This movie is available on Blu-ray from Shout! Factory as part of the 28-film The Complete Abbott & Costello Universal Pictures Collection.

Film Length: 1 hour, 26 minutes

My Rating: 8/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

In The Navy (1941)Bud Abbott/ Lou Costello – Keep ‘Em Flying (1941)

In The Navy (1941) – The Andrews Sisters – Make Mine Music (1946)

In The Navy (1941)The Complete Abbott And Costello Universal Pictures Collection – Keep ‘Em Flying (1941)

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TFTMM 2020 & WOIANRA 2019 on… In The Navy (1941)

Starting off our next Abbott and Costello double-feature, we have the 1941 comedy In The Navy, also starring Dick Powell!

Coming Up Shorts! with… Robin Hood-Winked (1948)

(available on Blu-ray and DVD as part of Popeye The Sailor: The 1940s Volume 3 from Warner Archive Collection)

Disclaimer: On the disc case, it is noted that the set is intended for the adult collector, which is because these shorts were made at a time when a lot of racist and sexist stereotypes were prevalent. All I’m trying to say is, parents, be careful about just sticking these on for your kids.

(Length: 7 minutes, 12 seconds)

Popeye is Robin Hood and must rescue Olive from the tax collector, Bluto. Yet another Popeye vs. Bluto cartoon. The Robin Hood angle makes it fun for sure, with a number of rather funny gags. Of course, it pales in comparison to the Looney Tunes versions of Robin Hood with either Bugs or Daffy, but it was still worth a few good laughs just the same!

And Now For The Main Feature…

After one of his shows, popular singer Russ Raymond (Dick Powell) disappears, leading to a nationwide search by his fans and the press. Reporter Dorothy Roberts (Claire Dodd) finds him, and discovers he plans to enlist in the navy under his real name, Tommy Halstead. However, she is unable to prove it, and tries to find ways to get pictures of Tommy. Meanwhile, Tommy’s new navy buddies, Smokey Adams (Bud Abbott) and Pomeroy Watson (Lou Costello) are having troubles of their own. Pomeroy is in love with Patty Andrews, one of the Andrews Sisters, but she doesn’t like him as much. At the nightclub where the Andrews Sisters are performing, the three men get into a brawl, and as a result are transferred to an active battleship. Dorothy sneaks aboard the ship, and is stuck with them as the ship takes off for Hawaii. Upon arriving, she gets her picture proof of Tommy, and the ship is soon besieged with Russ Raymond fans, while Tommy figures out how to escape his new predicament.

While it was Abbott and Costello’s third film to be released to theatres, In The Navy was actually the fourth one they filmed. They had already filmed Hold That Ghost, but the success of Buck Privates led to the studio going for another service picture. Abbott and Costello were joined again by the Andrews Sisters, who were given a little more to do in this movie, other than singing some patriotic and boogie woogie tunes, as Lou’s character was attempting to romance Patty Andrews. The main problem encountered in finishing this movie was getting the U.S. Navy’s approval. They had originally objected to a sequence involving Lou pretending to be the ship’s captain as he gave orders to the ship’s crew for different maneuvers. The filmmakers decided to make that a dream sequence by adding some extra footage, and so they got the Navy’s approval.

For me, In The Navy has been one of my go-to films amongst the Abbott and Costello filmography. Obviously, it’s still a lot of fun with the boys doing more of their comedy routines, which here include “The Lemon Bit,” “7 x 13 = 28” and “Sons Of Neptune” (AKA “Buzzing The Sea”) (and they are joined by former/future Stooge Shemp Howard on them to boot). Any of those moments are guaranteed to have me rolling around in fits of laughter, easily making it worth it! While the Andrews Sisters only have one memorable tune (well, for me anyways) with “Gimme Some Skin, My Friend,” I also can’t help but enjoy the song “We’re In The Navy,” sung first by Dick Powell and then sung again with the Andrews Sisters to end the movie. I guarantee, every time I watch the movie, the song gets stuck in my head (but I’m not complaining)! I’ll admit, the romance between Dick Powell and Claire Dodd’s characters isn’t one of the film’s strengths, but the rest of the movie is worth it! I know this was a successful movie as it certainly had its copycats (I’d swear that the 1944 Bing Crosby movie Here Come The Waves is quite similar, with a crooner wanting to be in the Navy and get away from his fans). A very fun movie here with In The Navy, and one I have no trouble whatsoever in recommending!

This movie is available on Blu-ray from Shout! Factory as part of the 28-film The Complete Abbott & Costello Universal Pictures Collection.

As an Amazon Affiliate, this site gets a small percentage for every purchase made upon using one of the Amazon links, even if it’s not the movie I linked to (and it’s at no extra cost to you). If you like what I’m doing with the blog, please consider using them so that I can continue to do more!

TFTMM 2020 & WOIANRA 2019 on… Buck Privates (1941)

And for our second half of our first Abbott and Costello double-feature, we have the classic Buck Privates!

In the wake of the peacetime draft of 1940, the U.S. army gains many new recruits, both volunteers and those drafted. Among them are con men Slicker “Smitty” Smith (Bud Abbott) and Herbie Brown (Lou Costello), who are chased by a cop into a movie theater that had become an enlistment center and, in the process, accidentally enlist. Playboy Randolph Parker III (Lee Bowman) has been drafted, but he hopes his influential father can get him out of it, while his chauffeur Bob Martin (Alan Curtis) was one of the first men drafted. Once at camp, Smitty and Herbie find out that their new drill instructor is Sergeant Michael Collins (Nat Pendleton), the cop who had chased them into the theater in the first place. Meanwhile, Bob and Randolph run into army hostess Judy Gray (Jane Frazee), one of Bob’s friends, and they both become rivals for her affections. Randolph finds himself stuck in the army when his father refuses to help him out, and he makes an enemy of everyone in his regiment when he fakes an injury to get out of a shooting match with a rival regiment just to have a date with Judy. He tries to regain everyone’s affections, but struggles. Can he succeed when they all become involved in a war game exercise?

In the fall of 1940, the Draft Bill was signed into law by FDR, and, as a result, the movie studios started looking for ways to incorporate the selective service into their films. Universal took a chance with one of theirs, putting Abbott and Costello in as leads after only one film to their credit (and one that wasn’t exactly well received, outside of their performances). Buck Privates turned out to be very successful, grossing more than the same year’s Citizen Kane along with some of the year’s other big releases (not to mention resulting in other movies imitating it, including Bob Hope’s comedy Caught In The Draft). Abbott and Costello were also successfully joined in this movie by the Andrews Sisters, who would also make appearances in the next two Abbott and Costello movies as well. Buck Privates‘ success would result in the only true sequel that Abbott and Costello did a few years later with Buck Privates Come Home, as well as a semi-remake in the form of the episode “The Army Story” for The Abbott And Costello Show on TV a decade later.

Personally, I find this movie to be a HUGE improvement over their previous film One Night In The Tropics. Abbott and Costello are obviously still hilarious together (and the main reason to watch this movie), doing some of their comedy routines which include “Dice Game,” “Loan Me $50,” “Drill,” “Play The Radio” and “You’re Forty, She’s Ten.” Most of them work much better here, and don’t completely stop the action (although their comedy routines are always worth the pause). The addition of the Andrews Sisters makes things fun, especially since they have a few fun songs, written by Hugh Prince and Don Raye, including their big hit “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.” And, for one of the later songs, the World Champion Boogie Woogie Dancers were featured doing some dancing. I still don’t think too highly of the romantic triangle plot here, but with Abbott and Costello featured more in the leads, who cares? A fun film, and one I think worth recommending giving a chance if you haven’t seen this classic!

This movie is available on Blu-ray individually from Universal Studios or as part of the 28 film The Complete Abbott And Costello Universal Pictures Collection from Shout Factory.

Film Length: 1 hour, 24 minutes

My Rating: 9/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

One Night In The Tropics (1940)Bud Abbott/ Lou CostelloIn The Navy (1941)

The Andrews Sisters – In The Navy (1941)

Another Thin Man (1939) – Shemp Howard – In The Navy (1941)

One Night In The Tropics (1940)The Complete Abbott And Costello Universal Pictures CollectionIn The Navy (1941)

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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 Studio Classics.

Film Length: 1 hour, 41 minutes

My Rating: 9/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

Blue Skies (1946)Bing CrosbyThe Emperor Waltz (1948)

My Favorite Brunette (1947)Bob Hope – (original review of The Paleface) (update)

My Favorite Brunette (1947)Dorothy LamourLulu Belle (1948)

Make Mine Music (1946) – The Andrews Sisters – Melody Time (1948)

Make Mine Music (1946) – Jerry Colonna – The Road To Hong Hong (1962)

My Favorite Brunette (1947) – Bob Hope/Dorothy Lamour (screen team) – Road To Bali (1952)

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