Road to Morocco [1942]

Road to Morocco, number three in the series of breezy comedies teaming Bing Crosby and Bob Hope, may be the funniest of the bunch. Bing and Bob find themselves Morocco-bound ("like Webster's dictionary"), caught in an elaborately faked-up world of harems, palm trees, and other Arabian Nights bric-a-brac. Naturally, Dorothy Lamour is also there, as she was the customary target of male rivalry in the Road scenarios. There is something so loose and ingratiating about the patter between Hope and Crosby that it doesn't ultimately matter if half the jokes don't land; these guys had their own comfortable rhythm, fueled by cheerful one-upmanship. Their sense of spontaneity broke the fourth wall between movie and audience in a way only the Marx Brothers had really accomplished before, and audiences--feeling in on the joke--ate it up. Songs (including "Moonlight Becomes You"), topical references, and ancient vaudeville routines fill out the program. --Robert Horton

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