Road to Singapore [1940]

Genre: Comedy, Musical, Romance
Here's the first trip in what would become one of Paramount Pictures' most profitable film series of the '40s. When this comedy was released in 1940, Bing Crosby and Bob Hope had separately achieved stardom, though Crosby was an established power and Hope still a hot comedian new to movies. In fact, Hope is billed third in Road to Singapore, below Der Bingle and Dorothy Lamour. The script establishes what would be a constant in the Road series: a ramshackle plot, a handful of songs, and plenty of irreverent banter between the two boys. Crosby plays Josh Mallon, scion of a wealthy family, who prefers the vagabond life to his stuffy family; his pal Ace Lannigan (Hope) is only too happy to escape. They end up sharing a waterfront shack in Singapore and vying for the affections of a sarong-clad local (Lamour), amidst stabs at conning the natives with a dubious elixir variously known as "Spot-O" (stain remover) and "Scram-O" (cockroach killer). Singapore isn't as loose as some of the wacky subsequent entries in the series, but it already shows Crosby and Hope grooving to each other's perfectly timed burlesque rhythms in scenes that clearly depart from the script. They specialized in muttered asides, show-biz in-jokes, and gratuitous insults--and this one's got a song and dance number with an ocarina. No wonder it became a franchise. --Robert Horton

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"Road to Singapore Quotes." Quotes.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2014. Web. 26 Nov. 2014. <http://www.quotes.net/movies/Road to Singapore>.

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