ROAD TO UTOPIA (1946)

Dir. Hal Walker

For their fourth “Road” film, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour took a rare trip to northern climes. ROAD TO UTOPIA may be the only film in the series without a real place name in the title, but that helped make it one of the most surreal and satisfying of the team’s seven films. It starts with an introduction by Robert Benchley, who pops in throughout to “explain” the plot, which is really just an excuse for the gags and the songs. This time out, Hope and Crosby are out to avoid a bunch of crooks while trying to claim an Alaskan gold mine they don’t realize Lamour owns. On the way, they break the fourth wall at every opportunity and crack jokes about Paramount Studios, Frank Sinatra and each other. Lamour also gets to stop the show with a sizzling performance of Johnny Burke and Jimmy Van Heusen’s “Personality,” the score’s biggest hit. The stars’ own personalities are the real selling point, far outweighing any concern over who gets the gold or the girl.

In attendance: Greg Proops.

ROAD TO UTOPIA
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