Road to Zanzibar: Bob Hope & Bing Crosby (1941)

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The groaner: Road to Zanzibar

Out of the Paramount Studio in Hollywood last week came some of the most uninhibited, daffy nonsense to hit the US screen since the heyday of Harold Lloyd.

It was Road to Zanzibar, and its principal assets were two recruits from radio who bounced gaily through its inanities like a pair of playful puppies. For one of them, Bob Hope, it was the tenth film in a new and rapidly rising movie career; for the other, Bing Crosby, a dulcet, broken-toned singer who has confounded all the rules of show business for more than ten years, it was his 24th feature-length picture.

During his eight solid years with Paramount, Bing has played every type of character from a river Romeo (Mississippi) to a rough sketch of himself (Sing You Sinners).

From the start, he has insisted on having important stars around him, while his contemporaries were fighting for single billing. Last year, he teamed with comedian Bob Hope in Road to Singapore, although Hope’s ad-libbing prowess was supposed to be worse than death for any other comedian within range. Bing held his ground, and the result was one of the slap-happiest comedies of the season.

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