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Road to Rio [DVD]

4.0 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Dorothy Lamour, Gale Sondergaard, Frank Faylen
  • Directors: Norman Z. McLeod
  • Writers: Barney Dean, Edmund Beloin, Jack Rose
  • Producers: Daniel Dare
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Classification: UC
  • Studio: Miscellaneous
  • DVD Release Date: 27 Jan. 2003
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000085RK7
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 143,593 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

The Road To Rio is a 1947 American comedy film directed by Norman Z McLeod starring Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, and Dorothy Lamour. Special Guests: The Andrew Sisters. Written by Edmund Beloin and Jack Rose.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Considering that The Road to Rio was the fifth in the series, that the formula was down pat, that the plot, as usual, was merely an excuse for spontaneous and not-so-spontaneous bantering by the two stars, that the money-to-effort ratio was by now very satisfying to nearly all concerned, and that Bing Crosby and Bob Hope, both at 44, were quickly reaching the point where their age was working against their image of happy-go-lucky, sex-on-their-minds, slightly dumb but well-intentioned good guys...well, this is one of the best in the series. There's no single thing that sets it apart. If we've watched even one other in the series, we know what's going to happen, like having a funny, loved uncle come to visit. I think that in The Road to Rio, the formula had reached a high gloss. The "spontaneity" of the back and forth between Hope and Crosby is quick, funny and friendly. The professionalism may be there, but it looks like they're still having fun making these movies. The jokes are corny and expected, as they were back in 1947, but Hope and Crosby give them a level of snap and comfort that make us smile. Their roles, Bing Crosby as Scat Sweeney, singer and slightly moth-eaten bon vivant, and Bob Hope as Hot Lips Barton, slow-witted but wise-cracking boy-man, are as comfortable to them and us as a pair of old slippers. They work their images both in the plot and in real life for every laugh they can squeeze. Says Scat Sweeney (Crosby) to Hot Lips Barton (Hope), "Swine!" Barton: "Pig!" Scat Crosby: "That's the same as swine." Hot Lips Hope: "All right. Ham!" Or this: Scat Crosby, "Are you admitting you're a dirty coward?" Hot Lips Hope, "No, a clean one!" These groaners were well aged at the turn of the century, but Hope and Crosby knew their stuff.Read more ›
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Probably the best of the excellent Road series but this transfer to DVD is mediocre. The sound is o.k. But the transfer was obviously made from a tape original due to the frequent crease ripples that afflict the picture. Way overpriced for the overall quality.
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Hope and Crosby are on good form in this movie - the sound of the DVD is clear but the picture quality is a bit wishy-washy - don't think the DVD was made straight from a film print.
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Format: DVD
Road to Rio is directed by Norman McLeod and written by Edmund Beloin and Jack Rose. It stars Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Dorothy Lamour, Gale Sondergaard and Frank Faylen. Music is by Robert Emmett and cinematography by Ernest Laszlo.

Hope and Crosby star as two vaudevillians, who after setting a circus on fire, stow away on a liner bound for Brazil. Once there they encounter a distressed woman (Lamour) who is being coerced into an unwanted marriage by her scheming guardian.

The fifth in the hugely popular "Road To" series of films, Rio follows the same trajectory as before. For fans such as myself this is ok, other film fans venturing in for a first time look may be a bit bemused by it all. In fairness this one does have a solid story at its core, with hypnotism the dastardly weapon of choice, while McLeod neatly blends the comedy and musical numbers and keeps the pace brisk. Hope gets some well written topical gags to deliver and Crosby croons whilst also getting to do a number with The Andrews Sisters. In support the wonderful Sondergaard turns in another one of her memorable villainess performances, and The Wiere Brothers form part of the narrative to produce great comedic results.

With a blazing first quarter, a jovial middle section and a genuinely hilarious finale, Road to Rio achieves everything a "Road To" fan could wish for. 7.5/10
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I'm not going to comment on the film itself, you either like the Road movies or you don't. But I have to say that the sound and picture quality of this version is pretty poor. I've just finished watching the first four (as a four part special edition DVD) and the quality of those was perfect.

I'm sure the real afficionados will be able to tell you the reasons why - unfortunately, I can't. But I'd certainly recommend trying to find out if there's a better recording* as it does distract from what, otherwise, would be a great film.

*This may be hard to do - it was by far the most expensive and hardest Road Movie to find.
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I was so looking forward to owning this and watching it again, but a short scan through the DVD left me quite disappointed. The print is obviously derived from a video master (possibly a domestic video such as VHS, perhaps) and not a film negative as can be plainly seen by the grainy look and the artefacts (screen interference) visible during the opening titles. Not as blatantly appalling as Pickwick Group's utter travesty of 'The Runaway Bus', but still not worthy of such a superb film as this.
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Format: DVD
Road to Rio is the fifth in the series, with Hope, Crosby and Lamour in fine form. Although the plot is always quite simple, I thought the whole was very polished. It looked to me as though the studio had thrown more money at this film than the previous outings. It all hangs together very well and the pace does not slacken at all.

As usual, Hope and Crosby are a couple of bums on the make. This time hey are down at heel musicians who have to make quick escapes form several States with irate fathers in pursuit. After setting fire to a circus they make a hasty exit as stowaways on a boat to Brazil. On the boat they meet up with Lamour, who is being hypnotised into marrying someone she does not love. There are plenty of songs, some dance routines and the Andrews sisters make an appearance to sing with Crosby. The patacake routine makes a couple of appearances and the fourth wall is broken several times for asides about other cast members and the studio.

This is one of the best in the series and is well worth watching.

As an aside, early in the film, I noticed Tor Johnson in a bit part as a circus strongman. His claim to fame is that he then went on to "act" in a number of Ed Wood's films, notably, Plan 9 from Outer Space.
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