(Bob recalling the day Bing passed away in 1977. Said in 1985.) A part of my life went with Bing. I still miss him and always will, just like the rest of the world. I remember the good times with him, and they'll be with me always.~Bob
The original 'buddy movie' team, Bing Crosby & Bob Hope made nine complete movies together, seven of them part of their "Road To..." series.
They made their first film, Road To Singapore in 1940. The "Road To..." series was actually considered for a few other teams, George Burns and Gracie Allen then Fred MacMurray and Jack Oakie, before Paramount decided on Bing & Bob. Although they made their first film in 1940, they actually met in 1932. In 1988 Bob recalls:
Bing and I met at the old Capitol Theatre in 1932, when we were both playing vaudeville on the Broadway circuit. I was emcee, and after Bing sang his songs we clowned together. We did our impression of two orchestra leaders meeting on the street. Each of us pulled out a baton and led the other while we talked. Next we did our impression of two farmers meeting. One of us asked, "How are things down on the farm?" The other said, "It's cold in the reading room." Then we milked each others thumbs.... If friends could have been made for each other, I would have asked for one just like Bing.... I miss him.
Their seven "Road To..." films were:
Road To Singapore (1940)
Road To Zanzibar (1941
Road To Morocco (1942)
Road To Utopia (1945)
Road To Rio (1947)
Road To Bali (1952)
The Road To Hong Kong (1962)
They were also in two other films together, Star Spangled Rhythm in 1942 and Variety Girl in 1947. They both also had a cameo in The Greatest Show On Earth in 1952. Bing also popped up in four of Bob Hope's other films, My Favorite Blonde in 1942, The Princess And The Pirate in 1944, My Favorite Brunette in 1947 and Alias Jesse James in 1959.
There were sometimes rumors of a Bing & Bob feud. There was never any real problems between the two. You couldn't have met two guys who got along better. Most of the rumors were for publicity, they were all fabricated or for pretend. These guys were actually real friends for the whole 45 years that they knew each other.
The magic of their "Road To..." films were that they were mostly all the same, different settings, but they always played the same kind of parts and they were both after Dorothy Lamour. Bing always played a guy always looking for a buck, always with an alternative motive. Bob was the best friend who pretty much always got talked into doing something he didn't want to do. And it was most likely that the two were on the run from something and when they reached an exotic location, they met Dorothy Lamour who they both fell for. Usually one of them ended up with her at the end, you always had to guess which one she would end up with. It was also likely that Bing would make cracks about Bob's ski-slope like nose and Bob would make cracks about Bing's large ears.
Road To Morocco is undoubtly their best. It was the third "Road To..." film, but the first to have an original screenplay, which was nominated for an Oscar.
The Road To Hong Kong was their last "Road To..." film, but it wasn't the same. For one, Dorothy Lamour wasn't the leading lady, Joan Collins had that part. Dorothy did show up in a cameo appearance, though. Another thing was that their age was clearly catching up with them. It was also the only "Road To..." film to have the word 'The' at the beginning of the title. Bing, Bob and Dorothy were in talks to make another "Road To..." film called Road To The Fountain Of Youth, but was never made due to Bing's unfortunate death in 1977.
Road to Morocco
1942 (15th) SOUND RECORDING -- Paramount Studio Sound Department, Loren Ryder, Sound Director
WRITING (Original Screenplay) -- Frank Butler, Don Hartman
Road to Rio
Bing Crosby Enterprises and Hope Enterprises; Paramount.
1947 (20th) MUSIC (Scoring of a Musical Picture) -- Robert Emmett Dolan
Road to Utopia
1946 (19th) WRITING (Original Screenplay) -- Norman Panama, Melvin Frank