Road to Zanzibar (1941)

89-90 mins | Comedy | 11 April 1941

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HISTORY

An article in HR reported that wrestlers George Zaharias, Jim Londos, Hardboiled Haggerty and Golden Terror protested the scene of the wrestling match between "Fearless Frazier" and the gorilla in the film because they felt it belittled the wrestling profession. According to modern sources, the original screenplay was titled Find Colonel Fawcett . In her autobiography, Dorothy Lamour noted that on 7 May 1941, Hollywood cameramen voted her one of the "Ten Best Undressed Women" because of her costume in this film, in which she wears only leaves, and also indicated that Harry Ray did her makeup and Barney Dean wrote special "gags" for the film. The success of Paramount's first "Road" picture, Road to Singapore , starring Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour, prompted this second production, which includes Hope and Crosby's "pattycake" gag, a trademark in their "Road" pictures. For more information on the series, see the entry for Road to Singapore in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; ... More Less

An article in HR reported that wrestlers George Zaharias, Jim Londos, Hardboiled Haggerty and Golden Terror protested the scene of the wrestling match between "Fearless Frazier" and the gorilla in the film because they felt it belittled the wrestling profession. According to modern sources, the original screenplay was titled Find Colonel Fawcett . In her autobiography, Dorothy Lamour noted that on 7 May 1941, Hollywood cameramen voted her one of the "Ten Best Undressed Women" because of her costume in this film, in which she wears only leaves, and also indicated that Harry Ray did her makeup and Barney Dean wrote special "gags" for the film. The success of Paramount's first "Road" picture, Road to Singapore , starring Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour, prompted this second production, which includes Hope and Crosby's "pattycake" gag, a trademark in their "Road" pictures. For more information on the series, see the entry for Road to Singapore in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.3790. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
15 Mar 1941.
---
Daily Variety
11-Mar-41
---
Film Daily
10 Apr 1941.
---
Hollywood Reporter
11 Mar 41
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Apr 41
p. 4.
Motion Picture Herald
15 Mar 1941.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
8 Mar 41
p. 73.
New York Times
10 Apr 41
p. 29.
Variety
12 Mar 41
p. 14.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Prod
WRITERS
Story
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
Mus dir
Mus adv
DANCE
Mus numbers staged by
MAKEUP
SOURCES
SONGS
"You're Dangerous," "You Lucky People, You," "It's Always You," "African Etude," "Birds of a Feather" and "Road to Zanzibar," music by James Van Heusen, lyrics by Johnny Burke.
DETAILS
Series:
Release Date:
11 April 1941
Production Date:
23 November--late December 1940
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
22 April 1941
Copyright Number:
LP10409
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
89-90
Length(in feet):
8,460
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Circus performers Chuck Reardon and Hubert "Fearless" Frazier flee an African town when their human cannonball act accidentally causes the circus to burn down. After diamond mine owner Charles Kimble saves them from arrest in another town, Chuck, always on the lookout for instant wealth, purchases a diamond mine from him. Chuck and Fearless realize that they have been duped when they learn that Kimble is an eccentric whose signature on any document is worthless. Fearless, who has been Chuck's "human cannonball" for longer than he likes, is furious that Chuck has spent the $5,000 that took them five years to save on a worthless mine deed and sells the paper to a shady character named Lebec. When Lebec and his thug come after them for directions to the mine, Fearless and Chuck take a boat and escape with the money. In an unfamiliar town, they are conned into buying beautiful Donna Latour out of apparent slavery by her partner, Julia Quimby, who is working with the slaver to split the proceeds. Donna then suckers Chuck into a safari with a sob story about finding her ailing father in the jungle. In reality, she just needs help crossing Africa to reunite with her wealthy fiancé. Fearless is suspicious of the women, but he and Chuck nonetheless pay for the safari. Along the way, Donna flirts with both men and plays them against each other, but sincerely falls in love with Chuck. Chuck and Fearless finally find out they have been duped and leave the women to continue on the safari, but then get lost themselves without their African guides. Chuck ... +


Circus performers Chuck Reardon and Hubert "Fearless" Frazier flee an African town when their human cannonball act accidentally causes the circus to burn down. After diamond mine owner Charles Kimble saves them from arrest in another town, Chuck, always on the lookout for instant wealth, purchases a diamond mine from him. Chuck and Fearless realize that they have been duped when they learn that Kimble is an eccentric whose signature on any document is worthless. Fearless, who has been Chuck's "human cannonball" for longer than he likes, is furious that Chuck has spent the $5,000 that took them five years to save on a worthless mine deed and sells the paper to a shady character named Lebec. When Lebec and his thug come after them for directions to the mine, Fearless and Chuck take a boat and escape with the money. In an unfamiliar town, they are conned into buying beautiful Donna Latour out of apparent slavery by her partner, Julia Quimby, who is working with the slaver to split the proceeds. Donna then suckers Chuck into a safari with a sob story about finding her ailing father in the jungle. In reality, she just needs help crossing Africa to reunite with her wealthy fiancé. Fearless is suspicious of the women, but he and Chuck nonetheless pay for the safari. Along the way, Donna flirts with both men and plays them against each other, but sincerely falls in love with Chuck. Chuck and Fearless finally find out they have been duped and leave the women to continue on the safari, but then get lost themselves without their African guides. Chuck and Fearless are trapped by cannibals when they stumble on a sacred cave. When the cannibals pit Fearless against a gorilla in a wrestling match to determine if Fearless is a god, Fearless loses the match, and the two men are fattened up for days in preparation for dinner. Just as they are about to be dunked into a giant kettle, Fearless and Chuck outwit the cannibals with a game of "pattycake" and flee. In an African town, Chuck promises to buy steamer tickets for home but instead returns to the apartment with Donna, whose fiancé rejected her, and Julia. Chuck and Donna reunite and the four friends form a new carnival act. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.