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HISTORY

The working title of this film was The Road to Hollywood . Voice-over narration is heard at the beginning of the film, describing the city of Melbourne, Australia. Intermittently throughout the film, Bob Hope addresses the audience directly, and in the final scene, tries to shove the "The End" title card off the screen. When he fails, the title card changes to "Positively The End." Paramount stars Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis appear briefly in one scene in the picture, as does Bing Crosby's brother Bob, playing himself. Jane Russell, dressed as her character from the 1952 Paramount release Son of Paleface (See Entry), also makes a cameo appearance in the film. In one scene, footage of Humphrey Bogart, as his Academy Award-winning "Charlie Allnut" character from the 1952 United Artist release The African Queen (see above entry), is intercut with shots of Hope and Crosby. During the scene, Hope picks up an Oscar statuette "dropped" by Bogart and begins making an acceptance speech.
       Road to Bali was the first Bob Hope-Bing Crosby "Road to..." picture since the 1947 Paramount release Road to Rio (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ). It was the sixth and penultimate entry in the series, and the last to co-star Dorothy Lamour. The last film, The Road to Hong Kong , was released in 1962 and starred Hope, Crosby and Joan Collins, with Lamour in a minor role (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70 ). For more information about the series, see the entry for Road to Singapore in the AFI ... More Less

The working title of this film was The Road to Hollywood . Voice-over narration is heard at the beginning of the film, describing the city of Melbourne, Australia. Intermittently throughout the film, Bob Hope addresses the audience directly, and in the final scene, tries to shove the "The End" title card off the screen. When he fails, the title card changes to "Positively The End." Paramount stars Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis appear briefly in one scene in the picture, as does Bing Crosby's brother Bob, playing himself. Jane Russell, dressed as her character from the 1952 Paramount release Son of Paleface (See Entry), also makes a cameo appearance in the film. In one scene, footage of Humphrey Bogart, as his Academy Award-winning "Charlie Allnut" character from the 1952 United Artist release The African Queen (see above entry), is intercut with shots of Hope and Crosby. During the scene, Hope picks up an Oscar statuette "dropped" by Bogart and begins making an acceptance speech.
       Road to Bali was the first Bob Hope-Bing Crosby "Road to..." picture since the 1947 Paramount release Road to Rio (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ). It was the sixth and penultimate entry in the series, and the last to co-star Dorothy Lamour. The last film, The Road to Hong Kong , was released in 1962 and starred Hope, Crosby and Joan Collins, with Lamour in a minor role (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70 ). For more information about the series, see the entry for Road to Singapore in the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 .
According to a Dec 1950 ParNews item, when the project was known as The Road to Hollywood , Paul Jones was set as producer and Valentine Davies as writer. Jones was the producer on three previous "Road to..." films. A May 1951 ParNews item announced that Don Hartman, an executive at Hope's company, was set to produce the picture. As noted in the NYHT review, the film was a three-way venture of Bing Crosby Enterprises, Hope Enterprises and Paramount Pictures, and cast and crew members received paychecks from all three corporate entities. HR news items add Joan Whitney, Harry Wilson, Jim Davies, Steve Calvert, Suzanne Ridgeway and Abdullah Abbas to the cast, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Although publicity materials included in the copyright records for the film note that a song entitled "The Road to Bali" was recorded for the picture, it was not heard in the final film. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
22 Nov 1952.
---
Daily Variety
18 Nov 52
p. 3.
Film Daily
19 Nov 52
p. 6.
Hollywood Citizen-News
26 Dec 1952.
---
Hollywood Reporter
31 Jan 51
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Apr 52
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Apr 52
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
20 May 52
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
21 May 52
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Jun 52
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Jun 52
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jun 52
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jun 52
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Nov 52
p. 4.
Life
18 Aug 1952.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
22 Nov 52
p. 1613.
New York Herald Tribune
29 Jun 1952.
---
New York Times
29 Jan 53
p. 23.
New York Times
30 Jan 53
p. 25.
Newsweek
26 Jan 1953.
---
Variety
19 Nov 52
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
Spec orch arr
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
Spec photog eff
DANCE
Mus numbers staged by
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
SOURCES
SONGS
"Chicago Style," "Moonflowers," "Hoot Mon," "To See You" and "The Merry-Go-Runaround," music by James Van Heusen, lyrics by Johnny Burke.
DETAILS
Series:
Alternate Title:
The Road to Hollywood
Release Date:
January 1953
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 25 December 1952
New York opening: 29 January 1953
Production Date:
late April--late June 1952
Copyright Claimant:
Bing Crosby Enterprises, Inc. and Hope Enterprises, Inc.
Copyright Date:
1 January 1953
Copyright Number:
LP2200
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
89 or 91
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
16009
SYNOPSIS

In Melbourne, Australia, at the turn of the twentieth century, American vaudevillians Harold Gridley and George Cochran are forced to flee the music hall in which they are performing when the fathers of two country girls they have romanced threaten them. While George sits comfortably in the dining car of a train, Harold is outside, clinging to the trestle. The fathers are also on the train, and when they spot George, he jumps out the window and lands with Harold in a sheep pasture. Hiding among the animals, the two entertainers eventually end up in Port Darwin, sporting bushy beards, and head for an employment agency. The only job available involves diving for Prince Ken Arok's sunken treasure, work that has already claimed the lives of four men. Desperate, Harold and George accept, and the next morning, the now clean-shaven duo sets sail for Ken Arok's South Sea island, Vatu. Upon arriving there, Harold and George meet Ken Arok's exotic cousin, Princess Lalah MacTavish, whose mother was Vatu and father Scottish. Despite vows to avoid women and stay out of trouble, both Harold and George become infatuated with Lalah. After privately arguing with Ken Arok about using the unsuspecting Americans to dive in waters infested with a giant squid named Boga Ten, Lalah invites her guests to an honorary dinner at the palace. Harold and George are entertained by a troupe of dancers and, in turn, entertain Lalah with a Scottish song and dance. Lalah then shows the Americans a Hindu rope trick, during which they all climb a rope into the clouds, and coaxes a beautiful dancer out of a small ... +


In Melbourne, Australia, at the turn of the twentieth century, American vaudevillians Harold Gridley and George Cochran are forced to flee the music hall in which they are performing when the fathers of two country girls they have romanced threaten them. While George sits comfortably in the dining car of a train, Harold is outside, clinging to the trestle. The fathers are also on the train, and when they spot George, he jumps out the window and lands with Harold in a sheep pasture. Hiding among the animals, the two entertainers eventually end up in Port Darwin, sporting bushy beards, and head for an employment agency. The only job available involves diving for Prince Ken Arok's sunken treasure, work that has already claimed the lives of four men. Desperate, Harold and George accept, and the next morning, the now clean-shaven duo sets sail for Ken Arok's South Sea island, Vatu. Upon arriving there, Harold and George meet Ken Arok's exotic cousin, Princess Lalah MacTavish, whose mother was Vatu and father Scottish. Despite vows to avoid women and stay out of trouble, both Harold and George become infatuated with Lalah. After privately arguing with Ken Arok about using the unsuspecting Americans to dive in waters infested with a giant squid named Boga Ten, Lalah invites her guests to an honorary dinner at the palace. Harold and George are entertained by a troupe of dancers and, in turn, entertain Lalah with a Scottish song and dance. Lalah then shows the Americans a Hindu rope trick, during which they all climb a rope into the clouds, and coaxes a beautiful dancer out of a small basket with a magic flute. Afterward, George and Lalah enjoy a romantic walk together, and Lalah warns him about the squid and Ken Arok's ruthless pursuit of the treasure, which sank with her father's boat years before. Eager to have Lalah for himself, George tricks Harold into volunteering for the next day's dive. While underwater, Harold locates the treasure box but is immediately accosted by Boga Ten. Harold eludes the beast by slipping out of his diving suit, and once he is safely back on board with the treasure, Boga Ten yanks Ken Arok off the boat with one of its tentacles. After the now-rich Lalah, George and Harold set sail for Bali, Lalah admits that she is in love with both of them. Distracted by Lalah's dilemma, Harold lets go of the boat's steering wheel, and the boat strikes a reef and starts to sink. The three seek refuge on the nearest jungle island, where Harold is almost eaten by a crocodile and becomes suspended in an animal trap. That night, while George sleeps in an abandoned hut, Harold proposes to Lalah. Still unsure, Lalah declines to respond and soon is being courted by both George and Harold. Later, while they are all asleep, a curious male gorilla enters the hut, then fights with a tiger lurking outside. The tiger kills the gorilla, and the next day, the gorilla's grieving mate sees Harold and picks him up lovingly. To save Harold, George starts to sing to the ape, but after dropping Harold, the gorilla embraces George. Just then, local warriors shoot darts at the men and the gorilla, causing them to laugh and shake uncontrollably. The natives cart Harold, George and Lalah off to their village and prepare to kill them and shrink their heads. When the medicine man, Bhoma Da, realizes that Lalah is the daughter of his old friend, however, he is persuaded to host a two-groom wedding instead. George and Harold learn separately that they are to marry Lalah and each gloats privately about his victory over the other. As wedding preparations get under way, Lalah is brought before Chief Ramayana, who reveals that he is in cahoots with Ken Arok and has given him the treasure box in exchange for Lalah's hand in marriage. Laughing off Bhoma Da's warnings that the volcano god will spite him, Ramayana orders that George and Harold be wed to each other and have their heads shrunk. Wearing large masks, George and Harold cannot see whom they are marrying and fall unconscious after drinking drugged wine. When they wake later and find themselves in the same bed, they realize what has happened and learn about Lalah's fate from a guard. With only minutes to live, George asks Harold's forgiveness for all the tricks he has played on him, and Harold embraces his friend. At that moment, the volcano starts to erupt, and the villagers run in terror. In the confusion, Harold and George escape, rescue Lalah and grab the treasure box. Upon reaching the beach, George and Harold demand that Lalah choose between them, and she picks George. The dejected Harold then pulls out Lalah's flute and makes Jane Russell emerge from a basket. Russell, however, prefers George and walks off with him and Lalah. +

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.