Film Review – THE ROAD TO HONG KONG (1962)

THE ROAD TO HONG KONG (1962, UK, 91m, U) ***
Comedy, Musical
dist. United Artists; pr co. Melnor Films; d. Norman Panama; w. Melvin Frank, Norman Panama; pr. Melvin Frank; ph. Jack Hildyard (B&W | 1.66:1); m. Robert Farnon; m/l. James Van Heusen, Sammy Cahn; ed. Alan Osbiston, John C. Smith, John Victor Smith; pd. Roger K. Furse; ad. Syd Cain, William Hutchinson.
cast: Bing Crosby (Harry Turner), Bob Hope (Chester Babcock), Joan Collins (Diane), Robert Morley (Leader of the 3rd Echelon), Walter Gotell (Dr. Zorbb), Felix Aylmer (Grand Lama), Alan Gifford (American Official), Michel Mok (Undetermined Role), Katya Douglas (3rd Echelon Receptionist), Roger Delgado (Jhinnah), Robert Ayres (American Official), Mei Ling (Ming Toy), Jacqueline Jones (Blonde at Airport), Yvonne Shima (Poon Soon), Dorothy Lamour (Dorothy Lamour).
Belated seventh and final film in the Hope/Crosby “Road to” series sees the pair trying hard to recreate the magic as con men who get embroiled in international intrigue. When Hope accidentally memorises and destroys the only copy of a secret Russian formula for new and improved rocket fuel, the duo tries to stay alive while keeping the formula out of enemy hands. The direction and editing are flabby and the routines seem a little dated in their 1960s setting. There are the usual in-jokes and Hope delivers slick one-liners, whilst Bing also gets in a couple of songs. Collins makes a game sparring partner and Lamour turns up late in the proceedings. Peter Sellers, Dean Martin, David Niven and Frank Sinatra are among the stars making unbilled cameo appearances.