How much did you know about the seven “Road To..” films that were huge successes for Crosby, Hope and Lamour?
And, did you know this about Dorothy?
Although she was in C. B. DeMille’s The Greatest Show On Earth released in 1952, Lamour’s career as a leading actress essentially ended after the same year’s The Road to Bali.
Ten years later when Dorothy’s career was a fading memory to most movie fans, a seventh and final road pic The Road To Hong Kong was made with Hope and Crosby in their accustomed roles. But Joan Collins (above left) took the leading lady role, not Lamour.
The by-then 48-year-old Lamour was incensed by what she regarded as a casting affront, and took her case to Hollywood columnist, Louella Parsons. To placate the public and because she was still a great friend of Hope’s, the studio carved out a cameo in Hong Kong in which Dorothy played herself and sang a song in a nightclub setting.
The upside of all this was that Dorothy’s appearance in the movie drew the attention of none other than director John Ford, who a year later cast her in a supporting role in Donovan’s Reef, an action vehicle for John Wayne and Lee Marvin.
And this movie appearance in turn led Dorothy to some late-Sixties stage work.
Ok, on to our answers:
1) Question: Which one of the following Road To… outings was planned but never got made? a) Road to Utopia; b) Road to Hong Kong; c) Road to Morocco; or d) Road to the Fountain of Youth.
Answer: d) Planned for 1977, Road to the Fountain of Youth got scrapped because Crosby inconveniently dropped dead of a heart attack that year.
2) Question: What were the characters Bob Hope and Bing Crosby would most often portray in the series? a) confidence men trying to make a lot of money; b) two mild-mannered academics in over their heads; c) unemployed stock brokers; or d) vaudeville performers on sabbatical.
Answer: a) Hope and Crosby played a pair of confidence men, always on the lookout for a fast score.
3) Question: Dorothy Lamour appeared in a costarring role in all but one of the Road To… pictures. Which one was she downgraded to a lesser role? a) Road to Rio; b) Road to Zanzibar; c) Road to Singapore; or d) Road to Hong Kong.
Answer: As noted above, the answer is d) Road to Hong Kong.
4) Question: Related to the question above, who replaced Dorothy in the Road to… title in which she was NOT costarred? a) Mamie Van Doren; b) Ginger Rogers; c) Joan Collins; d) Jayne Mansfield.
Answer: c) Joan Collins.
5) Question: Despite appearances, Dorothy Lamour did not get along well offscreen with Hope. But she was friendly with Crosby. a) True; or b) False.
Answer: b) False. The opposite was the case. Lamour was very friendly with Hope throughout her career. But she found Crosby shyer and less engaging, and never became close friends with Der Bingle.