Road to Utopia (1946)

Directed by Hal Walker

DVD cover for Road to Utopia.In an effort to provide some kind of a twist to the Road movies, Road to Utopia turns things upside down a bit by using a northern, Alaskan setting rather than the exotic, tropical settings the series had established.

Of all the movies, this one has my favourite opening, possibly because it is less frenetic than the others. Hope and Lamour start as an elderly couple, so the tempo is a bit more laid back, at least for these opening scenes.

This film also has my favourite line, delivered by Bob Hope. While the line is funny, I think the reason it works so well is Hope’s perfect, deadpan delivery. Spoken as an almost thrown away aside, Hope says, “Who’d be selling fish at this hour?” (It’s meaningless outside the context of the movie, but watch and listen for it when you see the film.)

As mentioned elsewhere, these sequels acknowledge the audience and make many references to the movie-making process and the earlier films as a means to throw a wink to the audience. In Utopia, they employ the services of humorist Robert Benchley for some running commentary but I have to say it’s more annoying than funny. Fortunately, with the exception of the opening, it’s kept to a minimum.

Also, I should add that Road to Utopia may be the Road movie I enjoyed most. (It’s a toss up with Road to Singapore.) I have no idea why though. I may just have seen it when I was in the mood for a movie like this.

3 stars out of 4.

(Originally posted in 2002.)

1 Response

  1. Yes, That’s an absolutely wonderful and very memorable line, made all the more so by Bob Hope’s perfect throwaway delivery: I’m also personally intrigued by the question of whether or not Bob Hope’s character(s) throughout the “Road” films really do find Bing Crosby’s crooning so appalling or whether it’s a defence mechanism. I find it more amusing to think that Hope (in character) really can’t stand Crosby’s voice: which makes the travelling fishmonger comparison excruciatingly funny.

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