Bob Hope and Bing Crosby return as con men Chester Babcock and Harry Turner, in the last of their road movies. When Chester accidentally memorizes and destroys the only copy of a secret Russian formula for a new and improved rocket fuel, they are thrust into international intrigue, trying to stay alive while keeping the formula out of enemy hands.
The Seventh Voyage of Bing and Bob. The Road to Hong Kong is the seventh and final film in the "Road To" series of films starring Bing Crosby and Bob Hope. It's directed by Norman Panama and Panama co-writes the screenplay with Melvin Frank. Music is by Robert Farnon and cinematography is by Jack Hildyard. Plot pitches Hope and Crosby in the middle of a mistaken identity scenario and thus mixed up with an organisation intent on world domination via the moon! There had been a ten year gap since The Road to Bali was released in 1952, but such was the success and popularity of the series the boys were once again trundled out for one last "Road To" hurrah. Behind the scenes squabbles and stipulations tainted it some what, most notably the shunting out of the way of the series' previously leading lady Dorothy Lamour (who ends up making an extended cameo), who was replaced by a youthful Joan Collins. So with some scratchy back history and a word of mouth reputation as the worst of the series, with claims of the dynamic duo being too old and long past their best, The Road to Hong Kong must be a stinker then? Right? Actually no. Sure it lacks some of the energised nuttiness of previous instalments, but this definitely isn't a stinker. Yes the boys are a bit long in the tooth, and Collins, whilst no Lamour in screen presence and chemistry value with the duo, is sexy, spunky and grounds some of the more older frayed edges. The sci-fi plot is delightfully bonkers, very much capturing the space age zeitgeist of the 60s, and there's a whole bunch of great gags as usual (my favourite is about an elephant thermometer). Not all the intended humourous scenes work, but most do, while there's even a quite surreal one involving banana feeding machines! Bonus sees a cameo from the great Peter Sellers as his patented Indian Doctor, a scene where you can see Bing and Bob looking on and thinking the torch is being passed, while a strong support cast includes Robert Morley, Walter Gotell and Felix Aylmer. Funky opening credit sequences as well! Worst in the series? Well that's a harsh statement, more like it's a lesser light than the rest it is probably more fairer to say, but it's a fun film that adds weight to what fine entertainment value Bing and Bob were. 6.5/10