Filled Under: Bob Hope
Ready For Fun, Fight, or a South Seas Romance!!
“Road to Singapore” is a 1940 Paramount Pictures film starring Bing Crosby, Dorothy Lamour, and Bob Hope, and was the first of the seven successful “Road” movies starring the three actors. The movie also stars Judith Garrett, Charles Coburn, Anthony Quinn, and Jerry Colonna. Josh Mallon (Bing Crosby) and Ace Lannigan (Bob Hope) are sailors and best friends who are always together. As their ship returns to the U.S. they see all the trouble their fellow sailors have with their wives and girlfriends and the two friends make a pact to never get involved with women again. That pact is soon put to the test after they return home when Josh’s father, a very rich shipping magnate, tires of Josh’s ways and commits Josh to an office job and a marriage to socialite Gloria Wycott (Judith Garrett). On the night before the wedding Josh and Ace get in a brawl with Josh’s future brother-in-law which causes a scandal, so Josh and Ace decide to skip town. The two buddies head to Singapore, but wind up in Kaigoon, poor yet happy, and resolve to remain bachelors forever. Their resolution is short-lived when they meet Mima (Dorothy Lamour), a dancer in a local bar. Of course the meeting ends in a fight with Mima’s jealous dancing partner, Caesar (Anthony Quinn). That night, Mima leaves Caeser to move in with Josh and Ace, and promptly begins to domesticate the boys, who both fall in love with her, although neither will admit it.
Then Josh’s father and Gloria show up, Ceasar causes all the trouble he can, Mima has to decide between the two friends, the local law gets involved, and Josh and Ace are caught up in the middle of everything. Which leads to a funny, song filled, fist fighting adventure for all. Songs include: ‘Captain Custard’ sung by Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, ‘The Moon And The Willow Tree’ sung by Dorothy Lamour, ‘Sweet Potato Piper’ sung by Hope, Lamour, and Crosby, ‘Too Romantic’ sung by Crosby and Lamour, and ‘Kaigoon’ sung by chorus with the words in Esperanto. The movie was a huge success and Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and Dorothy Lamour went on to make seven of these so called “Road” movies.
Hope, Crosby, and Lamour were always clowning around together. During one lunch break from filming, Bob Hope threw a handful of soap suds (that were being used in a scene from the movie) at Dorothy Lamour and soon Bing Crosby became involved. The fight ended when Lamour cornered Hope and Crosby and threw all she had at them. The director was not very happy with the trio as it would take hours to repair their hair, makeup, and clean their clothing.
Bob Hope and Bing Crosby perform Captain Custard
In the climactic dance number, the natives of Kaigoon sing in Esperanto: “Behold, the new moon shines only love. A woman delights a man according to nature. So choose someone now and dance with him. A true heart beats indeed in each of us, ready and able and willing for you. Don’t just stand there, come here.”