A Love Triangle In Paradise

Oct 9, 2018

ROAD TO BALI (1952) Musical comedy starring Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour - Two inept vaudevillians stow away on a Brazilian-bound ocean liner and foil a plot by a sinister hypnotist to marry off her niece to a greedy fortune hunter.  

 

George (Bing Crosby) and Harold (Bob Hope), American song-and-dance men performing in Melbourne, Australia, leave in a hurry to avoid various marriage proposals. They end up in Darwin, where they take jobs as deep sea divers for a prince. They are taken by boat to an idyllic island on the way to Bali, Indonesia. They vie for the favors of exotic (and half-Scottish) Princess Lala (Dorothy Lamour), a cousin of the Prince (Murvyn Vye). A hazardous dive produces a chest of priceless jewels, which the Prince plans to claim as his own.

 

Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour in Road to Bali
Credit IMDb

After escaping from the Prince and his henchmen, the three are shipwrecked and washed up on another island. Lala is now in love with both of the boys and can't decide which to choose. However, once the natives find them, she learns that in their society, a woman may take multiple husbands, and declares she will marry them both. While the boys are prepared for the ceremony, both thinking the other man lost, plans are changed. She's being unwillingly wed to the already much-married King (Leon Askin), while the boys end up married to each other.

TRIVIA:  

  • In her 1980 autobiography, "My Side of the Road," (co-written with Dick McInnes), Dorothy Lamour relates how disappointed she was at not being asked to sing on the Decca album, which re-created the film score in the recording studio. Her umbrage was largely in response to learning that it was Bing Crosby himself who recruited Peggy Lee to replace her.
  • In the movie, Bing Crosby makes reference to the Pittsburgh Pirates, of which he was a minority owner. He also mentions the Cleveland Indians, of which Bob Hope was a part owner.

 

  • Both Murvyn Vye and Michael Ansara, who were quite hairy chested, were forced to submit to body waxing for their scenes in this film.

 

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