Review: ‘Road to Zanzibar’

Zanzibar is Paramount's second coupling of Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour. Although picture has sufficient comedy situations and dialog between its male stars, it lacks the compactness and spontaneity of its predecessor.

Zanzibar is Paramount’s second coupling of Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour. Although picture has sufficient comedy situations and dialog between its male stars, it lacks the compactness and spontaneity of its predecessor.

The story framework [by Don Hartman, Sy Bartlett] is pretty flimsy foundation for hanging the series of comedy and thrill situations concocted for the pair. It’s a fluffy and inconsequential tale, with Crosby-Hope combo, doing valiant work to keep up interest.

Pair are stranded in South Africa, with Crosby the creator of freak sideshow acts for Hope to perform. With his saved passage money back to the States, Crosby buys a diamond mine, which is quickly sold by Hope for profit. Then pair start out on strange Safari with Lamour and Una Merkel, pair of Brooklyn entertainers, pursuing a millionaire hunter.

Comedy episodes generally lack sparkle and tempo, and musical numbers [staged by Le Roy Prinz] are also below par for a Crosby picture.

Road to Zanzibar

Production

Paramount. Director Victor Schertzinger; Producer Paul Jones; Screenplay Frank Butler, Don Hartman; Camera Ted Tetzlaff; Editor Alma Macrorie; Music Victor Young (dir.); Art Director Hans Dreier, Robert Usher

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1941. Running time: 89 MIN.

With

Bing Crosby Bob Hope Dorothy Lamour Una Merkel Jean Marsh Eric Blore
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