Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Road to Bali


The first and only one of the seven Road pictures to be made in Technicolor. Bali is a good place for it, too, with all those colorful sarongs and lush tropical vegetation … all on the Paramount sound stages, of course, but a lot of landscapers got a lot of work renting out potted plants. I thought this one started out a little slow, but it picks up after the first half hour. Some good examples of why these movies were so popular, referring to themselves, making inside jokes, etc. When a musical chord appears out of nowhere Hope says to the audience, “Crosby’s gonna sing, folks. Now’s the time to go out and get the popcorn.” Then there are the drop-ins, first by Humphrey Bogart, towing the African Queen through the swamp. One of them mentions it must be a mirage, the other picks up an Academy Award and says Bogie left his Oscar behind. Somebody shows up in a safari suit, fires a rifle into the air, and leaves. Bing: “That was my brother Bob. I promised him a part in the picture.” Then there are brief cameos without dialogue from Martin and Lewis, and Jane Russell. As well as all the usual cultural references, some of them obscure and outdated by now. Not a bad Road.