Road to Morocco
Rating: Not Rated
Length: 82 minutes / 1.37 hours
It’s unfortunate that many people who might be familiar with this film only know it through the homage done on Family Guy. The unfortunate part of this is that most wouldn’t recognize the origin of the bit and go watch the reference material, which is much funnier than Family Guy could make it. Buddy films have been around for a long time, so it’s nice to see how one of the founding films of this comedy sub-genre succeeded at it.
The success of a Buddy film comes from the talent of its two main characters. In this case, Orville “Turkey” Jackson (Bob Hope) is the lovably dim partner to Jeff Peters (Bing Crosby), the snarky singer and brains of the operation. Those who might be looking for a pure slapstick comedy are bound to be slightly disappointed, because the gold of this film is in its repartee. Verbal jabs, wordplay, and double entendre abound in this film, but pay attention because they come fast and frequent. For its time, it was also quite raunchy, albeit not nearly as much as some of the “gross-out” comedies of today are. In fact, its special effects were quite ahead of its time as well (some of them quite fun to watch, especially the “voice swap” version of Moonlight Becomes You).
Having already seen Bing Crosby in a number of great films, including Holiday Inn (1942) and Going My Way (1944), the latter of which won Best Picture and garnered Crosby a Best Actor Oscar, I already knew his propensity for great dramatic acting. In Road to Morocco, I was pleasantly surprised to see his comedy is on-point as well. Of course, that being said, the man in his comedy element was definitely Bob Hope. His facial expressions and reactions were fantastically hilarious and most scenes he appeared in were filled with him chewing the scenery. I may have to watch more of his films (including the others in the “Road to . . .” series), because this one was certainly great.
Occasionally “self aware”, but filled with plenty of verbal and situational comedy, I give Road to Morocco 4.5 stars out of 5.