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Film / Road to Morocco

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Road to Morocco is a 1942 film directed by David Butler, starring Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, and Dorothy Lamour. It is the third film in the popular Road to ... series.

In this one Crosby and Hope play Jeff and Orville, two ne'er-do-well cousins who are adrift at sea after a ship wreck—Orville took a smoke break in the powder room. They wash up on the coast of North Africa and hitch a ride on a friendly camel, ending up in a city somewhere in Morocco. They run afoul of bad guy Sheik Kasim, who is about to enter into an Arranged Marriage with the gorgeous Princess Shalamar (Lamour). Romantic complications and comedy hijinks ensue.

A pre-stardom Anthony Quinn plays Sheik Kasim.


  • Accidental Kiss: Jeff and Orville both try to kiss their shared hallucination of Shalamar while they're stranded in the desert. But she's a hallucination, so they kiss each other.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Orville gets his hands on a magic ring; unfortunate complications ensue. See Literal Genie below.
  • Bedlah Babe: All the harem girls, most noticeably the gorgeous one who falls for Orville. Princess Shalamar is dressed this way as well to maximize the Fanservice.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Kasim simply dumps Jeff and Orville in the desert, despite earlier vowing to deliver a torturous death.
  • Book Ends: Begins and ends with the protagonists Lost at Sea.
  • Born in the Theater: After Orville rants about what a fix they're in and how they got this way.
    Jeff: I know all that.
    Orville: Yeah, but the people who came in to the middle of the picture don't!
    Jeff: You mean they missed my song?
  • Circling Vultures: "Buzzards" start circling overhead as Jeff and Orville are wandering in the desert.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Jeff sells Orville into slavery. Because he needs the cash.
  • Crashing Through the Harem: Orville and Jeff try to hide from the evil Kasim by hiding in a harem. Unfortunately, they get found out.
  • Dutch Angle: Used for every speaker in the opening scene as various newscasters around the world report the loss of the ship Orville and Jeff were stowing away on.
  • Handwave: At one point, the duo are bound hand and foot and wrapped up inside nets, hopping across the desert. They get loose somehow off-screen, and when Orville asks how they managed it, Jeff says they'd better not tell, as the audience would never believe it.
  • Hollywood Mirage: There's a mirage of a drive-in, followed by a singing mirage of Dorothy Lamour, who disappears when touched.
  • Ill-Timed Sneeze: Jeff and Orville are hiding from Kasim by pretending to be two severed heads on plinths—but a fly lands on Orville's face. Eventually he sneezes, giving them away.
  • Literal Genie: Jeff and Orville are given a ring which grants wishes, but are told it doesn't work for everyone. They're also given two poison tablets to use in case the ring doesn't work for either of them. When the ring doesn't work for Jeff, Orville begins to swallow a tablet, and then...
    Orville: (to the sky) Set the table, Aunt Lucy, there'll be two more for dinner... Boy, I sure wish I had a drink.
    (a drink appears in Orville's hand)
    Jeff: Junior! Junior, It worked! How about that, the magic ring, it worked on you!
    Orville: Well, I'll be a monkey's uncle!
    (Orville turns into a monkey)
  • Lost at Sea: Played relatively straight at the start of the movie, and then parodied at the end, when, after Orville's overly dramatic speech (see Oscar Bait below), Jeff points out that they're within sight of New York harbor.
  • Medium Awareness: A hallmark of the Road to... series, which occurs multiple times in this installment.
    "I'll lay you 8 to 5 that we meet Dorothy Lamour."
  • Misplaced Wildlife: A bactrian camel... in Africa.
  • No Party Like a Donner Party: Played for Laughs like everything else. While they're adrift, Jeff informs Orville that Orville will be Jeff's dinner. Luckily they spot land right after this.
  • Not So Remote: Ends with Orville and Jeff stranded on a raft after Hope accidentally blows up the ship. Just as Orville is winding up to a big dramatic moment about the possibility of them dying out there, Jeff points out that they're within sight of New York.
  • Oscar Bait: In-Universe. Lampshaded and spoofed, ending with Orville and Jeff stranded on a raft after Orville accidentally blows up the ship:
    Orville: I can't go on! No food, no water! It's all my fault. We're done for! It's got me. I can't stand it! No food, nothing! No food, no water! No food! HAHAHAHAHA!!
    Jeff: What's the matter with you, anyway? There's New York. We'll be picked up in a few minutes.
    Orville: (snaps out of it) You had to open your big mouth and ruin the only good scene I got in the picture. I might've won the Academy Award!
  • Plot Armor: Lampshaded in the title song:
    For any villains we may meet, we haven't any fears;
    Paramount will protect us, 'cause we're signed for five more years.
  • Plot Hole: These were silly movies driven by Rule of Funny, of course—but how did two people cast into the Mediterranean Sea by a shipwreck manage to cobble together a wooden raft?
  • Poison Ring: The Magic ring that Orville's girl slips our heroes also has poison pills hidden inside, in case the magic doesn't work.
  • Race Lift: Mexican Anthony Quinn plays an Arab sheik.
  • "Setting Off" Song: "(We're Off on the) Road to Morocco"
  • Shout-Out: When Jeff dreams of dead Aunt Lucy, the dream ends with her saying "I have to go. Here Comes Mr. Jordan."
  • Something Else Also Rises: When Shalamar gives Orville a long passionate kiss, the long curled toes of his poulaine shoes straighten out.
    Jeff: Now kiss him on the nose, see if you can straighten that out.
  • Spiteful Spit: In an unscripted moment, the camel gets Hope in the face in this fashion.
  • Think of the Censors!: Title song:
    I hear this country's where they do the dance of the seven veils
    We'd tell you more, but we would have the censor on our tails
  • Thirsty Desert: The duo spend time wandering across a comedic version of one of these.
  • 13 Is Unlucky: It's subtle, but Hope says that he was born on September 13, 1913. "It was a Friday." (Never mind that it was actually a Saturday...)
  • Title Theme Tune: "We're off on the road to Morocco..."
  • Vocal Dissonance: During a reprise of "Moonlight Becomes You", Hope, Crosby, and Lamour all wind up singing with each other's voices via Gag Dubbing.