Road to Utopia (1945)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Buddy Film, Adventure Comedy  |   Run Time - 90 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

The fourth of the "Road" pictures, Road to Utopia is a zany and engaging entry in the series. Indeed, while the previous Road projects had certainly been wacky and loose, Utopia takes these qualities up to a new level. Robert Benchley's interrupting narrations, self-referential asides and gags, and a man wandering into the film merely because he is looking for the soundstage of a different film can all be found here; fans of deconstructionist comedy could have a field day with Utopia. But those just in the mood for a fast and furious "odd couple with gal pal" comedy will have an even better time. Sure, some of jokes fall flat and the plot gets too complicated (as Benchley points out), but the chemistry between Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and Dorothy Lamour is what the Road pictures are all about, and that chemistry is top-notch here. Utopia also features the requisite musical numbers, with Lamour's smashing "Personality" a standout here. Director Hal Walker pretty much just gets out of the way of his trio of stars, but that's probably the best course he could have taken. It's quite silly, and in places quite dated, but Utopia is a lot of fun.