It had been a long time since I last watched this Road picture, and a few things caught my eye...and not for the positive. First, this may be a comedy, but part of its premise is built on white sex slavery. Yes, that's actually true. It may all be a confidence scheme, but nevertheless part of the picture is based on Black men buying white women at an auction. The second thing that caught my eye was that there are no good Hope-Crosby musical numbers here. No "Captain Custard", for example. And third, it seemed to me that this film sort of dragged on aimlessly during the second half and never quite got off the ground.
Don't get me wrong. There's plenty that's funny here, not the least of which is the carnival scam at the beginning of the film, and the gorilla wrestling match with Bob Hope. And there is a different sort of role here for Una Merkel that's interesting. And Bing's song "It's Only You" is a very nice ballad. But I tend to agree more with the Variety review which said, in part, "The story framework is pretty flimsy foundation for hanging the series of comedy and thrill situations concocted for the pair. It's a fluffy and inconsequential tale...Comedy episodes generally lack sparkle and tempo of 'Singapore'...."
But, it's still a decent comedy pic, and one that any fan of Hope or Crosby will probably enjoy. And, it was in the top ten grossing films of 1941. But it's still probably my least favorite Road picture.