Road to Rio

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For the German film, see Road to Rio (1931 film).
Road to Rio
Road to Rio 1947 Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Norman McLeod
Produced by Daniel Dare
Written by
Screenplay by Barney Dean
Music by Robert Emmett Dolan
Cinematography Ernest Laszlo
Edited by Ellsworth Hoagland
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • December 25, 1947 (1947-12-25) (USA)
Running time
100 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $4.5 million (US/ Canada rentals) [1]

Road to Rio is a 1947 American comedy film directed by Norman Z. McLeod and starring Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, and Dorothy Lamour.[2] Written by Edmund Beloin and Jack Rose, the film is about two inept vaudevillians who stow away on a Brazilian-bound ocean liner and foil a plot by a sinister hypnotist to marry off her niece to a greedy fortune hunter. Road to Rio was the fifth of the "Road to …" series.


Scat Sweeney and Hot Lips Barton, two out-of-work musicians, travel the United States trying to find work and stay away from girls. After running from state to state, each time running because of a girl, they try their luck in Louisiana.

They stow away on board a Rio-bound ship, after accidentally starting some fires at a circus. They then get mixed up with the distraught Lucia, who first thanks them, then unexpectedly turns them over to the ship's captain. Unbeknownst to both of them, Lucia is being hypnotized by her crooked guardian, Catherine Vail. Vail plans to marry Lucia to her brother so she can control her and a set of "papers."

After a series of misadventures. including sneaking off the boat, recruiting a few local musicians, and the boys trying to escape with Lucia only to have Vail hypnotize her again and slap them both, Vail decides to do away with the boys permanently. She hypnotizes both of them and tries to get them to kill each other in a duel, but it fails. Scat and Hot Lips finally figure things out and the boys head for the ceremony in order to stop the wedding and to help catch the crooks. Upon finding the "papers", which Scat reads, when Hot Lips asks what they are about, Scat tears them up and looks into the camera, saying, "The world must never know."

Later on, Scat is dismayed to see that Lucia loves Hot Lips and not him, but upon peaking through a keyhole, he sees Hot Lips hypnotizing her.

Hope's frequent sidekick Jerry Colonna has a cameo as the leader of a cavalry charging to the rescue of Bing and Bob, as the film cuts away to the galloping horses periodically. All is resolved before he can arrive, leading Colonna to point out:





Lobby card

The film's copyright was renewed in a timely manner by an associate of the film's owner. Originally registered for copyright as LP1171 with a declared publication date of August 25, 1947, the continuation of copyright was contingent upon renewal between the 27th and 28th anniversaries of that date. Renewal occurred July 25, 1975, number R610335. The film opened February 19, 1948, so the renewal is still timely even if that later date were considered publication date.

The copyright is now scheduled to run until 95 years after the publication date (2042). The renewal form names as authors Hope Enterprises and Bing Crosby Enterprises, which were partners when the film was produced. As it turned out, the copyright (which never expired, and thus the film never entered the public domain) was reassigned to Columbia Pictures Television—Columbia and LBS Communications (which formed the joint venture Colex Enterprises) assumed the rights to this film from Hope Enterprises, and re-released the film to television in the 1980s.

Today, CPT and what is now FremantleMedia hold ancillary rights, with FremantleMedia holding the video license. Any DVD release from a company not licensed by FremantleMedia violates the copyright, which continues to credit CPT as the copyright holder, as evidenced by recent video releases by BCI Eclipse, and now, as of the present, Shout! Factory (under Fremantle's license).


  1. ^ "All-Time Top Grossers", Variety, 8 January 1964 p 69
  2. ^ "Road to Rio". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 3, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Full cast and crew for Road to Rio". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 3, 2012. 

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