AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Road to Morocco
Director: David Butler (Dir)
Release Date:   1942
Premiere Information:   New York opening: 10 Nov 1942
Production Date:   25 Feb--23 Apr 1942
Duration (in mins):   83
Duration (in feet):   7,304
Duration (in reels):   7
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Cast:   Bing Crosby (Jeff Peters)  
    Bob Hope (Orville "Turkey" Jackson)  
    Dorothy Lamour (Princess Shalmar)  
    Anthony Quinn (Mullay Kasim)  
    Dona Drake (Mihirmah)  
    Vladimir Sokoloff (Hyder Khan)  
    Mikhail Rasumny (Ahmed Fey)  
    George Givot (Neb Jolla)  
    Andrew Tombes (Oso Bucco)  
    Leon Belasco (Yusef)  
    Jamiel Hasson (1st aide to Mullay Kasim)  
    Monte Blue (2d aide to Mullay Kasim)  
    Louise LaPlanche (Handmaiden)  
    Theo de Voe (Handmaiden)  
    Brooke Evans (Handmaiden)  
    Suzanne Ridgway (Handmaiden)  
    Patsy Mace (Handmaiden)  
    Yvonne de Carlo (Handmaiden)  
    Poppy Wilde (Handmaiden)  
    George Lloyd (1st guard)  
    Sammy Stein (2d guard)  
    Ralph Penney (Arabian waiter)  
    Dan Seymour (Arabian buyer)  
    Pete G. Katchenaro (Philippine announcer)  
    Brandon Hurst (English announcer)  
    Richard Loo (Chinese announcer)  
    Leo Mostovoy (Russian announcer)  
    Victor Groves (Knife dancer)  
    Joe Jewett (Knife dancer)  
    Michael Mark (Arab pottery vendor)  
    Nestor Paiva (Arab sausage vendor)  
    Stanley Price (Idiot)  
    Rita Christiani (Specialty dancer)  
    Robert Barron (Gigantic bearded Arab)  
    Cy Kendall (Arab booth proprietor)  
    Sara Berner (Voice for lady camel)  
    Kent Rogers (Voice for man camel)  
    Harry Cording (Warrior)  
    Dick Botiller (Warrior)  
    Edward Emerson (Bystander)  
    Sylvia Opert (Dancer)  

Summary: When two stowaways, Jeff Peters and Orville "Turkey" Jackson, accidentally cause a freighter to explode off the coast of North Africa, they float to shore on a makeshift raft, encounter a camel, and ride it across the desert to Morocco. Once there, they spend their time trying to get food without money until Jeff sells Orville into slavery for two hundred drachmas. Orville is carried away by his Arabian owner, and Jeff is unable to locate him. When someone directs Jeff to the palace at the end of a street, a note from Orville floats down from the wall, advising him that he is being tortured and that Jeff should give up the search and flee the city for his own safety. Jeff instead climbs the palace wall and finds his friend dressed like a prince and being "tortured" by the caresses of the Princess Shalmar. Orville is deliriously happy that Shalmar has chosen to marry him and resents Jeff's intrusion, but Shalmar immediately falls in love with Jeff and invites him to stay for the wedding. Unknown to both men, Shalmar has decided to marry Orville, rather than Mullay Kasim, her real fiancĂ©, because her prophet has determined that her first husband will die violently within the first week of marriage. Orville backs out of the marriage when he learns the truth from a harem girl who is in love with him, and when the prophet later reveals that his forecast was erroneous because of some insects in his telescope, Shalmar then chooses to marry Jeff. Jeff, Orville, Shalmar and the harem girl try to flee the city, but an angry Kasim kidnaps them. After leaving the men for dead in the desert, Kasim takes the women to his encampment. Jeff and Orville wander through the desert and see mirages of a drive-in hamburger stand and an alluring singing image of Shalmar until they stumble on an oasis near Kasim's camp. They are captured and imprisoned by Kasim, who refrains from killing them only because it is his wedding night. Jeff and Orville outwit their guards and escape, then wreak havoc on the wedding party by poking holes in the drinking cup of the guest of honor, a former enemy of Kasim, putting gunpowder in the cigarettes, and igniting the guests's clothing. Kasim's angry guest declares war, and a huge brawl erupts in the tent, which Jeff and Orville cause to collapse. Jeff, Orville, Shalmar and the harem girl then escape on horseback, eventually boarding an ocean liner for the United States. When Orville lights a cigarette, he mistakes the "Powder Room" for the bathroom and causes the ship to explode. The two couples raft the rest of the way to New York City. 

Production Company: Paramount Pictures, Inc.  
Distribution Company: Paramount Pictures, Inc.  
Director: David Butler (Dir)
  Hal Walker (Asst dir)
  Cullen Tate (2d unit dir)
Producer: B. G. DeSylva (Exec prod)
  Paul Jones (Assoc prod)
Writer: Frank Butler (Orig scr)
  Don Hartman (Orig scr)
  Erik Charell (Contr to trt)
  Arthur Phillips (Contr to dial)
  Barney Dean (Contr to dial)
Photography: William C. Mellor (Dir of photog)
Art Direction: Hans Dreier (Art dir)
  Robert Usher (Art dir)
Film Editor: Irene Morra (Ed)
Costumes: Edith Head (Cost)
Music: Victor Young (Mus dir)
  Arthur Franklin (Mus adv)
Sound: Earl Hayman (Sd rec)
  Walter Oberst (Sd rec)
  Loren Ryder (Sd rec)
Special Effects: Gordon Jennings (Spec photog eff)
  Farciot Edouart (Process photog)
Dance: Paul Oscard (Dances staged by)
Make Up: Wally Westmore (Makeup artist)
Production Misc: Jamiel Hasson (Tech adv)
  Syd Street (Unit mgr)
Country: United States
Series: Road to...

Songs: "Road to Morocco," "Moonlight Becomes You," "Constantly" and "Ain't Got a Dime to My Name," music by James Van Heusen, lyrics by Johnny Burke.
Composer: Johnny Burke
  James Van Heusen

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number Passed By NBR:
Paramount Pictures, Inc. 1/10/1942 dd/mm/yyyy LP11703 Yes

PCA NO: 8255
Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording

Genre: Comedy
Sub-Genre: with songs
Subjects (Major): Americans in foreign countries
Subjects (Minor): Castaways

Note: Victor Schertzinger was originally slated to direct this film until his sudden death in Oct 1941. Various news items reveal that prior to the start of production on this film, Paramount had been planning a "Road to Moscow" film for Bing Crosby and Bob Hope, the future of which was dependent on the events of the war in Russia; however, the screenplay was never developed. Correspondence in the Paramount Collection at the AMPAS Library indicates that the original story was written by Eddie Davis and E. A. Ellington, but Paramount retained so little of their story that they were not credited onscreen. According to HR news items, Paramount bought comedy routines originally written by Ralph Spence for his story "From Rags to Rhythm" for use in this film.
       According to a column in NYT , Paramount shot two endings for the film. The unused ending had the main characters enlisting in the Marines and closed with the line, "See you on the road to Tokyo." The song "Aladdin's Daughter," by Johnny Burke and James Van Heusen, was originally slated to be included in the film. Pre-release cast lists included Abner Biberman and Harry Woods; and a HR news item noted that the male quartet The Dancing Debonairs were signed for the film. Their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Desert exteriors were filmed on location in Yuma, AZ. In his autobiography, Bob Hope notes that western film star Ken Maynard led the stunt riders in the chase through the Casbah scene. Road to Morocco was nominated for Academy Awards in the following categories: Best Writing (Original Screenplay), Frank Butler and Don Hartman; and Best Sound Recording, Loren Ryder. Bing Crosby and Bob Hope reprised their roles in a 5 Apr 1943 Lux Radio Theatre broadcast, co-starring Ginny Simms. For additional information on the Road to...series, please consult the Series Index and see entry for The Road to Singapore in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.3789. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   3 Oct 1942.   
Daily Variety   2 Oct 42   p. 3.
Film Daily   5 Oct 42   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   27 Oct 41   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   10 Nov 41   p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter   18 Feb 42   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   20 Feb 42   p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter   25 Feb 42   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   26 Feb 42   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   6 Mar 42   p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter   13 Mar 42   p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter   17 Mar 42   p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter   24 Apr 42   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   2 Oct 42   p. 3.
Los Angeles Times   11 Oct 1941.   
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   3 Oct 42   p. 933.
New York Times   24 May 1942.   
New York Times   12 Nov 42   p. 30.
Variety   7 Oct 42   p. 8.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
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