Road to Zanzibar (1941) - Rotten Tomatoes

Road to Zanzibar1941

Road to Zanzibar (1941)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Road to Zanzibar Photos

Movie Info

The second Bing Crosby/Bob Hope "Road" picture casts Crosby as a penny-ante sideshow promoter and Hope as Crosby's only client, "Fearless Frazier." Under Crosby's tutelage, Hope has been shot from a cannon, zapped in an electric chair and nearly strangled by an octopus. Now they're practically broke and stranded on the African coast. Crosby spends the last of their money to spring helpless Dorothy Lamour from a native slave market. Actually, Lamour and her pal Una Merkel are scamming Crosby and Hope to finance a safari across Africa, so that Lamour can link up with her wealthy fiance in Zanzibar. En route through the deepest, darkest jungle, both Hope and Crosby fall in love with Lamour. But when they find out they're being taken for chumps, the boys leave the safari and strike out on their own. Captured by cannibals, the boys try and fail to win their freedom by having Hope wrestle a particularly grumpy gorilla. Making their escape after teaching the natives their time-honored "Patty Cake" routine, they head for Zanzibar. Once again, Crosby spends his ready money to spring Lamour from her captured-by-slavers con game, obliging Hope, Crosby, Lamour and Merkel to try to earn passage money home by staging a "sawing the lady in half" routine for the locals. Crosby: "Are you sure you know what you're doing?" Hope: "If I don't, one of us is going back half fare." Like the earlier Road to Singapore, Road to Zanzibar sticks too closely to the script and plot to allow those inveterate adlibbers Hope and Crosby free reign. Still, there are some choice moments: our favorite bit occurs when Crosby comments to Lamour on the artificiality of movie musicals--whereupon the sound of an orchestra pops up out of nowhere.

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Bing Crosby
as Chuck Reardon
Bob Hope
as Hubert 'Fearless' Frazier
Dorothy Lamour
as Donna Latour
Una Merkel
as Julia Quimby
Eric Blore
as Charles Kimble
Iris Adrian
as French Soubrette in Cafe
Lionel Royce
as Mons. Lebec
Buck Woods
as Thonga
Leigh Whipper
as Scarface
Ernest Whitman
as Whiteface
Al Bridge
as Policeman
Joan Marsh
as Dimples
Luis Alberni
as Proprietor of Native Booth
Robert Middlemass
as Police inspector
Norma Varden
as Clara Kimble
Paul Porcasi
as Turk at Slave Mart
Priscilla White
as Curzon Sister
LaVerne Vess
as Curzon Sister
Alan Bridge
as Policeman
Henry Roquemore
as Cafe proprietor
Charles Gemora
as Aqua the Gorilla
Ken Carpenter
as Commentator
Douglass Dumbrille
as Slave Trader
View All

Critic Reviews for Road to Zanzibar

All Critics (9)

A perfect musicomedy.

October 30, 2019 | Full Review…

The public of our days want to have fun and 'Road to Zanzibar' is a suitable movie for it. [Full review in Spanish]

September 17, 2019 | Full Review…

This Bing Crosby-Bob Hope road film lacks spontaneity and the humor seems forced.

August 19, 2011 | Rating: C | Full Review…

One of the best Hope-Crosby romps highlighted by Bob wrestling a match flame-blowing gorilla.

August 29, 2005 | Rating: 4/5

Not one of the best "road" flicks and racist by today's sensibilities, but fun nonetheless.

July 6, 2005 | Rating: 3/5

Best of the 'Road' pictures scores as a great satire of all 'Darkest Africa' movies

August 21, 2002 | Rating: 5/5

Audience Reviews for Road to Zanzibar

The second "road" movie seems to meander around Africa somewhere, I don't know about you but I've never heard of Zanzibar, weather or not it's Zanzibar, we don't know. They use all the obvious jungle jokes, it has it's moments, but it's mostly a routine comedy.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

Hope and Crosby continue their travels across the dark continent as a pair of con men who meet their match in the form of hustlers Dorothy Lamour and Joan Marsh. Zanzibar was the second Road movie and this is where the formula was set with far more of the duo's fast talking bickering and less of the musical interludes. Bob Hope is now the willing victim of Crosby's hair brained money making schemes and the pair have become the immoral, back stabbing cowards we know and love! Lamour is far feistier as a rival con artist rather than the doe-eyed innocent of the first film and Joan Marsh is a welcome addition to the team. The script is little more than a string of excuses for various skits and slapstick set pieces but the laughs flow much more freely than in Singapore. Dated (especially the painfully politically incorrect opening titles), but still funny.

xGary Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer


One of the weaker Road movies, but still plenty of fun.

Anthony Valletta
Anthony Valletta

Super Reviewer

Road to Zanzibar Quotes

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