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Release Date: January 9th, 2024 Movie Release Year: 1962

The Road to Hong Kong: Special Edition

Overview -

Bob and Bing are hitting that dusty trail once again for 1962’s The Road to Hong Kong, the final entry in their hilarious traveling franchise (and the only one with "the" in the title). The stars may have aged but their wit, timing, and one-liners haven’t slowed a step. Like past entries, the plot doesn’t make a whole lot of sense and quickly goes off the rails, but it’s great fun with a nice turn from Joan Collins standing as the leading lady and Dorothy Lamour dropping by along with Peter Sellers, Sinatra, Dean Martin, and David Niven. The A/V is solid for this latest release of the last Road film. Worth A Look

Bob Hope and Bing Crosby take off on The Road to Hong Kong, the seventh and final Road movie from the irresistibly charming and wacky duo. Cavorting through a series of madcap adventures with Joan Collins, Robert Morley and Road queen Dorothy Lamour—as well as scene-stealers Peter Sellers, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Pat O’Brien and David Niven—Crosby and Hope dish out a “fricassee of jokes and gags” (Los Angeles Times) in what may be the wildest entry in their legendary film series from Singapore to Bali. Vaudevillians Harry (Crosby) and Chester (Hope) travel to Tibet to search for a drug to restore Chester’s memory. Once they find the cure, Chester’s memory becomes so good that he accidentally memorizes a secret formula for space navigation. Soon the two meet up with a beautiful spy (Collins) and get slightly sidetracked…to another planet! From fabulous filmmakers Norman Panama and Melvin Frank (Road to Utopia, White Christmas, The Court Jester).

Product Extras :
  • NEW Audio Commentary by Filmmaker/Historian Michael Schlesinger
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Optional English Subtitles

Worth a Look
Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
Video Resolution/Codec:
1080p/AVC MPEG-4
Audio Formats:
Release Date:
January 9th, 2024

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take


Bob Hope and Bing Crosby had a pretty good deal going for themselves. On their own, the incomparable song-and-dance men had a slew of hits under their belts. They easily could have been content to do their own thing and had been just fine. But somewhere somehow the stars aligned and the pair became a cinematic duo not to be trifled with. Starting with 1940’s Road to Singapore and finishing with 1962's The Road to Hong Kong, their little franchise mastered seven comedies - an eighth was planned but Crosby passed away before filming. 

For this outing we see Bob and Bing traveling the far east. Character names are irrelevant as the pair more or less continues to play the same version of themselves from the previous films. Here they’re a pair of traveling grifters looking to take unsuspecting folks’ cash and clear out of town before anyone’s the wiser. But when their latest scheme leaves Bob without his memories, they’re on the road to regaining the funny man’s mind. Meanwhile, Joan Collins steps in as the new leading lady Diane, a spy entrapped in a scheme to steal the formula for state-of-the-art rocket fuel. Hijinks and hilarity ensue as our leading gentlemen travel all the way to Hong Kong and to the stars! 

I guess in this day and age a little bit of contextualizing is necessary. It’s not going to take long for modern viewers to see and hear some gags that haven’t exactly aged well. By the time Peter Sellers turns up as an Indian doctor, some unintentional offense may have been given - even if it’s nothing like his turn in Blake Edwards' The Party. The film is absolutely of a time and era - even if its problematic spots are the least offensive of most films from the same year. Age issues aside is damned funny and I’ll give Bob and Bing credit for not punching down but rather sideways. Most of their comedy punches are aimed at each other, their respective careers, or their former home studio Paramount (this was an MGM release), among other notorieties of their day.

The earliest moments of the film are the silliest. It’s just Bob and Bing doing their thing. The plot was thin from the beginning and gets even thinner as the film moves along. The road gets a little bumpy when the plot tries to force a story thread into the shenanigans and hijinks. While the first meeting between Bob Hope and Joan Collins features some of the funniest sexual innuendo jokes of any era let alone the early 1960s, that’s the sign the show is about to falter. It's still funny, but the laughs start to feel a little less hearty as things proceed.

None of the Road movies have anything of a rigid structure or story to them. Inevitably they all start to feel like Bob and Bing just riffing on popular genre films of the era. That’s true here as they leave their typical exotic locations and zip off to outer space. Song and dance comedy is their best game. Science Fiction comedy really isn’t their show. Some of the gags in the later half of this 91-minute film are pretty damn funny, the stretches between laughs get longer and those laughs start to fade to giggles and chuckles. The lack of series leading lady Dorothy Lamour is also notable. Here she’s relegated to an extended cameo as Bing felt she was too old but Bob wouldn’t do it without her. (Collins was actually about the same age as Bing's then wife, roughly half his 59 years.) Collins is fun in a supporting role that eschewed the slap-happy “bitch” characters she’d famously play in her later career on Dallas and other shows.  

Not the best, not the worst The Road to Hong Kong feels like the end of an era. Bob and Bing were in fine form, but their brand of silly vaudeville setpieces were aging out by 1962. There was already a ten-year gap between films, making one wonder if this outing was even necessary. The Road to Bali was a funny flick and felt like the perfect film for the duo to give fans a fitting adios. That’s not to say there’s nothing of value here, I got my laughs, but of the Road films it’s one I rarely return to. 

Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
Kino Lorber Studio Classics steps in to give The Road to Hong Kong another crack at Blu-ray glory. Pressed on a Region A BD-50 disc, the disc is housed in a standard case, a slipcover was not included for my review copy. The disc loads to the simple standard KLSC static image main menu with traditional navigation options.

Video Review


Bob and Bing take the stage for a respectable 1080p 1.66:1 transfer. Previously released by Olive Films, that disc featured a pretty good transfer itself. Without that disc to compare to (I checked it out from my local library ages ago), I’d say this disc probably uses the same master, but with a better encode, the image looks a little fresher. Fine facial features, clothing, and production design details are appreciable and film grain appears healthy and stable. There are a few instances of speckling and some age-related wear in a few spots but nothing serious. Grayscale is also in good shape with nice deep blacks, bright whites, and nice shadows in between. All around pretty darn good.

Audio Review


On the audio side of the show we have a nice DTS-HD MA 2.0 track. Bing croons away while Bob slings the jokes fast and furious - and the mix never falters. Dialog is clean and clear throughout with a nice engaging soundscape. It’s not the biggest feeling track ever, but active sequences with big crowds or a pretty damn funny sequence with Bob and Bing in space being subjected to automated machinery sounded great. Some exchanges could sound a little thin here and there, and there’s a little bit of hiss, but nothing serious or distracting.

Special Features


Bonus features for this outing may not be extensive but the audio commentary with historians Michael Schlesinger and Stan Taffel is a nice addition as the pair offer up their appreciation of the film and plenty of production trivia and anecdotes. They’re clearly having a great time during the track for a nicely informative but entertaining listen.

  • Audio Commentary featuring Michael Schlesinger and Stan Taffel
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • KLSC Trailer Gallery:
    • Road to Singapore Trailer
    • Road to Zanzibar Trailer
    • Road to Morocco Trailer
    • Road to Utopia Trailer
    • Caught in the Draft Trailer

The only Road film to start with “The” in the title, it is also the final Road film in this little comedy franchise. Bob and Bing may have been getting on in years and their comedy game may have been a bit old-fashioned, but their chemistry was as fresh as ever. When the jokes are great they’re hysterical. The plot might be a bit odd, even for this franchise, but it’s a fun trip for fans. Kino Lorber Studio Classics completes their Road efforts with this release resurrecting the film on Blu-ray after Olive Films’ demise. The A/V presentation is strong for a film of this vintage and now the bonus features have something to offer fans with a new very entertaining audio commentary. If you need it for your Road collection it’s a given, but newcomers may want to start with the earlier films in the series. Worth A Look 

Order Your Copy of The Road to Hong Kong on Blu-ray