HOLLYWOOD, California – Despite the fact that the duo have been deceased for many years, publicists for Bob Hope and Bing Crosby announced today that they would be filming the eighth in their “Road to…” series, tentatively titled The Road to Calgary. The series began in 1940 with The Road to Singapore and continued to the seventh, The Road to Hong Kong, in 1962. Now, 54 years later, they have decided to do a final entry in the series.
Studio representative Jack Flack said that the choice of Calgary, Alberta as the destination was the result of a careful market study and a massive bribe from the Calgary Chamber of Commerce. He said,
“We had competing bids from the Bakersfield, California and Midland, Texas people, but since the three cities are practically identical, we went with the higher dollar amount. Local tax credits in Alberta were a little better. Given the dangerous condition of the world these days, an overseas destination was not even considered.”
The script is being polished by well-known screenwriter Dalbo Trumton. A few details have emerged. The characters played by Hope and Crosby are itinerant water well diggers who decide to move up to the big time and start drilling oil wells in the belief they will get rich quickly, so they head for Alberta. The clash of cultures between the newcomers and reticent Canadians is the source of much of the humor.
Oil expert and erstwhile script consultant Rotor E. Table said, “Notwithstanding the bribes and tax credits, with oil being the dominant economic force in the province, it works to have Calgary as the ‘road’ destination. We also considered the San Joaquin Valley in California, but ‘Road to Bakersfield’ just doesn’t resonate. And ‘Road to Midland?’ Get real. Nobody in the U. S. outside of Texas knows where Midland is. Crosby thought it was in Michigan.”
A number of other roles have been cast. Ben Johnson will play the crusty old rancher who hires Hope and Crosby to drill a well on his land and Hermione Gingold will play the man’s long-suffering wife. In an unusual twist, Dan Blocker, best known for his role as “Hoss” on the Bonanza TV series, will play a villain, albeit with a comic bent. The only living actor cast so far is the hyper-annoying Gilbert Gottfried who will play a landman. Of course, the late, great Dorothy Lamour will be featured as a love interest for one of the two stars. Principle photography is scheduled to begin late this year.