Thursday, November 03, 2005

On the Road with Bob Hope and Bing Crosby

Edith Head loved working on the Road pictures with Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour. She talked about dressing them for the series of classic movies in her book Edith Head's Hollywood (with Paddy Calistro, E.P. Dutton, Inc., New York, 1983, page 48):
Bob loved dressing up for the films. He didn't mind wearing a burnoose or a turban or whatever I wanted to put him in. The funnier and more bizarre it was, the better he liked it. Bing was the opposite. He loathed dressing up. I don't think Bing really cared about playing any character but himself. His movie roles were really usually variations of Crosby the Crooner. With his singing voice, that was enough. Satorially he preferred simple clothes: a sport shirt and slacks. It pained him to put on any headgear more exotic than a Panama hat or a golf cap. He wasn't unpleasant about it, just unhappy. He couldn't really have the fun with his get ups that Bob had. I doubt if anyone was ever conscious of the fact that Bob was always more amusingly dressed than Bing. I always noticed because I knew of Bing's aversion to costumes.
Bob was always enthusiastic about Dottie's [Dorothy Lamour's] costumes, too. I thought they were pretty fantastic myself, eve if I did design them. She had put on a few curves since The Jungle Princess and had a more mature, sexy image in the Road roles. In some scenes she was breathtakingly beautiful and in others her costumes were as ridiculous as Bob's. But she carried them off perfectly. Bob was wide-eyed over her costumes and always made her feel beautiful.
Bob has a special place in my heart for what he did for my costumes in the Road pictures. It was his enthusiasm that really inspired everyone else to get into the spirit of the Roads. There were chaotic plots and gags and lavish sets and great music, but Bob Hope pulled it all together.
Miss Maven feels like being in Never Neverland when thinking about these movies, the actors . . . just everything about them!
So get on the road and get 'em!
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