Cast & Crew
In the early 1930s, aspiring singer Bing Crosby and his Hoboken, New Jersey friends become lost in the Southwestern desert while driving their "flivver" to Hollywood. Although the wayward group ends up back in Hoboken, a determined Bing quickly returns to the road and is taken in by a friendly Indian tribe. When he croons a romantic tune for a bevvy of admiring Indian women, however, Bing is shot at by a group of jealous Indian men. Bing flees the Indians' camp, jumps into his car and crashes into a bus carrying his Hoboken friends. Bing finally arrives in Hollywood, but because of a housing shortage there, is forced to build his own home. To make ends meet, Bing becomes a washing machine salesman. Later, Bing, now a plumber, discovers that his hometown sweetheart, Betty Brooks, and her disapproving mother have left home for Hollywood. Bing follows Betty to Hollywood and spots her performing with matinee idol Reginald Duncan on a movie set. While spying on Betty, Bing accidentally is squirted with black paint and decides to pose as a black bit player in order to get close to Betty. After Reginald tries to convince Betty to forget Bing, Bing begins to sing a love song on the set, and after Betty finally recognizes him, they run off together. Both Betty's mother and a performing lion chase Bing, but Bing and Betty escape in his car, and Betty's mother ends up in a cab with the roaring lion. Later, at a Los Angeles train station, Bing, now a successful radio singer, becomes romantically interested in another young woman after he mistakes her for his sister and kisses her. Bing is immediately accosted by the girl's jealous fiancé, a middle-aged marquis, and flees with his friend Jerry when a police officer begins to chase him. Determined to reunite with the girl, who is unaware of his identity, Bing follows her to a hotel. There he mistakes a married woman for the girl and is threatened by the woman's hefty husband. To find out in which room the girl is staying, Bing and Jerry dress up as tour guides and begin knocking on every door in the hotel. After much confusion, Bing finally locates the girl, but is unable to convince her mother that he is Bing Crosby and not a tour guide. The girl, however, is attracted to Bing and sneaks out of her room and into Bing's friend George Dobbs's room. When George's jealous wife suddenly returns, George hides the girl in his closet. Bing then shows up and sings his latest hit tune, convincing the girl of his identity. The girl springs out of the closet and embraces Bing, then telephones the marquis to tell him that the engagement is off. The enraged marquis races to Bing's room, but Bing and the girl flee down the fire escape together. The misunderstood couple is then pursued by police.
Marjorie Babe Kane
Charles P. Boyle
Lewis R. Foster
John E. Gordon
John W. Green
R. M. Savini
R. M. Savini
Charles Van Enger
John A. Waldron
As indicated in the opening credits, The Road to Hollywood is comprised of "excerpts and songs by Bing Crosby" from the following "featurettes" produced in the early 1930s by Educational Films Corp. of America and Mack Sennett: I Surrender Dear, One More Chance, Billboard Girl and Dream House. The film clips are introduced onscreen by Bud Pollard, who briefly describes Crosby's career and provides connecting narration for the clips. Pollard's opening screen credit reads: "Introducing Producer-director Bud Pollard." His closing cast credit reads: "And your narrator and director today Bud Pollard." His closing narration includes newsreel footage showing U.S. armed forces overseas. The end credits are preceded by the following written statement: "Because of the great public interest in Bing Crosby's early films, we repeat the cast and directorial credit. How many, beside 'BING,' do you remember?" Director Leslie Pearce's name is misspelled as "Pierce" in the end credits, but is correctly spelled in the opening credits.
According to the Variety review, the four shorts were bought by Astor in the early 1940s after Educational went bankrupt. The production cost of this film was approximately $20,000. I Surrender Dear and One More Chance were originally released in 1931, and Billboard Girl and Dream House were originally released in 1932. All four shorts, which ran about 20 minutes each, were copyrighted in both their original release years and in 1934, when they were re-issued by Fox Film Corp. Despite Pollard's attempt to connect the excerpts through his commentary, the compilation is inconsistent and disjointed.
Some of the directors of photography worked on more than one of the shorts, while others worked on only one. In addition, some of the above cast appeared in more than one of the shorts; Crosby was the only performer who played in all four. The last name of Crosby's character changed from short to short, and the 1947 compilation film includes some of those variations. Other character names were provided by copyright material for the Educational shorts. Copyright records for the shorts list the following additional cast members, some or all of whom May have been included in the compilation film: Will Stanton, Blanche Payson, Kalla Pasha and William Davidson.
Although a 1946 copyright statement is included in the onscreen credits of The Road of Hollywood, the title was not found in copyright records. According to the The Exhibitor review, the film was released with three different running times, 43, 51 and 54-55 minutes. The viewed print ran 55 minutes. Some of the segments in The Road to Hollywood, including portions of Pollard's narration, were included in the 1952 compilation film Birth of the Laff Stars.