Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Road to Morocco (1942)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Road to Morocco (1942)

In director David Butler's comedy musical, the third in a long series of "Road to..." films - and the funniest:

  • after their freighter Star of Capetown mysteriously exploded off the coast of North Africa, two stowaways - Geoffrey "Jeff" Peters (Bing Crosby) and Orville 'Turkey' Jackson (Bob Hope) - drifted on a makeshift raft; Jeff mentioned the real cause of the disaster: "Wait till they find out who was smokin' in the powder room" (a foreshadowing of the film's similar ending)
  • the recurring instances of Bob Hope appearing in drag, through superimposition, as the heavenly ghost of Orville's harp-wielding Aunt Lucy
"Aunt Lucy"
Orville's Locket
Aunt Lucy Reprimanding Jeff For Selling Orville
Reprimanding Orville for Fooling Jeff
  • they ended up in the North African desert (Orville joked: "This must be the place where they empty all the old hourglasses") riding a two-humped camel while singing the title song 'Road to Morocco' (some of the lyrics: "Where are we goin'? Why we're goin'? How can we be sure? I'll lay you 8 to 5 that we meet Dorothy Lamour, Off on the road to Morocco, Hang on till the end of the line...For any villains we may meet, we haven't any fears, Paramount will protect us, 'cause we're signed for five more years")
  • once in Morocco, to acquire money, Jeff sold Orville into slavery for 2,500 kolacs (or "200 federal diplomas") (Orville complained: "Do you know why they buy guys in a country like this? For slaves! They hit you with whips, they put you to pickin' cotton, they beat you"), and he was taken away by his Arabian owner (Dan Seymour); later, Jeff was reprimanded in his dreamby a distressed Aunt Lucy: ("You're a naughty, naughty boy. You shouldn't have done that wicked thing to little Orville. You must find him, Geoffrey. You must find him at once and bring him back")
  • Orville floated a note down (with his 'Aunt Lucy' locket) to Jeff from a palace wall, informing him that he was being "tortured" - he advised Jeff to flee: ("Dear Jeff: Flea for your life before it is too late. You can't do anything for me now. If you stick around, you will only get us both into trouble, maybe killed. 'Leave the country and forget you ever knew me. 'Say nothin' to nobody about this. Flea! Flea! Respectfully yours, Turkey Jackson. P.S. I am being tortured day and night. Flea! F-L-E-A'')
  • Jeff located Orville inside the palace, where he was costumed like a prince and being romanced by Arabian Princess Shalmar (Dorothy Lamour) of Karameesh; he criticized his pal for betrayal: "Why you dirty, double-crossing hoarder you!...Why you dirty, underhanded sickle-snoot!"; she asked Orville if he knew Jeff - and was told: "Well, I used to, but I kinda outgrew him. I don't dally much with riffraff these days - and he's a pretty raffy kind of a riff"; both vying for the Princess' love, Jeff provided competition for Orville, as the Princess noted: "Here we have a proverb: A goose is beautiful until it stands beside a peacock"
  • the Princess had purchased Orville and was planning to marry him - and Jeff was flabbergasted: "How can a dream like you go for a drip like this anyhow?"; Jeff was told by the Princess that her nuptials had been prophesized by a wise man: "It is written in the stars. I've been counseled by Hyder Khan, the wise one, to take this man for my husband, and I must obey"
  • before the marriage, Orville learned a secret from one of the pretty harem girls, Mihirmah (Dona Drake), that the Princess' main objective was to escape marriage to her real fiance, headstrong virile Desert Sheik Mullay Kasim (Anthony Quinn) (Orville quipped: "Sheiks have gone out of style")
  • the scene of Jeff serenading the Princess, with the hit romantic ballad "Moonlight Becomes You" (the first of two instances in the film): "Moonlight becomes you, goes with your hair, You certainly know the right thing, To wear, Moonlight becomes you, I'm thrilled at the sight, And I could get so romantic Tonight..."; after their song during a moonlight walk, Jeff lied to her about how Orville had sold him into slavery for 200 bucks: "I should be in his spot. You should be marrying me instead of him. There's two sides to everything, you know"
  • afterwards, Mihirmah also warned Orville that Jeff was stealing the Princess away: "The princess is unfaithful. She cares nothing for you," and suggested that they run away together: "Let us fly together" - and then gave him a big kiss ("Thus will my love consume you")
Mihirmah's Love for Orville
The Sheik - Angry About the Princess' Planned Marriage to Orville
The Wise Man Hyder Khan's Prophesy
  • with gunfire and great fanfare, Sheik Mullay Kasim arrived to confront the Princess about her impending marriage to the American; unbeknownst to the two castaways, she explained how the wise man had told her that as her first husband, the Sheik would violently die within the first week of marriage; they visited Hyder Khan (Vladimir Sokoloff) who prophesized: ("And it is here, written in the stars, O Lion of the Desert, that the first husband of the Princess Shalmar will die a violent death within the week of the marriage....It is also written that her second husband will be blessed with long life and happiness"); therefore, after the American's death, the Princess would be free to marry the Sheik, the one she really loved: (she told the Sheik: "Now do you understand?")
  • the scene of the Princess' assistants taking precise measurements for Orville's "male trousseau" - but in fact, sizing him up for his coffin, including his birthdate to be carved into the tombstone; Mihirmah warned Orville, who thought "they were measuring me for some outfit" that they were not "royal dressmakers", but "undertakers" - he was astonished when told the truth: "You mean they were measuring me for a graveyard gabardine?"
  • there was a wacky follow-up sequence of Orville now trying to give up his marriage to the Princess, and offering it to Jeff; he proposed getting out of the marriage because of the start of a romance with Mihirmah ("I'm the guy who's shovin' off...I'm givin' her to ya"); meanwhile, it was revealed that the wise man was revising his forecast because there were insects in his telescope: ("Insects! Fireflies! By the heavens, what are they doing in my telescope?... Dear, oh, dear, oh dear! I must have mistaken these fireflies for Jupiter and Venus....My prophesies for the American's death were based on the fixed positions of Jupiter and Venus")
  • at the same time, because of the Princess' love for Jeff, she wouldn't allow him to exchange places with Orville, knowing his fate; but then, the wise man informed the Princess of his changed predictions,and that no one would die: "I have made a calamitous error. You must not marry that American. You must marry Mullay Kasim!...I was wrong about everything"; she immediately confided to Jeff that she wanted to marry him ("Ah, Geoffrey, you may feel strange about marrying a princess, but I'll spend the rest of my life trying to live it down"); Jeff was shocked: "You mean, you and me?"
  • when the jealous and angry desert Sheik Mullay Kasim charged into the palace, there was a long chase sequence of Jeff and Orville hiding from the Sheik in nodding-head pillars, as the chieftain threatened: "We must find them and slit their throats....They shall die slowly. Their tongues shall be ripped out! Their ears shall be sliced off and dried on sticks....Search the corridors! We'll find them if we have to tear down the palace!"; while hiding there, a fly landed on Orville's nose, giving them away when he sneezed
  • the two were kidnapped and taken into the desert as Kasim's captives, and then left to die in the desert with no food or water - as buzzards circled overhead: (Orville: "Fine way to end up. A box lunch for a bird"); in a desert mirage sequence, they imagined seeing a drive-in restaurant - Herbert's Sandwiches: ("What's a drive-in doing in the middle of the desert?...Two tall double-dip hamburgers! Not too well done, please. And a couple of mile-high beers!"), but then realized it was a mirage: (Jeff: "It's a mirage" Orville: "I could even smell the onions")
  • they also experienced an alluring singing image of the Princess Shalmar; the three stars sang "Moonlight Becomes You" together - hilariously mixing up each other's voices
Desert Mirage Sequence
Spotting a Drive-In
Shalimar Rising Up in Desert
"Moonlight Becomes You"
  • the two came upon Kasim's oasis/camp hideout in the desert, where Orville and Jeff strategized: Jeff: "We gotta save the girls. It's up to us now, Turkey. We'll have to storm the place," but Orville declined: "You storm. I'll stay here and drizzle")
  • they were soon captured again and imprisoned by Kasim on the night of his planned wedding; they engaged in hilarious dialogue about their misadventures: (Orville: "A fine thing! First you sell me for 200 bucks. Then I'm gonna marry the princess, then you cut in on me! Then we're carried off by a desert sheik. Now we're gonna have our heads chopped off" Jeff: "I know all that" Orville: "Yeah, the people who came in the middle of the picture don't!" Jeff: "You mean, they missed my song?")
  • they made plans to rescue the "girls" by using three wishes from a magic ring given to them by the Princess; the ring accidentally transformed Orville into a jumping monkey when he off-handedly spoke: ("Well, I'll be a monkey's uncle!"), and they wasted their opportunity; however, after tricking the jailman, the two escaped and disguised themselves as Arabs
  • they disrupted the wedding party by five pranks: (1) poking holes in the drinking goblet of the guest of honor Neb-Jolla (George Givot), a former rival enemy of Kasim, (2) placing a horn under the rival's seat, causing an embarrassing noise when he sat down, (3) putting gunpowder in the cigarettes; the guest felt insulted: "Do you bring us here to make fools of us?"; (4) lit matches placed in sandals to create hot-feet, and (5) igniting the rival sheik's clothing on fire and then dousing him in the face with water
  • the scenes of the wise-cracking, talking male and female camels with animated lips observing the party, and at one point, the male camel's aside spoken to the audience: "This is the screwiest picture I was ever in"; shortly later, Mabel exclaimed: "When I see how silly people behave, I'm glad I'm a camel" - the male camel lasciviously agreed and rolled his eyes: "Aww, I'm glad you're a camel too, Mabel"
Male Camel: "This is the screwiest picture I was ever in"
Two Camels
Mabel: "I'm glad I'm a camel"
  • a large fight soon broke out ("This means war!") and the tent collapsed, allowing the group to escape on horseback
  • the famed ending, when the group (including Orville's energetic love interest, handmaiden Mihirmah) were on a luxury ocean liner about to arrive in New York
Final Sequence: On the Deck of a Luxury Liner
Jeff with Princess Shalmar
Turkey with Mihirmah
  • Orville fatefully told the others: "Say, I want the Statue of Liberty to be proud of me, so I think I'll powder my nose"; Jeff quipped: "I don't think it'll help"; Orville lit his cigarette and entered a literal "POWDER ROOM" (the second time in the film) - and there was a massive explosion
  • in the final scene, the foursome were floating in New York harbor on fragments of the luxury liner and Orville was overacting: ("I can't go on! No food, no water. It's all my fault. We're done for! It's got me. I can't stand it! No food, no nothin'! No food, no water! No food!"); after Jeff reprimanded him: ("What's the matter with you, anyway? There's New York. We'll be picked up in a few minutes"), Orville delivered the film's final oft-quoted line, a lament - and a running gag throughout his entire comedic career: ("If you hadn't opened your big mouth and ruined the only good scene I got in the picture, I might have won an Academy Award!")

Two Castaways on Makeshift Raft

Sign to Morocco

Singing "Road to Morocco" Atop Camel

Orville - Being 'Tortured' by the Princess Shalmar (Dorothy Lamour)

The Two Competing for and Romancing the Princess

Two Pals at Odds With Each Other

Harem Girl Mihirmah (Dona Drake)

Jeff Serenading the Princess with "Moonlight Becomes You"

Preparation of Orville's Tombstone

Taking Orville's Measurements (for Coffin)

Wise Man's Revised Prophesy Due to Insects in His Telescope

The Princess' New Wish to Marry Jeff

Fly Landiing on Turkey's Nose as He Hid From the Sheik

Orville and Jeff Discovering the Sheik's Hideout in Desert

The Kidnapped Females in the Sheik's Desert Oasis

Orville Transformed into a Monkey With One Magic Wish

Disguised as Arabs

Setting the Rival Sheik's Clothing on Fire

Orville Lighting a Cigarette Before Entering Powder Room

Floating in NYC Harbor


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