Back in the day, spanning almost 30 years from 1940 forward, Bob Hope and Bing Crosby along with glamour girl actress Dorothy Lamour, made a series of films named The Road to . . . (Singapore, Zanzibar, Morocco, Utopia, Rio, Bali and Hong Kong). The popularity of the films came through a formula likely devised to attract audiences of the time through portraying character types of comedian, singer and glamorous female star.
The series’ formula for success was a con artist/playboy, the unwilling sidekick whose paired failed attempts at making money or in romance would send them to take refuge in some fascinating country where they would meet an exotic, beautiful woman. At that point they would vie for her attention. Throughout the films, Crosby would win the woman (Lamour) and Hope would start making wisecracks. Some scenes were consistent throughout all the films such as getting out of a tight spot by playing patty-cake to distract their pursuers, then making a run for it.
Slapstick and Vaudevillian with lots of ad libbing banter was the preferred form of humor and entertainment back in the 40s and 50s when the population was yet naive and four-letter words were banned from not only speech but from a polite person’s mind as well.
Even though the population has made a 180 degree about face in social mores, one thing stays the same: Appreciation of cutting edge architecture. It is only appropriate that we go On the Road . . . to see the amazing Palm Springs home that Bob and Dolores Hope had John Lautner design for them in 1973.
Considering their generation, it’s a little surprising that the Hopes would go so futuristic in their architectural taste with a home that looks a bit like a volcano, and from above might be mistaken for a UFO! And at 23,000 square feet under the dramatic high undulating roof, it has openings which allow daylight - or stars to shine through, casting shapely shadows into the interior. These curved openings both above and below also allow for stunning views across the landscape and mountains, while appearing to be nestled comfortably into its lovely landscaping and outdoor living areas. The house also has a spa with greenhouse wall, 6 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, indoor and outdoor pools, a pond, putting greens, and a tennis court, making entertaining a pleasure.
Bob Hope’s futuristic Lautner designed Palm Springs masterpiece. Priced at $50 million.
Tasya Van Ree Photography