Sunday, October 11, 2009

Hey, Abbott and Costello!

For the record Abbott & Costello: Vol. 1: Disc 1 includes:
  • One Night in the Tropics
  • Buck Privates
  • In the Navy
  • Hold That Ghost
I will skip over the Army/Navy films - we've seen them before, and didn't watch them this time.

One Night in the Tropics is A&C's first feature film, but it isn't really an Abbott & Costello movie. It's a comedy that they have kind of been dropped into. And it's a pretty good one: It features two young top-hatted toffs, Robert Cummnings, a playboy drunk on love and about to get married and his friend, Allan Jones whose insurance policies are more like wild bets. He "insures" that Cummings will marry his fiancee for $1 million. Jones' dad, president of the insurance company, doesn't want to cover this bet, er, policy, so they lay it off with some gangsters - including nightclub owner William Frawley. And Frawley sends his boys, Abbott & Costello, to make sure the wedding happens.

Complications arise, and the whole group, including fiancee, her aunt (Mary Bolan), ex-girlfriend, etc. to a tropical isle, run by Leo Carillo. Ay-ay-ay!

Honestly, I'd watch this without Abbott & Costello. They have some good routines, like A Dollar a Day, 2 Tens for a Five, and a short Who's on First. And they do some minor support work, but aren't really integrated into the show. But I've watched much worse, and didn't mind it.

Hold That Ghost is another matter - Abbott & Costello are the stars. In short, they inherit a haunted roadhouse from a gangster and are stuck there on a dark and stormy night. Their group includes an eggheaded doctor, a slick babe and Joan Davis. Davis was a long legged, horse-faced screwy comedienne, later star of TV's I Married Joan. She has brilliant comic timing and makes a great partner for Costello.

This is the first of the A&C horror movies, but it won't be the last.

The movie has musical numbers by the Andrews Sisters and Ted Lewis wrapped around it. Ted Lewis is the "Is EVERYbody HAPpy?" guy. Now I've seen his act.

In conclusion, Joan Davis, what a gal.

1 comment:

mr. schprock said...

Joan Davis might have been quite a gal, but how were her gams?

I used to listen to a lot of old time radio and checked out a couple of Abbott and Costello shows. You know that "Who's on First?" routine? They did that sort of thing ALL the time. Costello misinterprets Abbott, Abbott doesn't realize Costello's in the dark, and it goes on and on and on. And on. Ha ha ha ha ha. Ha ha. Ha. Yep, still fresh.