7.3/10
3,384
50 user 18 critic

Buck Privates (1941)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, War | 31 January 1941 (USA)
Bud and Lou enlist in the army in order to escape being hauled off to jail, and soon find themselves in basic training. To their dismay, the company's drill instructor is none other than ... See full summary »

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Writers:

(original screen play), (special material for Abbott and Costello)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
...
...
Bob Martin
...
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Laverne Andrews ...
Maxene Andrews ...
Patty Andrews ...
...
Major General Emerson
...
Sgt. Callahan
...
Mrs. Parker II
Leonard Elliott ...
Henry
...
Chef
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Storyline

Bud and Lou enlist in the army in order to escape being hauled off to jail, and soon find themselves in basic training. To their dismay, the company's drill instructor is none other than the cop who was all set to run them off to the hoosegow in the first place! The boys end up having a whale of a time getting under the skin of their humourless nemesis. Written by Alfred Jingle

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Musical | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 January 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ordinário, Marche!  »

Box Office

Budget:

$180,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$4,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the beginning of the movie when Bud Abbott and Lou Costello are about to go into what they think is a movie theatre, Lou asks the recruiter who's standing outside the door what movie is playing. The recruiter replies, "You're in the army now." There was actually a movie by that title, You're in the Army Now (1941), that starred Phil Silvers and Jimmy Durante released by Warner Brothers that same year. See more »

Goofs

During the dice game, Lou's tie is on for the close-ups, but off for the long shots. See more »

Quotes

Slicker Smith: You're 40 years-old and you're in love with this little girl that's 10 years-old. You're four times as old as that girl and you couldn't marry her, could you?
Herbie Brown: Not unless I come from the mountains.
Slicker Smith: All right- you're 40 years-old, you're four times as old as this girl, and you can't marry her, so you wait five years. By that time the little girl's 15 and you're 45. You're only three times as old as that little girl. So you wait 15 years and when the girl is 30, you're at 60. You're only twice as ...
[...]
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Connections

Featured in My Music: The Big Band Years (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Reveille
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played by a bugler to awaken the recruits
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Universal Soldiers
5 September 2008 | by (Derby, UK) – See all my reviews

This is one of my favourite outings from Bud & Lou, the start of their phenomenally successful career in the service comedies and one of a series of smile-jerkers from them and Universal. This was also the one that made it for them in the movies and turned them into America's no. 1 box office stars during the War.

They're a couple of street tie-selling con artists who unwittingly join the Army (along with playboy Lee Bowman) in trying to escape the clutches of the Law in the shape of cherubic Nat Pendleton. It's not so easy to escape ones duty however, and so follows a series of unconnected inconsequential adventures learning to be soldiers or lovers all with that special lighthearted wartime Universal treatment. A&C went through their routines with impeccable timing and a professionalism that belied all the slapstick. Favourite bits: playing unintelligible (to me) clubhouse dice; Abbott inoculated and Costello's reaction; the mathematics of borrowing USD 50; the historic performance of Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy by the Andrews Sisters and then the sudden end to the boogie-woogie boxing match; the unusual deadpan arrangement to Jane Frazee's I Wish You Were Here. The Voice Of Hellzapoppin returns! No kidding but what chance did the Japanese and Germans really have - sorry for identifying who the enemies were in these socially inclusive times, because they weren't in the film - to pit themselves against all this? The American War Machine was awakening, with the might of Hollywood behind it and A&C playing their part with their entertaining flagwavers the same as George Formby did on a smaller scale for the British War effort.

The box office success - and critical praise too - of this took Universal by surprise and they didn't make nearly as much money as they could have, a mistake they never made again with A&C. Recommended, an antidote to now and to me always a joy to behold and hear.


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