Bud and Lou enlist in the army in order to escape being hauled off to jail, and soon find themselves in boot camp. To their dismay, the company's drill instructor is none other than the cop... See full summary »
In one of his rare performances without Bud Abbott, Lou Costello plays a rubbish collector and inventor. When radiation in a nearby cave turns his girlfriend into a giantess, antics ensure ... See full summary »
A Universal Army enlistment promotion, produced as a musical showcase for Harry James, the Andrews Sisters, Joe E. Lewis, and Donald O'Connor & Peggy Ryan. The film's thin plot has James ... See full summary »
Edward F. Cline
The Andrews Sisters,
Joe E. Lewis
When Phil Corey's band arrives at the Idaho ski resort its pianist Ted Scott is smitten with a Norwegian refugee he has sponsored, Karen Benson. When soloist Vivian Dawn quits, Karen stages an ice show as a substitute.
Mr. Schmidt's costume store is bankrupt because he spends his time on Rube Goldberg-style inventions; the creditors send a young manager who falls for Schmidt's niece Louise, but she'll ... See full summary »
A compilation of clips from 19 Abbott & Costello features: The Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap, In the Navy, Hit the Ice, Who Done It?, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, Mexican Hayride, ... See full summary »
Ole and Chick are making a movie, but the director is not satisfied. So he brings them to a young writer, who outlines them an absurd story. They have to support Jeff and Kitty in setting ... See full summary »
A documentary showing the constructive approach taken by the Lou Costello, Jr. Youth Foundation in Los Angeles toward prevention of juvenile delinquency. William Bendix, as a neighborhood ... See full summary »
In this light and lovely romantic musical, a Hungarian woman(Deanna Durbin) attends a Viennese fair and buys a card from a gypsy fortune teller. It says that she will meet someone important... See full summary »
Bud and Lou enlist in the army in order to escape being hauled off to jail, and soon find themselves in boot camp. 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
Although Arthur Lubin was a contract director at Universal, on a set weekly salary, this film was such a huge hit ($4 million gross on a $180,000 budget) that Universal gave him a $5,000 bonus. See more »
Accustomed to performing for live audiences, Abbott & Costello "never did anything the same way twice," as editor Philip Cahn complained. "No two takes were exactly the same," said director Arthur Lubin. Continuity errors were almost inevitable. See more »
"We're getting a fine group of men, more teeth and less flat feet."
Repeat viewings of "Buck Privates" deliver a warm nostalgia for a time gone by when things were simpler and patriotism was a cherished ideal. After a supporting role in their first movie "One Night in the Tropics", Abbott and Costello scored in a big way in this 1941 film, and Universal Studios had a comedy machine on their hands. The boys jump right into their comic bits including a crap game, a money change routine and a military rifle drill, all with flawless comic timing.
And there's a lot going on around them as well. There's a love triangle involving socialite Randy Parker (Lee Bowman), his ex-chauffeur Bob Martin (Alan Curtis) and Judy Gray (Jane Frazee). Nat Pendleton serves as comic foil, first as a cop on the beat and later as the hapless sergeant who can't control Costello's antics. Shemp Howard is also on hand in a comic mess scene. But the real entertainment is provided by the joyous Andrews Sisters, showcasing an array of popular tunes including "You're a Lucky Fellow Mr. Smith", "I'll Be With You in Apple Blossom Time", and their signature song - "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy".
The "Buck Privates" theme worked so well that Abbott and Costello eventually found their way into other branches of the military, their next film was "In the Navy", followed by "Keep 'Em Flying" and "Buck Privates Come Home" a few years later.
Jane Frazee proved to be a versatile entertainer, doing a song of her own in this film - "Gee But I Wish You Were Here". She made movies in a number of different genres including Westerns, along with five Roy Rogers titles in the late 1940's.
"Buck Privates" is a great starting point whether you're just getting familiar with Abbott and Costello, or a long time fan wishing to relive their memory. If your tastes go for the classic Universal horror characters, their best offering is "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein". Whatever the venue, the boys always entertain, and remain one of the best and most successful comedy teams of all time.
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