7.4/10
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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 »

Director:

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 ...
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Major General Emerson
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Sgt. Callahan
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Mrs. Parker II
Leonard Elliott ...
Henry
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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

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 »

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: Throw your chest out! Go on! Throw your chest out!
Herbie Brown: I'm not through with it yet!
Slicker Smith: Quiet!
See more »

Connections

Featured in 20 to 1: Big Screen Buddies (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Bounce Me Brother with a Solid Four
Lyrics by Don Raye
Music by Hugh Prince
Performed by The Andrews Sisters (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
"We're getting a fine group of men, more teeth and less flat feet."
27 November 2004 | by (Florida, New York) – See all my reviews

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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