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 ...
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Russ Raymond, America's number one crooner, disappears and joins the Navy under the name Tommy Halstead. Dorothy Roberts, a magazine journalist, is intent on finding out what happened to ... See full summary »
Two bumbling service station attendants are left as the sole beneficiaries in a gangster's will. Their trip to claim their fortune is sidetracked when they are stranded in a haunted house ... See full summary »
Jim "Lucky" Moore (Allan Jones), an insurance salesman, comes up with a novel policy for his friend, Steve (Robert Cummings): a 'love insurance policy', that will pay out $1-million if ... See full summary »
Two peanut vendors at a rodeo show get in trouble with their boss and hide out on a railroad train heading west. They get jobs as cowboys on a dude ranch, despite the fact that neither of ... See full summary »
A pair of bus drivers accidentally steal their own bus. With the company issuing a warrant for their arrest, they tag along with a playboy on a boat trip that finds them on a tropical island, where a jewel thief has sinister plans for them.
Jonesy and Lou are in Algeria looking for a wrestler they are promoting. Sergeant Axmann tricks them into joining the Foreign Legion, after which they discover Axmann's collaboration with ... See full summary »
Two bumbling plumbers are hired by a socialite to fix a leak. A case of mistaken identity gets the pair an invitation to a fancy party and an entree into high society. As expected, things ... See full summary »
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
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 »
During the dice game, Lou's tie is on for the close-ups, but off for the long shots. 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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