7.3/10
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48 user 19 critic

Buck Privates (1941)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, War | 31 January 1941 (USA)
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1:31 | Trailer

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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)
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Jane Frazee ...
...
Bob Martin
...
...
Laverne Andrews ...
Maxene Andrews ...
Patty Andrews ...
Samuel S. Hinds ...
Major General Emerson
Harry Strang ...
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

This film took in $4 million (at a time when theater admission ranged between 10 cents and 25 cents), more than either Citizen Kane (1941) or How Green Was My Valley (1941). 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

Herbie Brown: What time is it?
Slicker Smith: None of your business!
[completely ad-libbed during the drill routine. Abbott didn't know it was coming but delivered his response flawlessly]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet the Monsters! (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

When Private Brown Becomes a Captain
Lyrics by Don Raye
Music by Hugh Prince
Performed by Lou Costello (uncredited), Shemp Howard (uncredited) and the kitchen crew
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
You're In The Army Now
7 December 2005 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

My uncle who later served in France during the second World War was one of those whose lives was interrupted by the peace time draft before the USA entered World War II. It was with some touch of irony that he will mention to this day he never saw any camp hostesses like Jane Frazee or the Andrews Sisters.

But Buck Privates is an Abbott and Costello film, not a serious drama about the first peace time draft in American history. Bud and Lou got in the short run of this film several of their classic routines.

When Universal signed Abbott and Costello on the strength of their running appearances on Kate Smith's Radio Show, they were expecting to do a series of B programmers with them. They never dreamed that these two burlesque comedians would become the national icons that they did.

Shot on a shoestring the film made an exponential profit for Universal studios. Without the usual Hollywood ballyhoo that would have accompanied a major Hollywood production, Buck Privates returned many times the cost of production.

And through the serendipitous casting angel, Buck Privates also included the Andrews Sisters who got to sing three of their standards in this, I'll Be With You In Apple Blossom Time, You're A Lucky Fellow, Mr. Smith, and the immortal Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy from Company B.

There are in fact so many musical numbers and so many A&C routines in this short film, there's barely room enough for a plot which involves a playboy Lee Bowman, his former chauffeur AlanCurtis, and Jane Frazee the camp hostess they both want to get better acquainted with. But because of that the film doesn't drag for a second.

Buck Privates set the standard for the films that Bud and Lou did for Universal. No doubt about it, their best work was in the early Forties and Buck Privates is the best of all.


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