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Keep 'Em Flying (1941)

Passed | | Comedy, Music, War | 28 November 1941 (USA)
When a barnstorming stunt pilot decides to join the air corps, his two goofball assistants decide to go with him. Since the two are Abbott & Costello, the air corps doesn't know what it's in for.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Gloria Phelps / Barbara Phelps
...
Linda Joyce
...
Craig Morrison
...
Jinx Roberts
...
Jim Joyce
...
Gonigle (as William Davidson)
...
Butch
Loring Smith ...
Major Barstow
William Forrest ...
Colonel
Freddie Slack ...
Pianist
The Six Hits
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Storyline

When a barnstorming stunt pilot decides to join the air corps, his two goofball assistants decide to go with him. Since the two are Abbott & Costello, the air corps doesn't know what it's in for.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

As Co-Pilots... They're Co-Riots! They've got the whole Army Air Corps in a sky-high uproar... and sweeping the nation in fun-formation! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Music | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 November 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Up in the Air  »

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

"Pig Foot Pete", performed by Martha Raye in the film, was a 1942 Academy Award nominee for Best Song. However, on the ballots the song was attributed to Hellzapoppin' (1941), though it never appeared in that film. The Academy has no record of how the error occurred. See more »

Goofs

After Bud and Lou are riding that runaway torpedo and are thrown off and the torpedo explodes demolishing a barn, Bud refers to Lou as Herbie. Lou's name is Heathcliff in this film, he was Herbie Brown in Buck Privates. See more »

Quotes

Heathcliff: I gotta go home, I forgot something!
Blackie Benson: What'd you forget?
Heathcliff: I forgot to stay there!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood: The Gift of Laughter (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Reveille
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played by a buglar to awaken the cadets
See more »

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User Reviews

Solid A&C film but only funny in a couple of scenes
6 September 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

When high-flying stunt pilot Jinx Roberts joins the air corps, his two assistants Blackie and Heathcliff follow him into the service out of loyalty and lack of other options. While Jinx gets a pilot's position they find themselves essentially at the level of janitors with little in the way of glamour or prestige. They end up causing more trouble than anything else – not least of which in the world of romance where the attention of twins Gloria and Barbara causes more confusion.

This film was part of several made in a short period by Abbott & Costello in support of the war effort and the structure is roughly the same. A "straight" guy pursues a girl while Abbott and Costello trail along behind getting involved in various escapades and misunderstandings in support of the "straight" guy's romantic efforts. This should not surprise anyone and the only thing of concern should be whether or not the film is funny and makes good use of the comic abilities of the stars (by which I do not mean Foran). The answer is "sort of" and it is because of this that the film is quite amusing for fans but not good enough to really win over others or stand out as one of their best. The plot with Jinx does take up a bit too much of the running time and, as is often the case, the film is padded out with too many songs (although at least one of them is actually pretty good) and I didn't find myself laughing often enough. There are some good bits though; the scene where they order food in the restaurant is brilliant stuff and had me laughing out loud but, a few good lines here and there and that is pretty much it. The torpedo sequence is the normal stuff but lacks inspiration while the flight stuff, although quite good suffers badly from poor back projection and basic model work – OK both are of their time but still.

The cast do reasonably well and the fault for the film perhaps being a bit lacking is not with their performances. Both Abbott and Costello do good work as you would expect but it is just a shame that they don't get better material to work with. What they do benefit from is a female co-star who isn't just a cute love interest for Costello. Raye plays it in a way that echoes Costello's style but it does work and she is funny and adds a bit of variety which is needed when you consider the "main" plot. Bruce, Gargan and Foran are all fairly dull and stiff – again it is a shame that they take so much of the time from the others.

Keep 'em Flying is an OK Abbott & Costello film that has enough about it to please most fans however it is still not as funny as it should be and it has too much stuff that either pads (the songs) or detracts (the main plot). If you like them it is worth a look but only a few scenes here and there show what the two are capable of.


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