1941's "San Antonio Rose" is a delightful musicomedy 'B' from Universal's busy wartime era, an early credit for future horror star Lon Chaney, just a few months before "The Wolf Man" (which became the first film to drop the 'Jr.' from his name). Playing the bullying hoodlum Jigsaw Kennedy, Chaney gets teamed with former (and future) Stooge Shemp Howard, delivering a number of slaps just like Moe, or perhaps Bud Abbott. Working on behalf of a crooked nightclub owner, the two try to disrupt business for a rival club across town, but fail to reckon with the awesome Eve Arden ("take your gat and git!"). Much like Joan Davis in Abbott and Costello's "Hold That Ghost," the 29 year old Eve proves to be an expert scene stealer, and easy on the eyes as well (only singing a duet with Jane Frazee). The Merry Macs, better known for appearing with Ella Fitzgerald in another Abbott and Costello, "Ride 'Em Cowboy" (which began shooting just weeks after this film wrapped) enjoy their finest showcase here, introducing the popular "Hut Sut Song," which as kids we all heard in the concurrent Warner Brothers cartoon "Horton Hatches the Egg" (many will no doubt recognize "Hi Neighbor"). Charles Lamont would become one of Abbott and Costello's most prolific directors, and a good time was had by all, great fun for Chaney fans.
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