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.
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 »
A compilation of clips from 19 Abbott & Costello features: The Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap, In the Navy, Hit the Ice, Who Done It?, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, Mexican Hayride, ... 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 »
Two dumb soda jerks dream of writing radio mysteries. When they try to pitch an idea at a radio station, they end up in the middle of a real murder when the station owner is killed during a... 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 »
After being fired from their jobs as clerks in a pet store, Doc and Wishey, a couple of bumpkins, hide in the trunk of a car that they think will take them to New York. Somehow, however, they end up in Texas where they help to facilitate the romance of a popular Latin singer and the owner of a resort hotel while exposing a gang of Fifth-Columnists. Written by
Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were under contract to Universal Pictures, and their films were so successful that MGM signed a three-film contract with them to take advantage of a clause in their Universal contract that allowed them to do one film a year for another company. This was the first one; Lost in a Harem (1944) and Bud Abbott and Lou Costello in Hollywood (1945) were the others. However, each of the films was less successful than the previous one, and MGM canceled its agreement with Universal after the third film. See more »
In the scene where Lou is on top of the car garage roof, a seam in the sky cyclorama can clearly be seen, even in long shot, and shadows of trees are also reflected on the "sky." See more »
I want to be like the Rangers when I die. I want to die with my boots on.
I got holes in my socks.
See more »
During the 1920-1940s, MGM made a ton of wonderful films. However, when it came to comedies (especially comedy teams), they really were inept. Here is the track record: With Laurel and Hardy, Hal Roach Studios released films through MGM and MGM didn't touch the productions. When they did a MGM films without Roach, it resulted in THE AIR RAID WARDENS and NOTHING BUT TROUBLE--two of their worst films.
With Buster Keaton, he was a genius during the silent era. His first MGM film, the CAMERAMAN, was pretty good. But, then they soon began making sound films, they got the brilliant idea of pairing Keaton (a brilliant physical comedian) with Jimmy Durante (a loud and brash comedian). This mix naturally didn't work and they all but abandoned physical comedy. This effectively ruined Keaton's solo career.
With the Three Stooges, the studio didn't know what to do. So, they let them go after making a few bizarre films, like DANCING LADY, where the Stooges played solo acts in a Clark Gable and Joan Crawford film.
With the Marx Brothers, although A NIGHT AT THE OPERA and A DAY AT THE RACES were classics, soon the studio put them in insipid formulaic films like THE BIG STORE and AT THE CIRCUS. Gone were their wild and crazy earlier style of films and many believe their films with Paramount (DUCK SOUP, HORSE FEATHERS and others) were their best and most consistent films.
With Abbott and Costello, after a long string of very successful films with Universal, they were "loaned out" (i.e., bought for several films) to MGM. This resulted in three rather bland films. MGM decided the team was a flash in the pan and returned them to Universal--after which, the team went on to make many very successful films.
So, the fact that I wasn't impressed with RIO RITA is no big surprise--the MGM folks simply had no idea how to make this type of film and spent very little making it. This is very surprising that with the success of Abbott and Costello in their previous films. That MGM (a very high-class studio) would make such a cheap looking film was amazing and it was much cheaper than the films the team did with a much smaller Universal Studios. For example, in the bad segment at the garage near the beginning of the film, you can see the seam in the "sky" and the sound is terrible--like they are filming in a warehouse--which is what they seemed to be doing throughout the film. To make things worse, they used very cheap background paintings. Why, oh why, didn't they do any location shooting? The total effect is pretty claustrophobia-inducing though still watchable.
Aside from bad sets, the film features a lot of singing--and awful lot of singing. I guess the studio saw it more as a Kathryn Grayson and John Carroll film instead of an Abbott and Costello one. MGM can't completely blamed for this, as all but one of their previous films at Universal had too much music as well. As to the humor, while Bud and Lou seem game, the routines aren't particularly good or inspired. Having them in a very contrived plot involving Nazi agents in Mexico(!) also didn't help.
Overall, watchable but that's all. A definite comedown from their prior films.
1 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?