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 »
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 »
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 »
Bud and Lou enlist in the army in order to escape being hauled off to jail, and soon find themselves in boot camp. To their dismay, the company's drill instructor is none other than the cop... 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 »
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
7/10 ***½ Abbott and Costello Meet Kathryn Grayson
Cast: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Kathryn Grayson.
Director: S. Sylvan Simon.
Abbott & Costello's three MGM films (RIO RITA, LOST IN A HAREM and ABBOTT AND COSTELLO IN Hollywood) are slicker, more polished and slightly more sophisticated in tone than their Universal series begun with BUCK PRIVATES. They also lack the brash energy that makes those films so enduring in entertainment value.
Even so, one personally finds RIO RITA to be one of the better movies the classic comedy team were associated with. It must, however, be approached with the understanding that it is a Musical with comedy rather than the other way around.
RIO RITA is an updated, entirely re-written version of Florenz Ziegfeld's comic operetta, previously filmed in 1929 with star comics Wheeler and Woolsey repeating their roles from the Broadway blockbuster.
Bud and Lou receive first billing due to their great popularity, but the new production is a primarily a vehicle for pretty young soprano Kathryn Grayson (ANCHORS AWEIGH, SHOW BOAT, KISS ME KATE!) who was then being groomed for MGM stardom as an answer to Universal's Deanna Durbin. Hence the focus is on Grayson who performs several good songs (including two from the original show) and an operatic aria which displays her formidable vocal ability.
Even more than A&C's other early movies, comedy takes rather a back seat to music and romance. Even the dated dramatic situation involving Nazis infiltrating a Western ranch, original to this version, is secondary to the charms of the leading lady.
RIO RITA is, not unlike Abbott and Costello's introductory Musical Comedy film ONE NIGHT IN THE TROPICS, a matter of taste. Fortunately, it is a taste that can be acquired. Personally, one loves Musicals, is fond of Kathryn Grayson and is an admirer of Abbott & Costello; therefore one was thoroughly primed to enjoy this. The movie is recommended to all fans of the comedy team, but some may need several viewings, music and all, to come to terms with it.
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