|Index||9 reviews in total|
In this film, I think Costello wanted to add a bit more depth to his
character. He is a taxi driver and Abbott is is pal.
Costello inadvertently kills a horse and takes it upon himself to replace
it. as Mr Warner, the bad tempered manager who keeps popping up in the
film. The songs have been blasted but I rather like them.
There is real character to this film and a good atmosphere. There are many funny gags here and Eugene pallette is hilarious
I would of liked Erle C. Kenton to of directed more than just 3 Abbott and Costello movies. he directed some of 'Hit the Ice' too till he fell out with Lou and was replaced with Charles Lamont who said it would only be a one off!!! This is a very pleasing film for Abbott and Costello fans and the kids would love it too. They don't make em like this anymore!
Universal kept Abbott&Costello very busy during the World War II years.
They made so many films one wonders when they had time to do personal
tours and war bond rallies. One of the more unusual items the team made
was It Ain't Hay which was taken from one of Damon Runyon's Broadway
stories. You'll recognize some of the character names from Guys And
Lou Costello accidentally kills Cecil Kellaway's horse. Kellaway drives a horse drawn cart in Central Park and Lou's guilt, plus the guilt laid on him by everyone else including Bud in a great scene, makes him buy a horse that some racing stable was selling.
Problems arise when Bud and Lou discover they have the wrong horse, the horse they were to buy was a dead ringer for the champion 'Teabiscuit'. The boys pick up the real Teabiscuit, but when they discover the mistake are determined to cash in on it.
The movie is plainly ripped off from the Marx Brothers A Day At The Races, but that doesn't prevent it from being funny. One definite weakness was that the musical score in the Marx film was a lot better than what Harry Revel and Paul Francis Webster wrote for It Ain't Hay. Still Leighton Noble and Grace McDonald handle the music end nicely and it doesn't get in the way of A&C's routines. And Eugene Palette as the villain gets a few laughs himself as he always does.
It Ain't Hay is not often shown and that's a pity. Catch it if possible and hope it comes out on both VHS and DVD.
The comedy team of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were in their prime in
the 1940's (particularly the early 1940's) and this offering from 1943
is very funny indeed. Based on a Damon Runyon story "Princess O'Hara"
(and featuring some of the classic Runyon characters such as Harry the
Horse), it's been tailored for the A & C brand of comedy, and features
some of their funniest routines (the "mudder & fodder" exchange, which
was repeated in their later film "The Noose Hangs High"; stealing the
horse, the climactic horse race scene, etc.) Like most of their early
features (with the notable exception of the great "Who Done It"),
there's also the mandatory songs - they are a mild intrusion, but on
their own merit are quite good. (These song numbers were a stock
element in the Universal comedies at the time, so you just have to
tolerate them, but, like in the Marx Brothers comedies, they did seem
to be there just to "pad out" the running time.) There's also a gem of
a supporting performance by the great character actor Eugene Palette.
Unfortunately, "It Ain't Hay" is currently tied up in legal knots, which keeps it out of circulation at the present time. Due to this, it was not included in the great A & C collection released recently on DVD by MCA, nor has it been shown on television for many years. Hopefully these legal issues will be resolved, and this fine example of the great comedy duo's work will receive the distribution it deserves.
Abbott and Costello are at their very best in this agreeable comedy. They play a couple of Manhattan taxi drivers with a fondness for a sweet young girl and her horse. Costello means well in trying to be nice to the animal, but his feeding it candy ultimately causes the horse to get sick - and die. So he and Abbott set out to make things right by getting a new horse for the girl, whose dad (Cecil Kellaway) runs a horse and carriage ride in the city. I know that synopsis sounds rather dramatic, but there is a lot of well-staged comedy between the serious moments. And Bud and Lou are as sharp in ever performing them. Some routines include: their classic "the horse eats his fodder", the boys getting swindled at a phony horse race outfit, Lou getting into trouble at a restaurant for not being able to pay his check, and other assorted gags. Third Stooge Shemp Howard also has a part, but the real fun comes courtesy of fat man Eugene Palette, who is the perfect foil for Costello's antics. As with almost all of A&C's movie of this period, there is some singing and dance numbers here; however, I find them to be rather entertaining and endurable this time out. *** out of ****
It Ain't Hay (1943)
** 1/2 (out of 4)
I can finally say I've seen every Abbott and Costello film. It took me a while but I finally track down a copy of this one, which hasn't ever been released on home video due to some sort of rights issue. In the film, Costello accidentally kills a little girl's horse so he sets out to get her a new one. After waiting so long to finally see this one it really didn't turn out to be anything overly special. There are still some good gags but nothing too classic, although an inside joke about Universal was pretty nice. The "horse eats its father" joke was a highlight as was another scene where the boys try to pull a fast one and sneak off without paying for their lunch. Shemp Howard co-stars but it's Eugene Palette who really steals the film.
As Youngster this comedy team became no.1 with me.They were the best at
their craft.Another of their great movies was A/C Meet Captain Kidd.
Iam looking forward to it's release,thank you for allowing me to
How much I have enjoyed all A/C movies. Thank you much appreciated and keep up the fine job you people do. I am an avid fan of A/C movies. The collection I have of their movies is great to this point in time. Two of my real favorites are The Time of Their Lives and Pardon My Sarong. I also have some photos of them. Which I cherish very much.Eventually I hope to have all 37 of their movie collection.
I spent years and years searching for IT AIN'T HAY, as it was the only A&C film missing from my collection. I finally got it this past Christmas. It isn't one of their better films, but it's still Abbott and Costello, and very enjoyable. There are several songs toward the beginning of the film, but by the second half they tone down quite a bit, which helps the film big time. This film also features among the best versions of the "Mudder; Fodder" routine. Costello is particularly funny in this one, and also has a couple of moments where he shows what a great dramatic actor he could be. Like I said, it isn't BUCK PRIVATES or MEET FRANKENSTEIN, but it's still good old Bud and Lou doing what they do best, and that's good enough for any true fan.
This film has not been restored and the Bud and Lou routines are great with perfect timing. One of their best routines are when they are by the race horse which is pulling the open carriage and Lou is briefed on the horse being a mudder and that the horse eats his fodder. The Step Brothers dancing scene is top rate and I haven't seen anything like it anywhere else. The Damon Runyon dialogue is great but because of the studios and family licensing differences, this film will pass into oblivion. What a shame this will be lost when so many would really enjoy it. The copies that are available are of such poor quality you really can't enjoy them.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
'Schmaltzy' can best be described by excessively sentimental--to the
point where it can be seen as sickeningly sweet. Despite the very
positive reviews for IT AIN'T HAY, I am very surprised that none of
them see the film as an example of pure 100% bonafide schmaltz.
Here is the plot--you decide whether or not it's schmaltz. A young girl (about 14) drives a horse-drawn carriage (hmm...what about child labor laws?). She adores her horse and everyone loves her--calling her "Princess". But, when Lou Costello accidentally kills the horse, the entire community is heart-broken for the poor kid...and Lou knows he must do something to buy the girl and her old granddad a new horse--otherwise, the girl will be miserable and they won't be able to pay their bills! When Lou DOES get a horse, he accidentally steals a famous race horse and gives it to Princess. But, when he learns the truth, the horse must be returned...and what is to become of this precious and precocious teen?! There's quite a bit more to the plot than this, but the bottom line is that Abbott and Costello played the sentimental card too often and the edginess of their material was missing--like it was a film just for kids or people who hate comedy. While some comedians have used schmaltz, there is a big difference between schmaltz and sentimentality. Schmaltz is when the sentimentality takes center stage and is THE substance of a comedy--and real comedy cannot be funny if there's schmaltz as the saccharine style of the film interferes with the laughs. This film simply chose sentiment over laughs again and again. One of the only really funny parts occurred at the very beginning, when Shemp Howard (a perennial in early Abbott and Costello films) is introduced.
Overall, the worst film that the team made up until this point. Too much singing, too much sentimentality and a "wacky" race towards the end that instead of helping the film to finish on a high note just came off as contrived. Sorry folks, this is one "lost" film that Abbott and Costello made that just as soon could have stayed lost--barely earning a 5--and that's being rather generous.
By the way, the rubber band joke at the end was a reference to WWII and rubber rationing--when rubber was as rare as could be since almost all of it was diverted to wartime use.
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