Lou Costello plays a country bumpkin vacuum-cleaner salesman, working for the company run by the crooked Bud Abbott. To try to keep him under his thumb, Abbott convinces Costello that he's ... See full summary »
Two ghosts who were mistakenly branded as traitors during the Revolutionary War return to 20th century New England to retieve a letter from George Washington which would prove their ... See full summary »
Jonesy and Lou are in Algeria looking for a wrestler they are promoting. Sergeant Axmann tricks them into joining the Foreign Legion, after which they discover Axmann's collaboration with ... 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 »
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.
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 »
Harry and Willie buy the Edison Movie Studio in the year 1912 from Joseph Gorman, a confidence man. They follow Gorman to Hollywood where, as stunt men, they find him directing movies as Sergei Trumanoff and stealing the studio payroll.
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 »
In the gay '90s, cardsharps take over a Mississippi riverboat from a kindly captain. Their first act is to change the showboat into a floating gambling house. A ham actor and his bumbling sidekick try to devise a way to help the captain regain ownership of the vessel. Written by
In many of Abbott and Costello's films, their faces are visible through the "O"'s in their names. In this one, only Costello's face is seen at first; then he silently calls, "Hey, Abb-bott!," and Abbott's face appears. See more »
This is the film to see if you're fairly new to Abbott and Costello, or if you just want to see a whole bunch of their best routines strung together for merry fun and entertainment! It's an easy 76 minute ride on a cheerful riverboat as Bud plays a ham actor and Lou is his zany assistant. The boat's captain is none other than dear old Henry Travers, best known from IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE. When the kind-hearted Captain Jack gets swindled by a trio of crooked card sharks, they gain three quarters' possession of his ship and try to turn it into a rigged gambling operation. It's then up to Abbott and Costello to help Jack get it back.
It's nice to see A&C in a costume "period picture", and the setting on the traveling riverboat is perfect. Lois Collier makes a beautiful vixen, and Joe Sawyer (who starred with the comedy team in other films) makes the quintessential mean guy who keeps getting foiled by the boys. There are a few little songs, but this time they fit nicely into the air of the proceedings and are never overlong.
But best of all, THE NAUGHTY NINETIES packs more funny routines into its short running time than you can count: Lou tangles with a real bear thinking it's only Bud in costume; Costello mimics Joe Sawyer as a mirror while Sawyer tries to shave; Lou becomes a punching bag during Sawyer's violent nightmare; Costello keeps throwing back every fish he catches to snag an even bigger fish; and on and on they go. But two of the very best gags of all are incorporated into this film -- the first is a classic bit of business where Costello misinterprets stage directions from Abbott, as he tries to sing "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean", and the grand highlight is the famous "Who's On First" routine
complete and perfectly rendered in this outing. It was reportedly
done in two takes because the crew could not keep from laughing. Listen closely and you can hear them trying not to break up. ***1/2 out of ****
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