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.
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 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 »
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 »
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 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 »
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 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 »
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 »
Abbott and Costello are at their comedic best in their underrated gem, "The Naughty Nineties." It's interesting to note that this could be considered their first film where their characters aren't a team. Abbott plays a ham actor on a show boat, with Costello as a drummer and handyman. It's rumored that A&C began to have a falling out at the time this film was made in early 1945, which may (or may not) have led to playing separate characters. ("Little Giant" and "The Time of Their Lives" are two more examples.)
The film is best known for the classic "Who's on First" routine. While the boys have the routine down pat and perform it almost flawlessly (except when Costello almost forgets the name of Abbott's character), it falls a little flat without audience reaction. Evidently, the director instructed the audience in the show boat not to laugh, which robs A&C of natural audience reactions. The funniest bit in the film is the part where Costello attempts to sing "My Bonnie"; thinking he is being coached by Abbott, he raises and lowers his voice with comedic hilarity -- one of the funniest segments in the entire A&C series of films.
Ably supported by a decent cast, "The Naughty Nineties" comes in at a snappy 76 minutes of fun and laughter. One of their best from their mid-40s period. 8 out of 10.
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