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Little Giant (1946)

 -  Comedy  -  22 February 1946 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 851 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 4 critic

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 »

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(story), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Brenda Joyce ...
Jacqueline deWit ...
George Cleveland ...
Clarence Goodring
Elena Verdugo ...
Mary Gordon ...
Ma Miller
Pierre Watkin ...
P.S. Van Loon
Donald MacBride ...
The conductor
Victor Kilian ...
Gus Anderson (salesman)
...
Mrs. Hendrickson
George Chandler ...
O'Brien (salesman)
Sid Fields ...
Air-pump customer
Beatrice Gray ...
Miss King
Bert Roach ...
Joe (bartender)
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Storyline

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 a crackerjack salesman. This comedy is somewhat like "The Time of Their Lives," in that Abbott and Costello don't have much screen time together and there are very few vaudeville bits woven into the plot. Written by Dan Weckerly <Daniel_Weckerly@providentmutual.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They're Selling Vacuum Cleaners !

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 February 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Boy Wonder  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Lou Costello is mistaken for a male model and forced to strip, there is a very visible bandage on his right arm; that was to mask the bracelet containing the name of his baby son, who died in 1943, which the comic had welded closed so it could never be removed. See more »

Goofs

Abbott's toupee shifts noticeably during the "7 times 13 = 28" scene. (The "shift" is due to the fact that the scene was filmed after principal photography was completed. It was felt that at least one classic "routine" had to be inserted into the picture. You will notice that Lou is also heavier during this footage. Also filmed at this time was the routine with Sidney Fields, replacing a less confrontational sequence filmed with Eddy Waller.) See more »

Quotes

Miss Ruby Burke: What's the matter, Benny? You're lower than a caterpillar with fallen arches.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The World of Abbott and Costello (1965) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Lou Costello as a vacuum cleaner salesman, with Abbott playing dual roles as his boss
28 July 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Little Giant" is a likable story that mixes a bit of romance with a bit of drama and several bits of comedy and a few pratfalls, but not enough to make this an out and out comedy. The result is an earnest outing that has a certain kind of wistful appeal that lacks some zest. With a set of more robust character actors, it would have been much more jazzy, even with the same script, or maybe the director didn't get the right stuff out of the ones he had. They are too neutral when they should be going for farce. The seriousness is over-emphasized at times. We get an uneasy mixture of drama and comedy.

Lou Costello plays a farm boy who goes to the city to make money for his mother, leaving his fiancée, pert Elene Verdugo behind. His comic misadventures follow. The script falters because the comedy does not always produce laugh out loud results. Bud Abbott spices up the show by playing a bad boss and a good boss. Margaret Dumont appears ever so briefly in one scene where Lou creates chaos trying to sell her a vacuum cleaner.

Another two females help make the movie bearable. Brenda Joyce plays a helpful and sympathetic secretary when the hapless Lou gets transferred to the good boss Bud. She was good, but her part was bland. The bad boss Bud has Jacqueline deWit as his co-partner. Being tall and slender, she is physically good for the part, but I could only imagine how Gale Sondegaard or Hillary Brooke would have considerably enlivened her part. The same goes for Lou's uncle's, George Cleveland. Sid Fields did a routine at the start that was rather grating. Both George Chandler and Donald MacBride did very nice comic work in support, and of course Mary Miller as Ma can do no wrong.

Abbott and Costello did good comic routines in several scenes, as one would expect.

The movie definitely had Lou playing toward a Chaplin feel at times, but this didn't come off.

Overall, an uneven effort, not the best, but done smoothly and professionally with enough material hitting the mark to be watchable if a trifle overlong.


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