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Africa Screams (1949)

Approved | | Comedy, Adventure | 27 May 1949 (USA)
Abbott & Costello search for diamonds in Africa, along the way meeting a visually-impaired gunner, a hungry lion, and a tribe of cannibals...

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(original story and screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Boots Wilson
...
Diana Emerson
...
Gunner
...
Harry
Burt Wenland ...
Bobo (as Burton Wenland)
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Storyline

When bookseller Buzz cons Diana into thinking fellow bookseller Stanley knows a great deal about Africa they are abducted and ordered to lead Diana and her henchmen to an African tribe. After encounters with lion tamers, giant apes and a wild river, Buzz returns to America. Stanley finds diamonds and buys the store they once worked for, hiring Buzz as its elevator operator. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

LOOK what's cookin' in AFRICA!! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Adventure

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 May 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Abbott and Costello in Africa  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The comment by Boots (Buddy Baer) to Grappler (Max Baer), "I'll hit you harder than Louis ever did", is a reference to boxer Joe Louis who battled both Baers in the 1930s. See more »

Goofs

The "Orangutan Gargantua" is in fact a gorilla, portrayed in exaggerated caricatured fashion. True orangutans are found only in Southeast Asia, not Africa. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Stanley Livington: Stay right where you are. Don't move, stay there now. Steady. Now sit up. Sit up. Sit up you. Up you fool. Up. Sit up I said. Sit up. Up.
See more »

Crazy Credits

End Credit - The Gorrilla spells out The End from some lettered blocks. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Undertaker (1988) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A burlesque show on film
4 January 2014 | by (California) – See all my reviews

If one can ignore the racism of the scenes set in Africa, or at least accept that this was a staple of Hollywood at the time, and can't be changed, then there's a lot to enjoy in "Africa Screams." It's not Abbott and Costello's best film, but it is one of their better later ones, with Lou contributing a very energetic performance, which can't always be said of post-"A&C Meet Frankenstein" films from the team. There isn't really a story here, just a premise, in which Abbott and Costello are drawn into a shady African expedition because the person in charge, played by Hillary Brooke, thinks Costello has memorized a map from a book that will lead her to a diamond mine. The transition from New York to Africa and back again is done in the finest "Well, here we are on the moon!" style employed in radio comedy shows, and of course, the jungle sets are patently phony, but it hardly matters. This is really a burlesque show without the strippers, careening from one barely-related, but often very funny, routine to another. The Baer brothers, Max and Buddy, are the heavies (Lon Chaney, Jr., must have been busy that month) and Stooges Shemp Howard and Joe Besser act as something of a secondary team, with Shemp playing a visually-impaired thug while Joe, doing his usual sissy routine, is forced to act as his guide-dog. Animal trainers Clyde Beatty and Frank Buck are there, too, because...well because they could be. There is one funny scene of Beatty doing his lion taming act while Costello, who is also trapped in the cage, desperately crawls around underneath a wicker stand trying to escape. There are also people in gorilla suits, rubber crocodiles, and those unfortunate bone-in-the-nose cannibals, one of whom oddly sports a skipper's hat. A&C's best director, Charles Barton, keeps everything moving to an absurd end, but the point is not to take any of this seriously.


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