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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 <email@example.com>
"Africa Screams" was Abbott and Costello's independent production for 1949, filmed at Nassour Studios. A&C are booksellers who find themselves on an African expedition; the leader of the expedition (lovely Hillary Brooke) is after diamonds. Hilarity ensues as A&C dodge lions and gorillas; Will A&C get their share of the diamonds?
"Africa Screams" boasts one of the finest supporting casts A&C worked with. In addition to Hillary Brooke (who later co-starred on their TV show), the movie is aided greatly by the appearances of legendary funnymen Shemp Howard and Joe Besser. An air of authenticity is given with the appearances of Frank Buck and Clyde Beatty. The tough-guy roles are nicely handled by boxers Max and Buddy Baer.
Bud is given more to do in this film, and he shines - he shows again that he would have made a wonderful character actor. He stands up to Hillary Brooke and her goons, and cuts deals for himself. Although he takes advantage of Lou once again, I can report that Bud does get his in the end! (How, I won't reveal. Watch for yourself and see.)
What prevents me from giving this film a higher rating than "6" are the low-budget sets at Nassour. Bud and Lou never had a big-budget film at Universal, but this film looks paltry by comparison. What also hampers the enjoyment of the film is the fact that it appears to still be in public domain; low-grade, scratchy prints are usually what can be found in the bargain section of the video store. All in all, though, a fun film. 6 out of 10.
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