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I turn to this movie when I'm feeling down. My 5-year old niece (with no prompting from me) prefers it to any Disney you care to name. It's one of those movies that's so bad it's brilliant. And why Jack's Mother's line, uttered in sheer frustration, "Plant the Beans, Jack!" has not become a revered movie catchphrase I'll never know. I always shout "Plant the Beans, Jack!" at the Kiefer Sutherland character in "24", especially when he's a little slow on the uptake. Abbott and Costello's "Jack and the Beanstalk" is a little gem and does not deserve the criticism levelled at it on IMDB. The humour may be basic, the characters may be of the cardboard variety, but the director has managed to create a special little world that children and adults can enjoyable enter .
I've loved this movie since I was a little kid. I remember the night my mother brought this movie home for me. I loved it and I still do. I think it's very funny and original. There are also some very catchy tunes in this movie. Lou is also a surprisingly good singer. The actors that portray Prince Arthur and Princess Eloise are okay too, but Abbott and Costello are the best. Former heavyweight boxing sensation Buddy Baer, also brother of former heavyweight champion Max Baer is good in this movie as the cop and The giant. He's a better actor than boxer. He had a natural talent. The beginning of this movie is hilarious how Lou Costello keeps crashing the car and how he gets into trouble with Buddy Baer. The slapstick in the house is good too. I especially like the comedy in the Giant's castle. My favorite parts are; the part were Lou is climbing the beanstalk and they're all singing as a farewell. Jack is singing back to them that he'll return. Lou Costello is a very good at singing. My other favorite part is the part when Jack is fighting with the Giant. I like when Jack makes exploding eggs and when he tries to make the Giant an omelet they keep exploding. Abbott and Costello are hilarious and the greatest comedians of all time. This is only one of their great movies that I will love and cherish. The reviews for this movie aren't very good and I can't understand why. This is a very good Abbott and Costello movie. I also love how Lou Costello comes back to reality in the end and thinks he's back in the dream when Bud hits him. He starts singing his song and leaves with an attitude like no one is going to push me around. Very good movie.
The often-told fable gets amusingly tweaked with Bud Abbott and Lou Costello in the leads, singing, dancing, and messing with a really nasty ogre. Opening in sepia tone, Bud and Lou somehow walk into a job as babysitters for a problem child; Lou wants a bedtime story read to him, quickly falling asleep and dreaming he and his mother live in a colorful storybook village, growing a magical beanstalk and attempting to rescue a kidnapped princess from a giant. Devised and co-produced by Lou's brother, Pat, this was an independently-financed production from the comedy duo which Warner Bros. distributed. It has some kooky songs and even kookier sequences (such as a masochistic Minuet between Lou and the giant's equally lanky female cook), but it does appear as a paste-up job. Filmed in just over three weeks, some of the scenes are so sloppy, one doesn't know if they were hastily left that way or if the clumsiness was perhaps intentional (the editing, too, is awful, leaving the cook and her cow behind in fantasy limbo). The sets, leftovers from Ingrid Bergman's "Joan of Arc", are fine, but the costumes are atrocious--hopefully, this venture scared Costello away from tights for the remainder of his life! It's kinda cute in a bumbling, ramshackle sort of way, and Lou gets a lot of funny business to do, but it isn't as imaginative as it should have been. ** from ****
Abbott and Costello's talents shine in the happily childish version of "Jack and the Beanstalk". The use of sepia tone and colour, the music and choreography, song and dance, the crossing over of players from one role to another, plus various other aspects of this very fine movie make it obvious that techniques and styles used for "The Wizard of Oz" are being toyed with here. And that works right well for our intrepid duo. There are certain other things involved that make this movie a treat for me ... Buddy Baer's, Max Baer Jr. of "The Beverly Hillbillies" uncle, appearance as the cop and the giant. Pat Costello, Lou's brother, having been involved in the writing of the script. These things help make this film fun. It does, however, have it's down side. I do think that the choreography is poorly done. But the cute tunes and accompanying vocals help detract from the rather sloppy dance numbers. Some of the players, the couple in love ( prince and princess ) to be precise, aren't very good at their trade. But these things are a small price to pay for an otherwise throughly enjoyable walk down the yellow brick ... er, I mean ... climb up the beanstalk.
Bud Abbott and Lou Costello always had a good following among children,
but in their careers I think you could say that they only made one film
that could be designated for kids. Jack and the Beanstalk was that one
It was part of a two picture independent deal from Warner Brothers, the second film being Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd. These were the only two films the boys made in color.
The two of them, out of work as usual, take a job for a very precocious and obnoxious young David Stollery as a babysitter. Although it starts out with Costello wanting to read the kid, Jack and the Beanstalk as a bedtime story, the young lad winds up reading it to Costello. Lou falls asleep and in his dreams he fantasizes he's indeed Jack the Giant Killer.
Buddy Baer who menaced the boys in Africa Screams plays the giant and he's got a giant size Dorothy Ford as his housekeeper. Dorothy was a big girl, 6'2", and you can imagine she had some difficulty being cast except when her height was used as a joke. One of the only players who ever looked down at her was John Wayne in Three Godfathers at 6'4". Henry Fonda and James Stewart in On Our Merry Way also stood barely above her, but again her height was part of a gag.
Shaye Cogan and James Alexander were the princess and prince of the fantasy and they sang beautifully, but couldn't act worth anything. This was the last film of William Farnum who's career dated from the early silent screen days and even to the turn of the last century on stage. He played princess Shaye's father the king.
Some not terribly memorable musical numbers came from Jack and the Beanstalk, save the title song. I well remember as a kid having the 78 record of Bud and Lou singing the song and reciting the story. I was in my early single digit years, but became a lifelong fan of their's through that and their television series.
Jack and the Beanstalk is still a good children's picture for the very young, though I would warn parents to warn their little urchins not to imitate young master Stollery.
Abbott and Costello's "Jack and the Beanstalk" was the best of the team's fifties features. Shot around the same time as their television show, it represents one of the two color films they made in their career. The original photography was actually in Eastmancolor. The prints were made in the Super Cinecolor 3 strip process was was similar to Technicolor but grainier and difficult to focus due to the dual emulsion print stock. It looks as if the framing devise might have been filmed in Eastmancolor too but printed on B&W sepia toned stock. I used to watch this picture as a child in syndication and found it amusing and even charming. While a far cry from their pre-1948 movies, I give them a lot of credit for trying something different. The supporting players are fun with Buddy Baer (Jethro's dad) having a ball as the giant. The princess is played by Shaye Coogan who later became a pop singer. James Alexander popped up on their TV show too. One of the campy elements of the film is Johnny Conrad and his dancers who often out of synch during the songs. Consumers should be aware that there are three versions of the film put out by different companies due to it public domain statis. The uncut version was taped from a Preview print,contains extra scenes and runs approx. 82 min. It was released on laserdisc with extras. The standard release cut 78 minute version is also on tape. The cut scenes include a sequence of the butcher arguing with ladies in town and extended versions of the song, "Darlene" and "Dreamer's Cloth". It was re-issued by RKO in B&W in 1961 and used to played in syndication that way for many year. Good luck in hunting a complete version.
Having read so much negative press on this movie over the years, I'd always
avoided it, but the advent of the cheap public domain DVD encouraged me to
finally give it a viewing.
Unfortunately, it's been transferred from a poor copy. The modern prequel, shot on tinted stock, is blurry and the contrast, non-existent. Faces are occasionally difficult to make out. Having said that, the actual story is entertaining and Lou comes across as an accomplished actor, more so than in many of the boys' movies.
Once the movie switches to the 'Jack' story, the film switches to 'colour' and I use that term loosely. Most hues are orange or brown. The greens look particularly bad.
Dorothy Ford as 'Polly', the giant's maid, was a big plus for me as I enjoyed her in an early 'Andy Hardy' appearance.
With so many negative comments put down to the actual quality of the print, I'm still happy to give this movie a 7. It gave me a lot of laughs and that's more than the greater majority of comedies I've watched over the decades can manage.
One to watch if you get the chance.
I bought this DVD recently because it was a cheapy and I love A & C. I would say it is pretty funny and action packed if you look at it with the innocence of a child I think you will enjoy it more. If you look at it closely you will see Lou doing a lot (if not all )of his stunts himself which adds greatly to the enjoyment of the picture.The male and female leads are pretty bad and were no threat to Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald in the talent department but the girl is beautiful in a 1950's kind of way.As a big Superman fan , the biggest kick I got out of it is that the baby boy in the beginning of the picture is none other than baby Kal-el from the first episode of the George Reeves TV series "Adventures of Superman" entitled "Superman On Earth". I don't know what this baby's name was since he is not credited in either appearance but it's definitely the same tot.If he was born in 51 he would be in his early fifties now and I'm sure all Superman and A & C fans would like to know his name and what became of him. So if you are out there little Kal-el give a holler!By the way Betty Page fans will enjoy the tall actress who dances with Lou in the film.
The duo of Abbott and Costello lives on in this version of a story-time classic. In "Jack and the Beanstalk", there's everything to see, music, magic, and comedy rolled into one. Costello play plays Jack after he listens to the story being told by a young boy one time. We know Jack was a poor boy who sells his cow "Dolly" for 5 magic beans. Well, he plants those 5 beans, and they were indeed, magic. He climbs to the sky, sees a big castle there, and he would sing a song, unknown he would encounter the giant(Buddy Baer). Not only him, he would dance with the woman who was also a giant. She would clobber Jack with her elbows during the dance. That was funny! You got the playing harp who knows how to put the giant as ease. The goose who lays golden eggs. And my favorite, the way Jack gets rid of the giant. He gets the ax, and started chopping down on the beanstalk. Another funny is where the ax got stuck during the chop, and the final celebration happens when the people dance around the imprint where the giant fell. A lot of fun, and fun for the whole family as well. Very recommended! 5 stars!
Just purchased this film on DVD along with their Africa Screams for $4.99! While it does turn out to be the full 81 minute version it is a very bad print It is still worth having in a collection and a joy to watch. Abbott looks tired though but a surprise to see Costello jumping around and carrying on, although I know a lot of it was stunt work. The disc also has a cute trivia section and BIOS. The above review mentions the giant as Max Baer Sr (Jethro's father) but the IMDb lists him as Buddy Baer, Max's brother. Of course the change from sepia to colour is very reminiscent of Oz and watching it one could almost think it was made around the same time, but it's 1952!
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