|Index||7 reviews in total|
I hope someone will make a video of this wonderful old Spike Jones comedy. It was good family fun! I remember when my father watched it he laughed so hard tears were rolling down his cheeks. He said he laughed so hard his stomach hurt! I would love to see it again and hope my daughter can someday see it.
Here's another of those 'lost' films that somehow fell through the cracks and don't even show up on Turner Classic Movies at three in the morning, when they tend to play obscure so-so pictures for a cult audience that either sets the tape machine or sits up all night long, staring at the tube. Wish they would revive it, though, for it this is anything but subtle, it does contain several well mounted slapstick situations of the type that flourished in the early days of film, before sound came in. Originally, the film was to have starred Bud Abott and Lou Costello. When they dropped out, the studio inserted Hugh O'Brian, who shortly would incarnate the ultra-serous marshal Wyatt Earp on TV, and Buddy Hackett, just then emerging as a world-class funnyman. The decisive move was to rethink this as a (the?) vehicle for Spike Jones and His City Slickers, a madman band that offered more comedy than music. And, as earlier said about this film itself, they weren't subtle but they sure were funny. Another forgotten film waiting to be found.
I have never seen this film but have heard a lot about it. Just
recently, I was reading an Abbott and Costello biography where it
quoted Buddy Hackett as saying that he "replaced" Lou in the film when
Lou got ill. (Was it another rheumatic fever attack?) I would like to
know the origins of the casting and would like to see this film.
It is easy to see that Hugh O'Brian was essaying the Abbott role. But was he funny at one point?
Spike Jones in a movie that was tailored around him? Just zany enough to be a great idea! When Turner Classic Movies does show it at 3 in the morning I'll have the VCR set
I have to start saying it has been a long time since I have seen it,
but have seen it 5 or more times; a wonderful little romp that was
clearly inspired by the musical/comedy pairings of new or fading stars
with musical groups of prominence. Kay Kyser's mysteries would be a
Having Spike Jones unleashed is the best part of the show, as he and his band play many tunes and are a part of the action, doing a fine job of support. Hugh O'Brien plays the face, Buddy Hackett the part rumor has it that was offered to Lou Costello and thus, Abbott and Costello replacing the leads. Don't know if that was true.
all in all, a pleasant movie, but important to have that much Spike Jones and his band on film for history. Wish that it was released, as I haven't seen or heard of it now in two decades. Hope it is not lost
I've spent years looking for a copy of this film(16mm,dvd,vhs), so I
could show it to my kids. The movie is funny, and Spike and the members
of his band show why they were the best musicians in the business. They
had to be that good to play that demented. I like it and recommend it
for movie lovers of all ages.
The movie is about a turn of the century firehouse, with a crew of misfits that are firemen and the department band (when not fighting the fires). There's the usual running gags, plus the mayhem of Spike Jones and his Orchestra. Also, comedy relief provided by comedian Buddy Hackett and straight-man Hugh O'Brien.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This "Fireman" certain misfires. The script was originally intended to surface as an Abbott and Costello picture, but fortunately for A&C, the studio had second thoughts and decided to use the script as a vehicle for Spike Jones and his City Slickers instead, with Buddy Hackett in the Costello role and Hugh O'Brian as a Bud Abbott substitute. It didn't work! Only the musical numbers were successful. The best of them was a loony rendition of "In a Persian Market" which had the double advantage of being out of copyright and didn't cost Universal a cent. A couple of the other musical numbers could have been moderately successful with audiences too, but they are made less appetizing by long drawn-out "comedy" inserts especially the "Poet and Peasant Overture". Spike and his boys labor enthusiastically with ad libs as well, but director Leslie Goodwins (who often boasted that he had over two hundred director credits he did indeed!) manages to make most of their gags fall flat. According to studio publicity, Abbott and Costello can actually be seen in the film, but I've not spotted them myself. According to IMDb, they are present in a "long shot"!
Very much a Spike Jones show, although Buddy Hackett was fun to watch, also. The only comparison I can think of (without Spike's music) is Steve Martin's "Roxanne", which was also a comedy about a volunteer Fire Department. Mostly, I very much miss seeing this film on the late-night movie circuit and hope for its return.
|Plot summary||Ratings||Plot keywords|
|Main details||Your user reviews||Your vote history|