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Abbott and Costello Meet the Keystone Kops (1955)

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Harry and Willie buy the Edison Movie Studio in the year 1912 from Joseph Gorman, a confidence man. They follow Gorman to Hollywood where, as stunt men, they find him directing movies as Sergei Trumanoff and stealing the studio payroll.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Harry 'Slim' Pierce
...
Willie 'Tubby' Piper
...
Joseph Gorman - aka Sergei Toumanoff
Lynn Bari ...
Leota Van Cleef
Maxie Rosenbloom ...
Hinds
Harold Goodwin ...
Cameraman (as Herold Goodwin)
Roscoe Ates ...
Wagon Driver
...
Heinie Conklin ...
Studio Guard
Hank Mann ...
Prop Man
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Doris Barton ...
Mack Sennett Bathing Beauty
Margaret Eubank ...
Mack Sennett Bathing Beauty
Peggy Gordon ...
Mack Sennett Bathing Beauty
Barbara Jones ...
Mack Sennett Bathing Beauty
Dorothy Martinson ...
Mack Sennett Bathing Beauty
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Storyline

Harry and Willie buy the Edison Movie Studio in the year 1912 from Joseph Gorman, a confidence man. They follow Gorman to Hollywood where, as stunt men, they find him directing movies as Sergei Trumanoff and stealing the studio payroll.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When every face wore a custard pie, and vamps broke hearts with a winking eye! See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 February 1955 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Abbott and Costello in the Stunt Men  »

Box Office

Budget:

$743,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

2.00 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Lou Costello arrives at Thomas A. Edison's Black Maria studio in West Orange, NJ, and finds he has been duped into buying it by Fred Clark, his new studio sign gets thrown into a pile representing the others who were defrauded into thinking they were buying a working movie studio. Among the discarded signs is "Grant Productions", an in-joke on the name of long-time A&C collaborator and writer John Grant, who received credit on 31 of their films as well as their TV work. See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
A Nice Cartoon
5 September 2008 | by (California, USA) – See all my reviews

I've seen 28 A&C movies, and I have to say that this comedy team is consistently enjoyable. The only movie that's no good is their last ("Dance w/Me, Henry"); all the others range from fall-over hilarious to innocently droll. In a couple of films Costello seems distracted and campy, but in most he manages to be sympathetic, as he is in this one.

I have especially enjoyed sorting through their later "lesser" movies, like "…Go to Mars" and "…Go to Alaska", which I found quite entertaining, and I am entertained by this movie for most of the same reasons: Costello's cherubic character seems more warm and ingratiating as the movies go along. To me, the more relaxed timing in their acting and partnership makes them more engaging. Instead of so much verbal patter, the later movies emphasize character, and may actually be funnier and more appealing to anyone speaking English as a foreign language (Cantinflas movies, with their long stretches of static action, are miserably boring to watch if you don't know Spanish).

In "…Keystone Cops", I found myself once again watching a cartoon-like feature-length movie that just happened to have, miraculously, Abbott and Costello as main characters. How do you go wrong with that, especially if you have an 8-year-old mind in a 56-year-old body? Nope, there are none of the classic verbal routines here, but how many of those can you watch over and over again? A&C are plenty amusing as protagonists—a classic duo like Laurel and Hardy, and although they did not make me roll with laughter, the movie certainly kept me smiling with its convivial mood and enjoyable cast.

The movie has good production values, with lots of real out-of-doors shots, steam engines, single prop airplanes, and lots and lots of stunts. It is more of an "action film" than some of their other films; in fact, it's worth watching just to see the stunt men, who are really fabulous. Generally I am offended when one of these films stops being an A&C movie and becomes a stunt-man movie (as Buster Keaton famously said, "Stunt men aren't funny", meaning they don't convey character). But here, the director sets up the stunts so clearly (sometimes frightening, like the train-in-the-tunnel), that they come across as very funny events. The actors playing the Keystone Cops are stupendous. I had to stop-motion parts of the final chase because I couldn't believe what they were doing.

The film has an excellent final joke.

By the way, has anyone else noticed that in some movies, like this one, the lip sync is way off during some of the long shots?


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