7.3/10
3,548
52 user 18 critic

Buck Privates (1941)

Passed | | Comedy, Musical, War | 31 January 1941 (USA)
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1:31 | Trailer

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Two sidewalk salesman enlist in the army in order to avoid jail, only to find that their drill instructor is the police officer who tried having them imprisoned.

Director:

Writers:

(original screen play), (special material for Abbott and Costello)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Slicker Smith
... Herbie Brown
... Randolph Parker III
... Judy Gray
... Bob Martin
... Sgt. Michael Collins
... The Andrews Sisters
Laverne Andrews ... Laverne Andrews
Maxene Andrews ... Maxene Andrews
Patty Andrews ... Patty Andrews
... Major General Emerson
... Sgt. Callahan
... Mrs. Parker II
Leonard Elliott ... Henry
... Chef
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Storyline

Bud and Lou enlist in the army in order to escape being hauled off to jail, and soon find themselves in basic training. To their dismay, the company's drill instructor is none other than the cop who was all set to run them off to the hoosegow in the first place! The boys end up having a whale of a time getting under the skin of their humourless nemesis. Written by Alfred Jingle

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The screen goes wacky in khaki as the newest comedy sensations...and the song-sational creators of boogie-woogie rhythm get caught in the draft and blow into camp with the merriest military musicals (original herald) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Musical | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 January 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ordinário, Marche!  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$180,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$4,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although Arthur Lubin was a contract director at Universal, on a set weekly salary, this film was such a huge hit ($4-million gross on a $180,000 budget) that Universal gave him a $5,000 bonus. See more »

Goofs

Accustomed to performing for live audiences, Abbott & Costello "never did anything the same way twice," as editor Philip Cahn complained. "No two takes were exactly the same," said director Arthur Lubin. Continuity errors were almost inevitable. See more »

Quotes

Slicker Smith: Throw your chest out! Go on! Throw your chest out!
Herbie Brown: I'm not through with it yet!
Slicker Smith: Quiet!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Biloxi Blues (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

(I'll Be with You) In Apple Blossom Time
(1935)
Music by Albert von Tilzer
Lyrics by Neville Fleeson
Performed by The Andrews Sisters (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Universal Soldiers
5 September 2008 | by See all my reviews

This is one of my favourite outings from Bud & Lou, the start of their phenomenally successful career in the service comedies and one of a series of smile-jerkers from them and Universal. This was also the one that made it for them in the movies and turned them into America's no. 1 box office stars during the War.

They're a couple of street tie-selling con artists who unwittingly join the Army (along with playboy Lee Bowman) in trying to escape the clutches of the Law in the shape of cherubic Nat Pendleton. It's not so easy to escape ones duty however, and so follows a series of unconnected inconsequential adventures learning to be soldiers or lovers all with that special lighthearted wartime Universal treatment. A&C went through their routines with impeccable timing and a professionalism that belied all the slapstick. Favourite bits: playing unintelligible (to me) clubhouse dice; Abbott inoculated and Costello's reaction; the mathematics of borrowing USD 50; the historic performance of Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy by the Andrews Sisters and then the sudden end to the boogie-woogie boxing match; the unusual deadpan arrangement to Jane Frazee's I Wish You Were Here. The Voice Of Hellzapoppin returns! No kidding but what chance did the Japanese and Germans really have - sorry for identifying who the enemies were in these socially inclusive times, because they weren't in the film - to pit themselves against all this? The American War Machine was awakening, with the might of Hollywood behind it and A&C playing their part with their entertaining flagwavers the same as George Formby did on a smaller scale for the British War effort.

The box office success - and critical praise too - of this took Universal by surprise and they didn't make nearly as much money as they could have, a mistake they never made again with A&C. Recommended, an antidote to now and to me always a joy to behold and hear.


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