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Buck Privates (1941)

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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:

Arthur Lubin

Writers:

Arthur T. Horman (original screen play), John Grant (special material for Abbott and Costello)
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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More Like This 

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Stars: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Marion Hutton
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bud Abbott ... Slicker Smith
Lou Costello ... Herbie Brown
Lee Bowman ... Randolph Parker III
Jane Frazee ... Judy Gray
Alan Curtis ... Bob Martin
Nat Pendleton ... Sgt. Michael Collins
The Andrews Sisters ... The Andrews Sisters
Laverne Andrews Laverne Andrews ... Laverne Andrews
Maxene Andrews Maxene Andrews ... Maxene Andrews
Patty Andrews Patty Andrews ... Patty Andrews
Samuel S. Hinds ... Major General Emerson
Harry Strang ... Sgt. Callahan
Nella Walker ... Mrs. Parker II
Leonard Elliott Leonard Elliott ... Henry
Shemp Howard ... 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:

A Parade of TOP TUNES! (original herald) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Musical | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 January 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ordinário, Marche! See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$180,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$4,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This marks the first time that Lou Costello's brother, Pat Costello, served as Lou's stunt double. He earned $31 a day for his work. See more »

Goofs

During the dice game, Lou's tie is on for the close-ups, but off for the long shots. See more »

Quotes

Slicker Smith: [Herbie mumbles something during a drill routine] What did you say?
Herbie Brown: I'm just talking to myself.
Slicker Smith: Well, don't talk so loud!
Herbie Brown: Well, I gotta hear what I have to say.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Monster A-Go Go (1993) 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

See more »

User Reviews

 
Universal Soldiers
5 September 2008 | by SpondonmanSee 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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