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Keep 'Em Flying (1941)

When a barnstorming stunt pilot decides to join the air corps, his two goofball assistants decide to go with him. Since the two are Abbott & Costello, the air corps doesn't know what it's in for.

Writers:

True Boardman (screenplay), Nat Perrin (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Bud Abbott ... Blackie Benson
Lou Costello ... Heathcliff
Martha Raye ... Gloria Phelps / Barbara Phelps
Carol Bruce ... Linda Joyce
William Gargan ... Craig Morrison
Dick Foran ... Jinx Roberts
Charles Lang ... Jim Joyce
William B. Davidson ... Gonigle (as William Davidson)
Truman Bradley ... Butch
Loring Smith Loring Smith ... Major Barstow
William Forrest ... Colonel
Freddie Slack Freddie Slack ... Pianist
The Six Hits The Six Hits
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Storyline

When a barnstorming stunt pilot decides to join the air corps, his two goofball assistants decide to go with him. Since the two are Abbott & Costello, the air corps doesn't know what it's in for.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

AMERICA'S FAVORITE COMICS with a bombload of belly-laughs! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Music | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 November 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Up in the Air See more »

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 was originally planned for production after Ride 'Em Cowboy (1942). The huge success of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello's previous service comedies, Buck Privates (1941) and In the Navy (1941), caused Universal to produce this first. The War Department also announced a recruitment campaign called "Keep 'Em Flying Week" which Universal could use as a patriotic tie-in. See more »

Goofs

After Bud and Lou are riding that runaway torpedo and are thrown off and the torpedo explodes demolishing a barn, Bud refers to Lou as Herbie. Lou's name is Heathcliff in this film, he was Herbie Brown in Buck Privates. See more »

Quotes

Heathcliff: I gotta go home, I forgot something!
Blackie Benson: What'd you forget?
Heathcliff: I forgot to stay there!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Abbott and Costello Meet Jerry Seinfeld (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

The Boy With the Wistful Eyes
(1941)
Lyrics by Don Raye
Music by Gene de Paul
Sung by Martha Raye (uncredited), Carol Bruce (uncredited) and The Six Hits (uncredited), in the tunnel of love
See more »

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User Reviews

 
They Both Get Martha Raye
10 November 2007 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

One of the funniest of Abbott and Costello's early Universal films was Keep 'Em Flying which stuck with the tried and true formula established by Buck Privates.

The boys are working at a carnival with their pal Dick Foran who's a stunt flier. After a disagreement with management, all three of them quit and wind up in the Army Air Corps.

For Foran he gets to renew a personal rivalry with William Gargan who's an instructor who had fired Foran once before in a civilian flying job. They're both interested in the lovely Carol Bruce who sings great and is a USO hostess.

The boys are up to their usual monkeyshines. Seeing both of them on the back of a speeding torpedo was as funny as when they repeated the same gag on the back of a bucking bronco in Ride 'Em Cowboy. And seeing them hit the silk at the end of the film is indescribable.

Martha Raye plays a dual role in the film as twin sisters, one of whom likes Abbott and the other Costello. Of course poor Costello doesn't realize they're twins and Martha's on and off attitude towards him is baffling. Later on the same twin gimmick was used by Betty Hutton in Here Come The Waves.

Gene DePaul and Don Raye wrote the original songs for this film and actually came up with an Academy Award nomination for one of their songs, Pigfoot Pete which Martha Raye sings and which is incorrectly credited in Academy records to another Universal Film, Hellzapoppin'. It's not bad, but it's really a poor man's Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy. The best song in the film is one interpolated for Carol Bruce when we first meet her as a nightclub singer, the Tommy Dorsey standard, I'm Getting Sentimental Over You.

Keep 'Em Flying is right in the great tradition of Buck Privates and In the Navy and still as funny today as when first made.


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