A pair of bus drivers accidentally steal their own bus. With the company issuing a warrant for their arrest, they tag along with a playboy on a boat trip that finds them on a tropical island... Read allA pair of bus drivers accidentally steal their own bus. With the company issuing a warrant for their arrest, they tag along with a playboy on a boat trip that finds them on a tropical island, where a jewel thief has sinister plans for them.A pair of bus drivers accidentally steal their own bus. With the company issuing a warrant for their arrest, they tag along with a playboy on a boat trip that finds them on a tropical island, where a jewel thief has sinister plans for them.
Sexy Comic Romp; Abbot and Costello; Send-Up of Polynesian Films
This is a classic of its sort, and well-remembered. What the viewer needs to know about all comedy-duo films is that they are screwball sub-genre works. In order for a comedic team to be effective in any narrative, one of them or the other has to be behaving not normally but 'normatively'--in the way a normative human should act, at any given time... If both act out-of--character for an adult, the result will be unsustainable parody. This is my favorite Abbot and Costello feature as a writer because, for once the writers, including True Boardman, Nat Perrin and John Grant gave the team a good storyline about whose solid core they can construct their funny routines. The film is a revue with an excuse or a musical played for comedy; or it is a farce with music and comedy; but note that the pace is more leisurely than one would see today, yet the purpose of the film remains clear--to entertain. The entire story-line also is a satirical look at the white-god-in-Polynesia storyline; the "god" here is short, cherubic and gormless Lou Costello. The story begins with two lower-class types in early wartime needing to make off with a city bus, then stowing away on a chartered yacht, and ending up with the others aboard on a uncharted island. Never mind why this is necessary; without all three gimmicks, they would still be on mean streets somewhere scrabbling for dimes. The musical comedy that follows is fantasy, corn, maltreatment of Costello by Abbott, sight-gags, run-ins with beautiful girls, teasing the local bully, a villain nicely-played for laughs, and interactions with the other passengers including a pair of intelligent young-lovers-in-the-making. The plot concerns Costello ending by saving the sacred ruby of Mantua from the bad guys, plus some famous songs, hilarious comedy routines, tap dancing numbers, one very sexy dance number, and Costello's attempts not to be done in by the criminals. "Vingo Jingo" is wonderful, "Lovely Luana" and "Island of the Moon" are well-staged. And much more about this charmingly-photographed film entertains; it was never intended to be taken seriously, but it was intended to take up an hour and a half of escape from WWII--which it is what it still provides, regardless of what one is trying not to notice for a while. The film has many pretty girls, good actors and a variety of visual and musical treats. The production is first-rate by anyone's standards; it was expensive and looks it. Gowns by Vera West, Milton Krasner as cinematographer, art direction by Jack Otterson, set decoration by Russell A. Gausman, and music (both original by Frank Skinner plus new songs and songs that are known) make it a feast for the eye and the ear alike. in my opinion Director Erle C. Kenton also had a good cast to work with. In addition to the comedy leads in top form--they always looked better outdoors--the cast boasts Robert Paige and Virginia Bruce, Lionel Atwill as the villain, William Demarest, Nan Wynn, Leif Ericson extremely funny as the local bully, Samuel S. Hinds, Marie McDonald, Elaine Morey, The Ink Spots, Sig Arno, the dance team of Tip, Tap and Toe, George Chandler and others. This is a very-often-imitated film, and one rediscovered whenever it is shown on television by those unused to an era of professional entertainment; it is perhaps likely to delight anyone who simply starts watching it and finds out how much innocent fun a screwball comedy-musical can be, when set where the sarong is the customary mode of dress.
- Jul 14, 2005
Contribute to this page
Suggest an edit or add missing content