7.0/10
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Lost in a Harem (1944)

Passed | | Comedy | December 1944 (USA)
Two bumbling magicians help a Middle Eastern prince regain his rightful throne from his despotic uncle.

Director:

Charles Reisner (as Charles Riesner)

Writers:

Harry Ruskin (screen play), John Grant (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Bud Abbott ... Peter Johnson
Lou Costello ... Harvey Garvey
Marilyn Maxwell ... Hazel Moon
John Conte John Conte ... Prince Ramo
Douglass Dumbrille ... Nimativ
Lottie Harrison Lottie Harrison ... Teema
Lock Martin Lock Martin ... Bobo (as J. Lockard Martin)
Murray Leonard Murray Leonard ... The Derelict
Adia Kuznetzoff Adia Kuznetzoff ... Chief Ghamu
Milton Parsons ... Crystal Gazer
Ralph Sanford ... Mr. Ormulu
Jimmy Dorsey ... Jimmy Dorsey
Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchestra Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchestra ... Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchestra
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Storyline

Pete Johnson and Harvey D. Garvey, two inept magicians on tour in the Middle Eastern kingdom of Barabeeha, help disenfranchised young Prince Ramo regain his throne from his devious Uncle Nimativ, who uses two magical hypnotic rings and ruthless methods to maintain his power. By posing as Hollywood talent scouts the boys break out of a dank dungeon with a deranged derelict, evade palace guards, elude the palace executioner, and avoid detection in the forbidden royal harem. Written by Gabe Taverney (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

MEET THE SHEIKS IN NIGHTSHIRTS! (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

December 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Harem Scare 'Em See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

First Abbott & Costello production after Lou Costello recovered from rheumatic fever; he had been bedridden for many months. See more »

Goofs

When Harvey shoots the rifle after the barrel was bent by the candle, there was only one hole in his pith helmet. There should have been two, one for the bullet's entrance and one for its exit. See more »

Quotes

The Derelict: Quiet! People will think you're crazy.
Harvey Garvey: Oh, and I suppose you're all right?
The Derelict: Of course!
Harvey Garvey: Of course?
The Derelict: I have a brother who is crazy -
[screaming]
The Derelict: but I'm all right!
Harvey Garvey: [gasping] Who told you?
The Derelict: My brother!
Harvey Garvey: That does it, brother!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Devil Fish (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Scheherezade Symphonic Suite, Op.35
(1888) (uncredited)
Music by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Excerpts played in the harem and danced by Nimativ's wives and slaves in a production number
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mediocre and non-essential A&C outing
25 January 2001 | by jimtinderSee all my reviews

"Lost In A Harem" is Abbott and Costello's second Universal loan-out to MGM. As such, the film benefits from MGM's always excellent production values, but loses much in the fact that MGM didn't have a big comedy unit.

Bud and Lou play entertainers stranded in the Middle East with singer Marilyn Maxwell. They are enlisted by a Sheik who schemes to overthrow his evil uncle with their help.

A&C aren't bad, but there appears to be some energy missing from their performance. This is probably due to Lou's tough year in 1943; his bout with Rheumatic Fever, coupled with his son's tragic death, undoubtedly contributed to this (this was their first filmed effort in 1944, although "In Society," filmed after this, was released earlier.) A&C's carbon copy of the Three Stooges' "Niagara Falls" routine doesn't help either. Musical numbers abound, padding the film length to an unwieldly (at least, for A&C) 89 minutes. Also probably contributing to the downturn in humor was the team's pay cut at MGM! The print used in the video version is scratchy, which also doesn't help matters.

There are other funny moments, including seeing Jimmy Dorsey in a fez, but the tedium in the film outweighs moments of hilarity, keeping "Lost In a Harem" a notch below the team's middling efforts. All in all, A&C were better off at Universal. 5 out of 10.


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