7.9/10
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The Time of Their Lives (1946)

Two ghosts who were mistakenly branded as traitors during the Revolutionary War return to 20th century New England to retrieve a letter from George Washington which would prove their ... See full summary »

Director:

Charles Barton

Writers:

Val Burton (original screenplay), Walter DeLeon (original screenplay) (as Walter De Leon) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Bud Abbott ... Cuthbert Greenway / Dr. Ralph Greenway
Lou Costello ... Horatio Prim
Marjorie Reynolds ... Melody Allen
Binnie Barnes ... Mildred Dean
John Shelton ... Sheldon Gage
Gale Sondergaard ... Emily
Lynn Baggett ... June Prescott (as Lynne Baggett)
Jess Barker ... Thomas Danbury
Ann Gillis ... Nora O'Leary (as Anne Gillis)
Donald MacBride ... Lt. Mason
William Hall ... Sgt. Conners
Robert Barrat ... Maj. Putnam (as Robert H. Barrat)
Rex Lease ... Sgt. Makepeace
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Storyline

Two ghosts who were mistakenly branded as traitors during the Revolutionary War return to 20th century New England to retrieve a letter from George Washington which would prove their innocence. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO DIE LAUGHING! (original print ad - all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 August 1946 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Ghost Steps Out See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$830,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Three weeks into shooting, Lou Costello demanded that his role be switched with Bud Abbott's. When director Charles Barton explained that this was unreasonable, Costello walked off the set. The cast and crew frantically worked around him for the next two weeks, when Costello slipped back onto the set and completed the film. He never apologized or explained his behavior. See more »

Goofs

When Horatio and Melody fall from their horses after being shot by the Revolutionary Army soldiers the ground is obviously a mat covered by burlap. See more »

Quotes

Melody Allen: This is the first pleasure I've had in 165 years.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Svengoolie: The Time of Their Lives (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes
(1616) (uncredited)
Music by R. Melish (1780 ?)
Lyrics by Ben Jonson (in poem To Celia) (1616)
Sung a cappella by Lou Costello twice
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Top-notch! Among A&C's best!
5 February 2001 | by jimtinderSee all my reviews

Following the disappointing returns of "Little Giant," Universal decided to continue the experiment of using Abbott and Costello as separate characters in a film -- but with a few changes. The pathos of "Little Giant" was dropped, and the focus returned to comedy. A stronger plot was created, and the movie was set in part in the 18th century. The end result was "The Time of Their Lives," which must rank high among the best of A&C's films.

Perhaps one reason A&C's characters were not a team again in this film was a feud between Abbott and Costello, but no one is quite sure. The reason was probably due to wanting to try something different. With "Little Giant," this effort failed; with "TOTL," they succeeded because Abbott fits so naturally into both his characters and because the storyline is fresh and different.

The tried-and-true A&C routines are missing, but no one notices because much of the humor derives from situations, which are often funny. The reactions to Costello's hauntings are hilarious, and Bud gets some very genuine laughs. I agree with everyone that if A&C had broken up at this time, Abbott would have made a fine character actor in comedies, in a Eugene Pallette sort of way (though without Pallette's girth.)

Despite the reputation this film enjoys today, 1946 audiences seemed rather tepid towards another A&C situational comedy with the boys not appearing as a team. As a result, this type of film was never again tried by A&C. However, it is a film worthy of viewing and deserves the reputation it enjoys today as one of their finest. 8 out of 10.


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