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An undervalued A&C of their best
jimtinder8 February 2001
If you're a fan of Abbott and Costello routines, then "The Noose Hangs High" is for you. Numerous routines are packed into this film, including "Dress/Undress," "Someplace Else," "Fodder/Mudder," etc. The boys display these routines with flair and show how much they enjoy them.

The plot involves A&C as window washers mistaken as messengers by a bookie who must make good a $50,000 bet with a man who never loses a bet (played by Leon Errol). The money ends up in an envelope sent to a secretary (Cathy Downs) who spends all but $2,000 of it. The comedy and plot follows A&C and Downs as they try to raise the rest of the money.

"Noose Hangs High" was filmed in late 1947 at Eagle-Lion studios. A&C's new contract with Universal allowed them one independent production a year, and "Noose" was it. Not part of the Universal package when their films were syndicated to television, "Noose" has fallen through the cracks and is one of their least familiar films to moviewatchers. The fact that the film has almost no reputation does not hinder its quality; the laughs are constant and the plot is good, ranking this film among A&C's best. 8 out of 10.
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The Noose Hangs High (1948) ***
JoeKarlosi1 June 2005
THE NOOSE HANGS HIGH is not really one of the more commonly known films from Abbott & Costello, but it has been recently released on DVD and is recommended for fans of the comedy team. It features Bud and Lou as window washers in the big city who get unwittingly involved with crooks and $50,000 of their loot.

While the plot itself may be typical and no great shakes, the selling point of this comedy are the funny A&C routines that are peppered throughout the movie... We get to see Abbott prove to a gangster that he is not actually here but rather "Someplace Else"; funnyman Leon Errol drives Costello bonkers by discussing horses and how "Mudders eat their Fodder"; Bud makes Lou continually "Dress and Undress".

The real gem of this feature is a terrific scene near the end, as Abbott and Costello engage in an endless array of crazy conversations, and it's one of the best things they ever did that managed to get captured on film: the boys are eating dinner at a fancy restaurant in an effort to run up a huge bill to get deliberately arrested when they cannot pay the check... all the while they're tangled up in a delicious diatribe where Abbott rants about the values of "Mustard", going into the "Ball Park," having a "Headache," asking Costello how he could "Marry a 10 Year Old Girl", and more! This one's worth watching for these golden exchanges alone. *** out of ****
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It's Only Money
lugonian22 July 2011
THE NOOSE HANGS HIGH (Eagle-Lion, 1948) stars the comedy team of Abbott and Costello in their only independent venture outside their home base of Universal-International. Taking a western-sounding title as "The Noose Hangs High," that might have turned out as a spoof taken out of context from THE OX-BOW INCIDENT (20th-Fox, 1943), but rather than placing the comedic pair as cowboys in a western town with character types, they play a couple of window washers in an unnamed city providing enough material to a slight story, guaranteeing hearty laughs in true Abbott and Costello fashion.

Previously filmed by Universal as FOR LOVE OR MONEY (1939), this remake revolves around Theodore "Ted" Higgins (Bud Abbott) and Tommy Hinchcliffe (Lou Costello), employees for the Speedy Service Window Washing Company. Upon completing their day of work by hanging up their uniforms in the hallway closet, Nick Craig (Joseph Calleia), a bookie, mistaking their uniforms for Speedy Messenger Service, hires the unwitting dual to go and collect $50,000 from a Mr. Stewart (Ben Weldon), return it to him, and get $50 a piece for the job. After getting the money, Ted and Tommy notice they're being followed by Sewart's two henchmen hired get back the money. Clever thinking finds Tommy entering the Plaza Mailing Service where face powder samples are mailed out. As he places the money into the envelope, addressing it to Nick Craig, Tommy rushes it into the mailing chute before the thugs catch up with him. Ted and Tommy return to Craig (who by then has realized his error after meeting with the real messengers) telling him of the circumstances, and are soon forced to spend the night under the careful watch of Nick's thugs (Mike Mazurki and Jack Overman) until the envelope arrives. The next day, the letter does arrive, but without the money Craig owes to a J.C. McBride. The angry mobster gives the window washers 24 hours to locate the money. With the use of the company's mailing list, Ted and Tommy eventually track down Carol Blair (Cathy Downs) as the one who received the money. Having only $2,000 of the $50,000, the trio, followed by Nick's men, set out to raise the money by betting on the horses. Along the way they are soon accompanied by an eccentric character calling himself Julius Caesar (Leon Errol), adding more to their troubles.

Devotees of Abbott and Costello will generally be please with THE NOOSE HANGS HIGH, considering how they practically have 78 minutes to themselves, never slowing down for an instant. Aside from a generous amount of tried and true Abbott and Costello burlesque routines, they are supported by gangster-types, an odd-ball character and a pretty girl, all simply adding to the situations at hand. Interestingly, some of the most famous Abbott and Costello routines are shared with others. For instance, Abbott performs the "you're not here" routine with Mike Mazurki while the "Mudder and Fodder" routine goes to Costello and Leon Errol. One of my funniest and least performed is the dentist sequence where poor Lou, suffering from a toothache, finds himself at the mercy of Doctor H.G. Richards (Murray Leonard), with thick glasses and belting out a hideous laugh, as he is to try and yank out his bad tooth. This sequence was reworked again in one of the episodes of the TV series, "The Abbott and Costello Show." (1951-52). Fritz Feld is captured in a hilarious bit as a psychiatrist. A true highlight occurs where Abbott and Costello re-enact several of their routines on one scene while dining at the Copper Club. This six minutes alone shows them at their finest. There will never be another team like them again.

While the Nick Craig role could have been enacted by Sheldon Leonard, Joseph Calleia shows he's the ideal choice, especially when playing it straight and getting laughs in the process. Cathy Downs makes a likable heroine while Leon Errol, a former headliner in the 1920s and "The Ziegfeld Follies," forgotten by today's standards, demonstrating how his sort of comedy hasn't gone out of style.

Formerly displayed on video, THE NOOSE HANGS HIGH can be found on either DVD or occasional broadcasts on Turner Classic Movies. While not as better known of the Abbott and Costello comedies, it's certainly one worth considering. (***)
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Some Really Dumb Crooks
bkoganbing16 November 2008
The Noose Hangs High marks Abbott&Costello's only film for the short lived Eagle-Lion Productions. This was an effort by J. Arthur Rank over across the pond to break into the American film market with his own production and distribution company.

Bud&Lou are a pair of window washers who are mistaken for messengers that are employed by bookie Joseph Calleia. It seems as though he's been taken to the cleaners by one of his bettors and though it hurts he has to pay off. The messengers are to get the money from Ben Welden and deliver it to Calleia.

Of course Welden has ideas of having the boys held up and stealing the money for himself. Costello actually eludes the crooks, but sends the money to Cathy Downs by mistake. Now he and Bud have 48 hours to come up with the money or ELSE.

Leon Errol is along for the ride as his usual drunken playboy and he subs for Abbott as Lou's straight-man a couple of times. Though in those routines I can't tell who's the one really getting the laughs.

What always gets me about The Noose Hangs High is Calleia and how he could be that dumb to mistake these two for good help. What's that say about him. Proof of that is a routine where both Abbott and Costello make a monkey out of big dumb leg breaker Mike Mazurki.

The Noose Hangs High is a remake of the Universal film For Love Or Money. I haven't seen the original, but the material was definitely rewritten to suit Bud&Lou. It becomes nothing more than a vehicle for the boys to do several of their burlesque routines. Which for their fans is more than enough.
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Not only had I never seen this, I'd never heard of it!
Mr. OpEd8 January 2016
It's 2016. I'm nearly 60. I've a LOT of comedies (and so-called "comedies") and this is one of the cleverest flicks.

A&C are a favorite and this has some of their best patter, great physical comedy, and subtle double entendres.

Leon Errol is a fine addition to the team as the not-so-menacing über villain who never loses. Cathy Downs is the fetching eye candy who gets caught up in the boy's shenanigans and makes the team a trio. And the older I get, the more I marvel at Bud Abbott's amazing straight man.

Usually when a movie has 7 writers, you're looking at a bomb. Not here. Charles Barton had helmed some other A&C films in the past but this could be his best. And kudos to Walter Schumann's perfect score.
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the dentist
lanzarishi4 April 2009
The Noose Hangs High contains what I consider one of the funniest scenes ever in a A&C movie. Very early on Lou's toothache brings him to Dr.Richards the "painless dentist". The minute they walk into the office the patient from the next room lets out a scream and Lou is up and leaving. Abbot pulls him back and a woman exits the office with a bandage wrapped around her face. Lou gets up again and Abbott pulls him back again. Then the crazy doctor appears signaling for Lou. The next 5 minutes inside the office are amazing. The timing, sound effects, EVERYTHING is just incredible. These 5 minutes alone are worth the price of admission. Whenever I watch this scene time stops for me. This is what makes Lou Costello so enjoyable. Pure humor! The rest of the movie is classic A&C at their best. Trust me!!
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" I was kind enough to wait for her, now she can wait for me "
thinker169114 June 2009
In their heyday, Bud Abbot and Lou Costello were so often sought after for personal appearances by adoring fans, studio executives and a host of worthwhile organizations. It's of little wonder as they gave the 40's the much needed laughter of their era. In the movies, they provided audiences with many memorable skits, vaudeville routines and standard films. This movie is one of the least known of all their successful runs. It's called " The Noose Hangs High. " The story is of a couple of window washers, (Bud Abbott and Lou Costello) who are mistaken for a delivery service, entrusted to deliver $50,000 to Nick Craig, a dangerous bookmaker (Joseph Calleia). The tasks goes awry when they inadvertently lose it. The female lead (Cathy Downs) who accidentally receives the money goes on a spending spree and explains she no longer has their money. When the mob boss promises to harms the boys, they all go on a mad quest to find someway to repay the debt. Although the movie does not contain their most memorable routines, it nevertheless has a few like 'better dress, no don't dress!' and 'Here's one for me, one for you, two for me, One, TWO for you.' The film also features big Mike Mazurki and Fritz Feld. This is one film which definitely belongs with anyone's Abbot and Costello collection. Good fun. ****
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One of the better Abbott and Costello films
SimonJack20 January 2016
"The Noose Hangs High" is one of the better of the Abbott and Costello films. The plot isn't particularly original, but the screenplay has a number of diversions. These provide opportunities for the boys to do some of their vaudeville skits. And, another player acts as a shill for some of Lou's jokes.

The script is peppered with occasional extra funny lines, outside of routines. All of that adds up to more laughs and a more entertaining film. The supporting cast in this film all are very good. Cathy Downs does a nice job in the female lead as Carol Blair. Leon Errol is a hoot as J.C. (and Julius Caesar) McBride. Mike Mazurki is Chuck. He is one of the best actors at playing a doofus thug.

An early window-washing scene is reminiscent of the Hollywood comedy of the silent film era. Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton did some daredevil stuff on the heights of buildings. Bud and Lou and company will have one laughing a lot in this funny flick.
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A&C's funniest film!
vawlkee_200025 July 2010
I love Bud and Lou but I hate their feature films - except this one! All the stuff they did for Universal had them playing 2nd banana to some two-bit love situation. Donald Curtis, Dick Foran - who cares! I watched A&C for THEM! - not some grade Z romantic comedy with them occasionally stepping in for comic relief! "Noose" is obviously what their TV series pulled from. The boys doing all their shticks from their vaudeville days - and it works...BOY does it work! I loved their TV series because it was just THEM and they were unencumbered by the external plot devices! "Noose" is, in my humble opinion, their best film.
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Sub-Par A&C
dougdoepke26 July 2010
As window washers the boys get mixed up with crooks and a missing $50,000 they're on the hook for.

Sub-par A&C, at best. The 80 minutes are practically wall-to-wall routines, some of which work, but too many of which are either too thin or over-long. That dinner table routine goes on too long, but it is classic A&C with the expert timing and word gags. Speaking of word gags and semantics, Lou out-witting tough guy Mazurki is a little gem of the unexpected. I also like the sidewalk routine that trades too on the unexpected. However, the plot is scattered and lacks the usual tight situations that heighten the fun. It's almost like the boys strung together a number of routines and then made up the plot as they went along.

It's also A&C's first feature apart from the resources of Universal studios and frankly it shows. Except for the window washing high above the street, the sets are dull to look at, while the action never leaves the sound stage lot. Lou also took on the big role of the film's producer, at the same time IMDb lists his mother Lolly Cristillo as a co-producer! Apparently, the boys weren't too happy with the results since they quickly signed a new contract with Universal and returned to the fold. From there, they went on to make some of their best comedies by meeting up with Universal's stable of classic monsters—Frankenstein, the Invisible Man, etc. So unless you're a die-hard A&C fan like me, skip this one since there are so many better ones.
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This felt a tad claustrophobic to me...
MartinHafer21 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This is a decent if undistinguished Abbott and Costello film. While it gets major points for having no distracting music or a mushy romance, the film did, unfortunately, recycle quite a few gags. In addition, the movie really wasn't all that funny--with fewer gags than normal. In fact, the funniest bit in the film was done by Murray Leonard, a frequent collaborator of Abbott and Costello (he's the same guy who played the very funny prisoner in LOST IN A HAREM). As a result, I felt amazingly flat by the time the picture was complete.

Abbott and Costello are working as window washers when they are mistaken as delivery men. They are entrusted with picking an envelope of cash for a mobster and when they are tailed by other thugs, they mail the envelope to the man ( Joseph Calleia) instead. While not a bad idea, the execution stank because Lou is an idiot and mailed it to the wrong person--but to whom, he can't remember. So, when the envelope arrives empty, the thug promises to kill them unless they return the money by the deadline! After an exhaustive search, they find the lady who got the money in the mail. She unfortunately had already spent almost all of the $50,000, so much of the rest of the movie is spent trying to come up with the money or avoid Calleia and his thugs. Unfortauntely, none of this really was that interesting.

Flat writing and a rather unfunny premise, this one is not one of the team's successes and I could see why this film was only rarely played on TV when I was a kid (yes, you young whippersnappers, back in the good ol' days (1968-1971), they showed a lot of their films on local TV and no, I am NOT talking about cable!).
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Not one of Abbott and Costello's better films.
weezeralfalfa20 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
As often for Abbott and Costello(A&C) films, the plot is completely daffy. The boys, as mistaken professional messengers, manage to lose $50,000 which they were entrusted with by a Mr. Stewart to deliver to a Mr. Craig. Stewart's plan was the have 2 goons steal the cash from the boys as soon as they got out the office door. Costello put the money in an envelope he got from a nearby cosmetics store mailing out samples of face powder. Unfortunately, in his haste, he somehow got the envelope containing the money mixed up with one containing face powder sample. To escape the clutches of Stewart's goons. instead of taking the money to Craig, Lou wrote Craig's address on the envelope supposedly containing the money, and stuffed it in a mail box just in time. Upon discovering Lou's error, they were at a loss how to find the location of the money. By shear luck, they encountered the lady(Carol)who had received the money. Instead of returning it to the cosmetics store, she had immediately gone on a shopping spree, and had only $2000. left! Thus, the boys weren't much better off than they had been. They got the idea to bet the remaining money on a horse race, betting on a horse recommended by a Julius Cesar, who claimed he had never lost a horse racing bet. Unfortunately, Cesar then changed his mind without the boys knowing, and their horse lost the race. Craig and goons now put more pressure on the boys. They took them to a place where they could make cement, which they were going to encase the boys' legs in, perhaps in preparation for drowning them? Meanwhile, Carol and Cesar were gambling high stakes on something relating to a fish aquarium. Cesar said Carol had won $50,000. from him, and produced the $50,000,he being a wealthy man. Carol was willing to donate her earnings towards solving the boys' problem. They then went to the place Craig's goons had taken the boys, and showed the money. It turned out that Cesar was actually Mr. McBride, to whom Craig owed the $50,000. Thus, Craig simply returned the money to McBride, and the problem was solved.

Some of the humor worked for me, and some, especially verbal humor started by Abbott, didn't strike me as being funny, more like inane. The beginning, with Costello trying out a DIY method of extracting his inflamed tooth, then being dragged by Costello to a lunatic dentist, is funny physical humor, that could have been done in a silent film. As window washers, seems like Lou is always getting his foot stuck in a bucket. Later, when the goons are bearing down on them, Abbott suggests that they do something to get arrested, so they will be safe in jail. But, their attempts are always foiled by some unlikely savior.

This film was produced by their Abbott and Costello Production company, rather than by Universal, which produced most of their films.
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Not one of their best, but has some good laughs nonetheless!
JohnHowardReid16 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Associate producers: Lolly Cristillo, Shirley Feld. Producer: Charles Barton. Executive producers: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello.

Copyright 4 March 1948 by Pathé Industries, Inc. Presented by Eagle Lion Films. New York opening at Loew's State: 28 May 1948. U.S. release: 17 April 1948. U.K. release through Universal- International/General Film Distributors: 6 December 1948. Australian release through British Empire Films: 1 December 1949 (sic). 7,139 feet. 79 minutes.

SYNOPSIS: Lou manages to lose $50,000. The money belongs to a bookie (Calleia) who needs it to pay off a winning wager from a gambler named McBride (Errol).

NOTES: A new contract signed by Abbott and Costello with Universal- International, allowed the team to make one independent movie a year. This was the first.

COMMENT: This mild Abbott and Costello entry will delight their rabid fans but leave others feeling short-changed. The initial plot gimmick of running down 800 names would seem to offer some promise for amusing comic variations, but this issue is speedily resolved. Instead, the writers offer six or seven wheezy old vaudeville routines, including Try To Get Thrown into Jail, Dress/Undress, Fodder/Mudder, I Don't Like Mustard, Who's on the Phone and Someplace Else.

Oddly, Abbott doesn't partner Costello in all these variations. Leon Errol plays straight man for Lou in Fodder/Mudder (and also teams with Lou for an hilarious game of billiards), whilst Abbott works Mike Mazurki for the first part of Someplace Else and then Costello, would you believe, takes over as straight man? But he doesn't stop at Someplace Else. He also usurps Abbott from Who's on the Phone in which Joseph Calleia (of all people) plays the victim.

Both Errol and Costello do extremely well. Abbott, on the other hand, is so nastily aggressive in the long-winded Mustard routine, he loses all audience sympathy. In fact, in this instance he consistently displays a mean, persuasively spiteful streak that goes well beyond the customary cowardly bullying of the team's usual routines.

Fortunately, as said, Leon Errol picks up a lot of the slack, whilst Cathy Downs makes an attractive heroine. Direction and other credits are competent but nothing special.

A SECOND VIEW: Aside from the opening sequences with the sore tooth chase through various back yards, the foot in the bucket on the window ledge and the follow-up scene in the dentist's office, the humor is mainly verbal with the comedians (counting Mike Mazurki and Joseph Calleia, there are five of them) exhausting some elaborate routines based on the weakest of puns (often in extremely long takes).

Although he figures in the action a great deal, Leon Errol, for once, is charmingly restrained. Perhaps, like us, he was unsure of the character's motivation (is he just lucky or is he really a plain nut?) and wisely decided to play it safe. The support cast is studded with favorite faces, almost all of them not credited, except for Fritz Feld. whose part is one of the smallest.
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utgard1426 June 2017
Very funny Abbott & Costello comedy that has the boys crossing a bookie (Joseph Calleia) and trying to find a way to pay him back $50,000 of his money they lost. Nicely paced with one great routine after another. I don't think there were any clunkers here. Sometimes the boys used bits that felt stale like they were dusted off vaudeville routines from twenty years before, but not here. Even the reworked gags feel fresh. Bud and Lou are in top form in this one. They had me in stitches. Great support from Calleia, Leon Errol, Mike Mazurki, and Alvin Hammer as a racetrack tout in one of the more subtly funny scenes. It's one of my favorite A&C comedies that didn't have monsters or the supernatural as part of the plot.
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Surprisingly Funny
boscopa-13 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Having recently watched "The Noose Hangs High" for the first time in probably 25 years I was delighted to find it extremely funny. Having grown up watching Abbott & Costello on Sunday mornings I have subliminally memorized many of their movies in the deep recesses of my brain. While the gags from this movie kept coming back to me seconds before they actually happened I found myself laughing out loud and enjoying this film thoroughly.

"Noose" is essentially a series of gags held together by the flimsiest of plots. The boys run afoul of gangster Nick Craig and must return the $50,000 Lou has misplaced or else. In the midst of this A&C manage to shoehorn in many of their most famous routines; all of which are well-known to their fans but within this film they are done with such gusto that one overlooks their familiarity. The film also dispenses with the insufferable romantic subplots that derail many of their films and the annoying musical numbers that further slow down the story. Cathy Downs, who portrayed the title character in John Ford's "My Darling Clementine," adds a touch of feminine interest but doesn't bog the proceedings down.

Two standout sequences for me were the dentist scene and the scene where Lou gets attacked by an automobile. At the beginning of the film Lou has a toothache and finds himself in the chair of nearsighted dentist Murray Leonard, who portrayed the wacky prisoner tormenting Costello with the "Slowly I Turned . . ." bit in "Lost In a Harem." The scene is so fresh and spontaneous I defy anyone not to laugh. And watching Costello tangle with the unruly car nearly had me in stitches.

Besides A&C, who are superb, the supporting cast is very strong. Joseph Calleia as Craig is both menacing and hilarious minus his trademark mustache. Leon Errol, whom I find annoying in almost everything, is actual entertaining as a goofy gambler that never loses. And Mike Mazurki is really hilarious in a scene where he gets scammed out of $10 first by Bud and then Lou. He stumbles over some words in his exchanges with the fast- talking Costello but this only adds to the humor.

A pleasant surprise, "The Noose Hangs High" is a delightful film that is superior to anything the boys did after 1946 with the possible exception of their classic rumble with the Universal monsters in "Meet Frankenstein."
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"Every time I talk to you I get a headache."
classicsoncall30 November 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Here's an Abbott and Costello flick I didn't catch as a kid growing up but as it turns out, I didn't miss anything. All the bits here were either recycled from earlier films or done again later, so there was nothing new to see regarding their material. In fact, now that I think about it, the boys were so popular it wasn't surprising that they did their routines over and over again for appreciative fans. The backdrop for this story is a misplaced sum of fifty thousand dollars that puts Ted Higgins (Bud) and Tommy Hinchcliffe (Lou) indebted to a mobster (Joseph Calleia) who in turn owes on a big time gambling bet to Julius Caesar McBride (Leon Errol). As I think about it now, I wonder if it was really necessary to give their characters different names because let's face it, nobody ever relates to their being anyone else other than Bud and Lou. With backup support from actress Cathy Downs and former wrestler and boxer Iron Mike Mazurki, "The Noose Hangs High" delivers plenty of routines in staccato fashion even if the story itself is as improbable as they come.
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Where is the money?
jotix1003 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Tommy is having a painful toothache. When we first meet him, he is trying to use an unorthodox method to get rid of the pain he is feeling, but alas, it is not meant to be. The following day, the pain is no better. Perched on a window of a skyscraper, Tommy and his pal Ted are cleaning windows. Ted decides to bring his friend to a dentist in the building. The dentist proves to be the wrong man to deal with the problem at hand and Tommy has his own way solving his own problem.

The duo is confused with men from a security service by Nick Craig's henchmen. He must make a payment of money J.C. McBride won on a bet he placed with Nick, who gives the money to Ted and Tommy to take it to the winner, but he does not intend to do so. He gets his guys to rob the naive would be messengers. The window washers manage to elude the criminals by entering a mail order firm where the money goes the wrong way, beginning a series of adventures for Ted and Tommy.

Directed by Charles Barton, a veteran of Hollywood comedies and closely associated with some of the best pictures for the hilarious Lou Costello and Bud Abbott. This 1948 production recently showed in DVD format. The transfer is excellent. This seldom seen movie will delight fans of Abbott and Costello's fans. They were at the height of their popularity. The comedy has the comedians go from one routine to the other with such ease, the fun never stops.

The cast includes Joseph Calleia, who is seen as the heavy Nick Craig. Leon Errol plays the lucky gambler at the center of the plot and whose identity is never revealed until the end of the story. Cathy Downs appears as Carol, the lucky recipient of the missing money. Mike Mazurski, who made a career playing tough men is at hand to liven things up.
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Highly polished gem from Abbott & Costello
teamoxford6 May 2006
While many A&C fans rate "Meet Frankenstein" as their favorite, Abbott & Costello's 1948 MGM effort, "The Noose Hangs High" is mine.

This highly polished gem of a motion picture presents Bud and Lou with a tightly written script. Granted it is a little far-fetched at times, and the boys sure dress well for a couple of window washers. And how Cathy Downs, as a servant, could spend almost $50,000 in one day (in 1948 no less), is incredible.

What really makes the film enjoyable is the boys' superb comedic timing. The last routine of the movie, which incorporates "Bore a Hole in the Wall", "Mustard", and "Marry a Little Girl", is the epitome of their career. Bud truly shows why he was known as the greatest straight-man of all time. Earlier in the flick, when Mike Mazurki starts to stumble through the "You're Not Here" bit, Lou's timing pulls the routine through.

Being an MGM movie, the production values are a few notches better than the Universal films. "Noose" also doesn't appear on any of the A&C compilations either, but it is now available as a single on DVD. By all means, check it out.
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Well Hung A&C hi-jinks
george.schmidt11 April 2003
THE NOOSE HANGS HIGH (1948) ** Abbott and Costello comedy with the boys in trouble with stolen loot and some crooks. Some classic bits including the famous "Mudder's Fodder" and "Mustard".
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For Bud or Money
wes-connors30 July 2010
High rise window washers Bud Abbott and Lou Costello (as Ted Higgins and Homer Hinchcliffe) are mistaken for a speedy messenger service guys. After Mr. Costello's toothache spells trouble for his stunt double, he helps a dentist receive his diploma. Then, he and Mr. Abbott are asked to transport $50,000 for gangster Joseph Calleia (as Nick Craig). Of course, they lose the money, and are ordered to retrieve the cash, or else… Like recent efforts, this film seems a little routine (cough, cough) - but the dip in the past year's box office receipts was immediately alleviated with "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein" (1948).

**** The Noose Hangs High (4/5/48) Charles Barton ~ Lou Costello, Bud Abbott, Cathy Downs, Joseph Calleia
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Standard A&C Fare.
rmax3048231 July 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I don't know. I hate to be a spoilsport but this is mainly a comedy made for kids. And I got a big kick out of Abbott and Costello when I was ten. But I'm not ten anymore, and hearing Abbott always snarling at his partner is something of a turn-off. If it ever seemed funny, it doesn't now. It just sounds rude. And Costello flipping his hands and wriggling his fingers like worms when frightened or confused.

Much of their schtik came from vaudeville and burlesque. It must have gotten big laughs from the patrons while they waited for the burlesque queen to do her number. Strip tease dancing -- there's a bundle of lack of talent for you. It's disgusting. I used to try to get into the Empire Burlesque in Newark but they wouldn't let me in because I was underage.

The story has something to do with a lot of money being mis-delivered by Abbott and Costello, two window washers who are mistaken for a bookie's messengers.

The most amusing scene is supposed to take place in a dentist's office near the opening. It struck me as the lowest form of vaudeville-derived slapstick.

It's too bad because you can do a lot with dentists. Think of both versions of "The Little Shop of Horrors" or "Ten", or even a Red Skelton comedy -- "A Southern Yankee", maybe -- in which the scene with the dentist's chair was staged by Buster Keaton. W. C. Fields did a number on it. There is a hilarious episode of "Married With Children", called "Tooth or Consequences", in which Joe Flaherty plays a dentist named "Dr. Plierson," and calls for his assistant to bring in a tarpaulin because he'll soon be "up to my knees in blood." They're all funnier than the dentist's chair pushing Costello's head through the ceiling.

I am happy, though, that others enjoy it as much as they seem to. I'm certain the kids will feel the same rush I did. You know, in the end, you pay a price for growing up.
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Comedy Hangs Low.
AaronCapenBanner27 October 2013
Abbott & Costello play two bumbling window washers who are mistakenly given $50,000 by a bookie to pay off a customer. When they realize the mistake, the boys quickly mail it back to the bookie to avoid rival gangsters, but a mix-up in the mail results in it being sent to an attractive young woman(played by Cathy Downs) who spent all but $2,000 of it, forcing them to bet the rest on a horse race, while the bookie and his gang wait impatiently to be paid back... Limp comedy rehashes all their old gags to little effect, further hampered by an incredibly contrived and absurd plot. This was made as an independent feature for the team, and is an unfortunate bust.
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