Two booksellers search for diamonds in Africa, along the way meeting a visually-impaired gunner, a hungry lion, and a tribe of cannibals.


Charles Barton


Earl Baldwin (original story and screenplay)





Complete credited cast:
Bud Abbott ... Buzz Johnson
Lou Costello ... Stanley Livington
Clyde Beatty ... Clyde Beatty
Frank Buck ... Frank Buck
Max Baer ... Grappler McCoy
Buddy Baer ... Boots Wilson
Hillary Brooke ... Diana Emerson
Shemp Howard ... Gunner
Joe Besser ... Harry
Burt Wenland Burt Wenland ... Bobo (as Burton Wenland)


When bookseller Buzz cons Diana into thinking fellow bookseller Stanley knows a great deal about Africa they are abducted and ordered to lead Diana and her henchmen to an African tribe. After encounters with lion tamers, giant apes and a wild river, Buzz returns to America. Stanley finds diamonds and buys the store they once worked for, hiring Buzz as its elevator operator. Written by Ed Stephan <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Zany, Hilarious Romp! See more »


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


World-renowned animal trainer Clyde Beatty provided his own animals for the film. See more »


When Buzz and Stanley are captured, the cannibals prepare the pots for the "cook", which emit steam. After their escape and the diamond discovery, they are recaptured. The diamond discussion by the Chief with Ms. Emerson allows a distraction to again escape; they hide in those same pots without burns or scalding. See more »


[first lines]
Stanley Livington: Stay right where you are. Don't move, stay there now. Steady. Now sit up. Sit up. Sit up you. Up you fool. Up. Sit up I said. Sit up. Up.
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Crazy Credits

End Credit - The Gorilla spells out The End from some lettered blocks. See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer-colorized version. See more »


Featured in Classified X (1998) See more »

User Reviews

Weaker A&C, But Watchable
17 May 2005 | by skallisjrSee all my reviews

Understand, I like Abbott and Costello films. Their two top films (...Meet Frankenstein and The Time of Their Lives) are comedic classics. This, alas, is a minor effort, though other movie comics appear in it.

Possible spoilers in the following.

The film takes a simple story and adds some comedic routines that could be applied to any equivalent film. Costello reacting to animal 'menaces" is usually good, and he's at prime form in this film. However, even in the most comedic situations, I'd have thought that even Lou's character would have noticed all the help he was getting from the gorilla.

In the beginning of the film, the cover story is that an expedition is set up to go to Africa to hunt a legendary ape, Orang-Utan Gigantis. That translates to "great big Orang-Utan." But Orang-Utans aren't found in Africa! The chief of the cannibals mumbles some words, one of which is "ungawa," a Swahili word that means either "beat it," or "let's get moving," depending on context, but which is used as color in this one, having nothing to do with either meaning.

Amusing, but not their top form.

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Release Date:

27 May 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Don't Bring 'Em Back Alive See more »


Box Office


$500,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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