The car Bud Abbott and Lou Costello are driving in the early black-and-white section of the movie is a 1951 Henry J, which was manufactured by the Kaiser-Frazer Motor Co. and named for founder Henry J. Kaiser. In addition to being bought from an authorized dealer, the car could also be ordered through the Sears-Roebuck mail-order catalog, although its name was changed from "Henry J" to "Allstate". See more »
All the cooking utensils and many of the other items (including wall decorations) are normal-sized (not giant-sized) in the castle. See more »
Come in. Oh, it's you. I'm sorry, Arthur, I thought it was the babysitter.
Just what do you have against babysitters?
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Instead of the usual "The characters and events depicted are fictitious, etc." disclaimer, are these four simple words, "This is a fable". See more »
Original press screenings featured a print that ran 83 minutes and 45 seconds. An uncut 35mm preview print survives in a private archive, but has not been released on DVD. The deleted sequences include some dialogue between Jack and his mother about how to bid while selling the cow and his strange choice to give a male name to a cow; an extra section of 'Dreamer's Cloth' sung by the Princess and the complete song 'Darlene'. Some video versions have parts of the missing scenes, but not all missing sequences. See more »
JACK AND THE BEANSTALK (Jean Yarbrough, 1952) **1/2
I had watched this previously (at secondary school, of all places!) and recall not liking it all that much. However, I was more amenable to it this time around perhaps because it came hot on the heels of a similar film pitting a comedy act in a fairy-tale setting, i.e. the self-explanatory SNOW WHITE AND THE THREE STOOGES (1961); here, of course, it's Abbott & Costello we're talking about.
The film utilizes the sepia-into-color transition popularized by THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939) between its modern-day bookends and the period-set main narrative; less welcome are the entirely resistible love interest and musical numbers, seemingly compulsory ingredients of this type of family-oriented fare but which now date them most of all! As usually happens, too, most of the characters who appear in the fairy-tale also turn up in 'real life' including, in this case, the Giant (played by Buddy Bear from the afore-mentioned SNOW WHITE AND THE THREE STOOGES) who also fills in for a burly cop whom the pint-sized Lou Costello aggravates!
The stars are amiable as always and manage to adapt their standard characterizations to the requirements of the familiar formula. Incidentally, this proved to be the boys' fourth of five films with director Yarborough and one of only two A&C vehicles to be made in color (the other being the similarly adventurous ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET CAPTAIN KIDD ). Atypically for them, this was not a Universal production but rather an independent one distributed through Warner Bros., which explains its public domain status!
Finally, I really ought to spring for those four "Abbott & Costello" DVD collections from Universal one of these days plus I still have a handful of filmed fairy tales/children's classics to go through during this Christmas period...
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