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Star Focus ~ Abbott & Costello

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Star Focus ~ Abbott & Costello

Old 01-25-03, 03:40 PM
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Star Focus ~ Abbott & Costello



With all due respect to Laurel & Hardy, Martin & Lewis, and Hope & Crosby, my favorite comedy duo is that of Bud Abbott & Lou Costello. From 1940 to 1956, they starred in 36 films together (not to mention numerous radio and TV shows). When I was a kid, their films used to be shown every Sunday morning on one of the local independent channels. Sadly, as far as I know, their films are infrequently shown on TV nowadays (though AMC does show a couple of their films on a regular basis). I truly wish that at least one cable channel would put their films into their regular programming rotation (I know Cinemax shows the old Tarzan movies quite often). I also wouldn't mind seeing all the films released in a series of DVD box sets (maybe like the Bond films).

What are your favorite Abbott and Costello films (I have a feeling A&C Meet Frankenstein is a big favorite here)? What about their comedy routines? Which are your favorites (Who's On First, 7x13=28, You're 40 and She's 10, Slowly I Turn, etc.)?

Here is a list of all their films:
One Night in the Tropics (1940)
Buck Privates (1941)
In the Navy (1941)
Hold that Ghost (1941)
Keep 'Em Flying (1941)
Ride 'Em Cowboy (1942)
Rio Rita (1942)
Pardon My Sarong (1942)
Who Done It? (1942)
It Ain't Hay (1943)
Hit the Ice (1943)
Lost in a Harem (1944)
In Society (1944)
Here Come the Co-eds (1945)
The Naughty Nineties (1945)
Abbott and Costello in Hollywood (1945)
Little Giant (1946)
The Time of Their Lives (1946)
The Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap (1947)
Buck Privates Come Home (1947)
The Noose Hangs High (1948)
Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)
Mexican Hayride (1948)
Africa Screams (1949)
Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff (1949)
Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion (1950)
Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man (1951)
Comin' Round the Mountain (1951)
Jack and the Beanstalk (1952)
Lost in Alaska (1952)
Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd (1952)
Abbott and Costello Go to Mars (1953)
Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1953)
Abbott and Costello Meet the Keystone Kops (1955)
Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955)
Dance with Me Henry (1956)

And a few Web sites (the third one is where I found the pictures):
A&C Quarterly on the Web
http://www.abbottandcostello.net
AbbottandCostelloCollectibles.com
http://www.louandbud.com


Last edited by flixtime; 02-04-03 at 04:02 PM.
Old 01-25-03, 04:23 PM
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Here are the films of theirs that are out on DVD (as of the last time I updated my classic comedians on DVD thread: )
Abbott & Costello in the Foreign Legion (1950) - Image
Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) - Universal
Abbott & Costello Meet the Mummy (1955) - Universal
The Abbott & Costello Show Volumes 1-4 (1952-1953) - Koch/Shanachie
Africa Screams (1949) - Alpha, Diamond, Digital, Goodtimes, Madacy, Master, Platinum, UAV, Unicorn
Buck Privates (1941) - Image
Buck Privates Come Home (1947) - Image
In the Navy (1941) - Image
Jack and the Beanstalk (1952) - Diamond, Digital, Goodtimes, Madacy, Platinum
Africa Screams/Jack & the Beanstalk 2-pack (1949, 1952) - Goodtimes, Madacy 2-sided disc, Madacy 2 disc set, Troma Team (labeled as Abbott and Costello)

Last edited by littlefuzzy; 01-25-03 at 04:26 PM.
Old 01-26-03, 04:53 AM
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flixtime - I too grew up watching A&C every Sunday. It's a pity that kids today don't have the opportunity to watch Abbott and Costello, Tarzan, Charlie Chan, Blondie, Ma and Pa Kettle, or any of the other great movie series from the '40s. It's more of a pity that these movies aren't on DVD so I can enjoy them again.

I'd say Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) is my favorite (and most-watched) A&C film.

"Who's on First?" never fails to make me laugh, but I also like similar routines from their movies and radio show ("His father was a mudder." "The lower's higher than an upper.").

Here's an episode of their radio show that includes "Who's on First?" (near the end of the show). Vampyr can probably provide more links to radio shows.
Old 01-26-03, 09:28 AM
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A few of the lesser-known ones that I've always enjoyed: HOLD THAT GHOST and particularly THE TIME OF THEIR LIVES which is a fantasy that is the least like a typical A&C film.
Old 01-26-03, 12:07 PM
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Thanks Dimension X for the terrific radio show link (though I would have to deduct 40 points because of the sponsor ). Actually the Camel ads were pretty funny too: "more doctors prefer Camel than any other leading brand cigarette", "Camel a proud supplier of cigarettes to VA hospitals". My how times have changed (while I'm at it, I'll minus 50 points for the first picture I posted at the beginning of this thread). I'm a baseball fan so I enjoyed the link you provided (I listened to it earlier this morning (runs about 1/2 hour for anyone interested)) since it features skits I'd never heard before (Feller, Slaughter). Also liked the following bit (I don't recall the exact wording but this is close enough):

Costello: "Beautiful women find me irresistible."
Lady: "I don't find you irresistible."
Costello: "That's okay because I don't find you beautiful."

Anyone here at the Forum want to try it as a pick-up line (Note: Remember to duck!).

And from the file: "Necessity is the Mother of Invention", I recall hearing that one of the main reasons for Lou Costello developing his many distinctive voices was to better allow for the audience to differentiate him from Bud Abbott while they were doing their radio shows.

marty888, Hold that Ghost and The Time of Their Lives are definite winners! If what I've read is correct, The Time of Their Lives was made at a time when A&C were feuding with each other. I like Little Giant too (actually I enjoy almost all of their films), it is the one where Lou is a vacuum cleaner salesman. It's also a film made when they were feuding (at least as far as I know).

littlefuzzy, thanks for the DVD list! I was feeling a bit too lazy to do the search myself (I should have remembered to search here at DVDTalk first). A&C (along with many other classic actors) are certainly somewhat MIA as far as their films being released on DVD (only 8 of 36 A&C movies are on DVD).

And lastly, for those (like me) now longing for their fix of A&C, here - as far as I know - is an upcoming TV schedule:

Abbott & Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Monday, January 27th at 6:45am - 8:30am (EST)
Channel: AMC

The Noose Hangs High
Tuesday, January 28th at 9:00am - 10:20am (EST)
Channel: Mystery Channel East on StarzSuperPak

Lost in a Harem
Sunday, February 2nd at 2:00am - 3:30am (EST)
Channel: TCM
Old 01-26-03, 08:05 PM
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they were great. A&C meet Frankenstein STILL makes me laugh. Espeically the bit when the coffin goes up and down. Great stuff.
Old 01-27-03, 12:29 AM
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I always like the scenes where Bud is trying to con Lou, especially the ones where Lou reverses it... These are usually games of chance, like 3-card Monte, etc.
Old 01-27-03, 12:45 AM
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Re: Star Focus ~ Abbott & Costello

I couldn't pick my favorite A&C movie, because I love most of them equally, but my favorite routine is the drill scene from Buck Privates

A: Get your chins in. Throw your chest out.
*smack*
A: I said get your chest out, throw it out!
C: I'm not through with it yet!

Another classic is the Susquehanna Hat Company bit from In Society.

Heck, I could name another hundred bits just off the top of my head.

Honk!
Old 01-27-03, 01:26 AM
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Does anybody know for certain who owns the rights to these? Maybe if we bug them enough and ask really nice like then they'll give them a proper release. They should know how popular these would be so I can't understand why they haven't been released yet. The only reason I never bought the box set of VHS was the anticpation of buying the box set of DVDs.
Old 01-27-03, 09:17 PM
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Originally posted by flixtime
Thanks Dimension X for the terrific radio show link
You're welcome. It's always a treat to hear "Who's on First?" ("available now on phonograph record").
Lost in a Harem
Sunday, February 2nd at 2:00am - 3:30am (EST)
Channel: TCM
Thank you for mentioning this (I'll skip AMC and I don't get Starz Mystery Channel).
Old 01-27-03, 11:01 PM
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They were a great team. My sister & I would also watch Bud & Lou @ 11:30 every Sunday (was it the independent WOR?). The ones that stick out in my feeble memory are: Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948), The Time of Their Lives (1946), Abbott and Costello Go to Mars (1953).

I remember reading somewhere that Bud Abbott received a bigger share, but I didn't know this:
At Lou Costello's insistance, the moneys earned from the "Abbott and Costello" act were split 60-40, favoring Bud Abbott. Costello stated "Comics are a dime a dozen. Good straight men are hard to find."
-IMDB bios

Last edited by NavinJohnson; 01-27-03 at 11:03 PM.
Old 01-28-03, 12:19 AM
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Is that really true? No way.
Old 01-28-03, 05:36 PM
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Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein
Hold That Ghost
Who Done It?
Old 01-28-03, 09:23 PM
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Originally posted by Scot1458
Is that really true? No way.
Well, according to the IMDB mini-bios for Bud & Lou anyway. Not that I'd bet money on IMDB info.
Here's a few unofficial fan sites I didn't see mentioned (might be links on the bigger sites too, I didn't check):
http://www.angelfire.com/movies/budandlou/
It has some pictures of Bud in his later years.

Bud & Lou screensaver (with the 'Who's on First? routine)

Thanks for this thread flixtime, its nice to see that A & C still have many fans. And it seems like Russell Dodd's Bud Abbott & Lou Costello Forever!! page is still up- I zipped through it earlier. His banner:


Also listened to the featured radio show on http://www.abbottandcostello.net for January: Peter Lorre's Sanitarium
Thanks for the links everyone.
Old 01-29-03, 12:45 AM
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I emailed Russell Dodd about the 60/40 pay split issue to see what he had to say.

I wrote:
Hello Russell,

Enjoyed your nice Bud & Lou page. I read on IMBD that:

At Lou Costello's insistance, the moneys earned from the "Abbott and Costello" act were split 60-40, favoring Bud Abbott. Costello stated "Comics are a dime a dozen. Good straight men are hard to find."

Was this the case? Sometimes I wonder how accurate the info. on IMDB is.
He responded with:
Hi Brian

to answer your question, when the boys were in Burlesque in the late 30s, Lou wanted to move on when better deals came but Bud wanted to stay where he was. Bud said to Lou that he'll move on with him only if he cut their salary 60/40 to Bud's favour. Now in Burlesque days, as you rightfully said, Comics were a dime and dozen and straightmen usually did get more money - and first billing.
Around 1942 when the boys were World Superstars, Lou threatened to break the team unless he got 60/40 in his favour and top billing. The studios argued about the billing saying they bought "Abbott and Costello" and not "Costello and Abbott" and Bud said he'd be willing to split the team, so Lou balked - but he DID manage to get the pay rise, which hurt Abbott quite badly.

Thanks for writing, hope that was what you were looking for. and glad you like the site

Regards,

Russell
What does everyone here think?
Old 01-30-03, 08:34 AM
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Hi flixtime!

Sorry I've been away so long, but there's been quite a bit going on. To sum everything up in a few short words, the move to Arizona is back on.

Now to this wonderful thread

I'm glad Dimension X told me about this post the other day on Yahoo! chat (where I hope you can join in the future, so the three of us can discuss movies and such).

What can possibly be said about these two icons of comedy I remember as a child looking forward to seeing them on television on weekend mornings. There seemed to be no end to how many times I would willingly watch movies like The Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap (1947) , Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion (1950) , Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1953) and so many others (which have already been mentioned).

I also remember when they played episodes of their television shows on a regular basis, with wonderful supporting characters like Sid Fields, Hillary Brooke, Mike The Cop, Stinky and Mr. Bacciagalupe

I truly could not choose my favorite Abbott and Costello movie if pressed to do so. They are all works of art. However, since I have always had a warm place for the underdog, I'll mention a half-dozen of the lesser talked-about ones as among my favorites

Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion (1950)

Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff (1949)

Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd (1952)

Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap, The (1947)

Time of Their Lives, The (1946)

Hold That Ghost (1941)




BTW: I found it quite interesting to see the salaries the team received ( Link ). $15,000 per episode in the early 50's was quite a bit of cash. However, it still pales in comparison to what sitcom actors are making today. The irony is that there isn't a comedian working today who could shine the shoes of these great men.







Last edited by Vampyr; 01-30-03 at 08:40 AM.
Old 01-30-03, 11:54 AM
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As much as I love their films, I find their TV show, mainly the first season, to be the funniest work they've ever done. Totally off the wall and almost surreal in presentation.
Old 01-31-03, 05:26 PM
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OHMIGAWD! You mentioned the 7X13=28 routine, flixtime!!! I remember seeing that one when I was younger and have wanted to see it again for years. Which film is that routine from?

Here in Phoenix, they used to have Abbott and Costello theater on Sundays as well. Watched 'em every week. Great stuff!!! Too many favorites to mention...

Welcome to Arizona Vampyr!
Old 02-01-03, 03:15 AM
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Originally posted by BassDude
OHMIGAWD! You mentioned the 7X13=28 routine, flixtime!!! I remember seeing that one when I was younger and have wanted to see it again for years. Which film is that routine from?
You can find it toward the end of "In the Navy." Lou tells Bud that he can't have any of the 28 doughnuts he has made, because he needs them all to be able to give the ships 13 officers 7 doughnuts each. Then the "math lesson" ensues...
Old 02-01-03, 08:35 AM
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The Time of Their Lives (1946) has been on my look out list for as long as I've had a DVD player. I've had

The only A&C that I currently have is Buck Privates (1941) . I'm a big fan of the Andrews Sisters and also needed the film for the Dean Collins choreography at the end. A&C were of course brilliant as well.

Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) has been in my flex cart at dv-depot for quite some time. Is it out of print? I got the Universal Monster box collection for christmas and wanted to add any of the A&C monster flicks to the pile. It was also one of my faves as a kid.

Jim
Old 02-04-03, 04:01 PM
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Though it looks like I missed all the fun, glad to see that so many others found this thread of interest.

Originally posted by chipmac
Does anybody know for certain who owns the rights to these? Maybe if we bug them enough and ask really nice like then they'll give them a proper release. They should know how popular these would be so I can't understand why they haven't been released yet. The only reason I never bought the box set of VHS was the anticpation of buying the box set of DVDs.
I wish I had an answer to your question. Reading this thread sure got me reminiscing. I'm expending a great deal of willpower in preventing myself from going out and picking up VHS copies of some of their films. A&C DVDs have just jumped pass Errol Flynn (btw: Objective, Burma! is coming to DVD this Spring) in my list of most-wanted DVDs.

Originally posted by NavinJohnson
My sister & I would also watch Bud & Lou @ 11:30 every Sunday (was it the independent WOR?).
New York? Not sure, was it WOR or I'm thinking it might have been WPIX (Ch. 11 - the Yankees station)?

Originally posted by NavinJohnson
Thanks for this thread flixtime, its nice to see that A & C still have many fans. And it seems like Russell Dodd's Bud Abbott & Lou Costello Forever!! page is still up-
You're very welcome! Thanks for the confirmation that Russell Dodd's site is up and running. I tried it that weekend but it didn't go through, works fine now though. Very informative site. Thanks too for all the info. (plus contacting Russell Dodd) about the 60/40 pay split. Maybe I'm naive but I always assumed it was 50/50. Reminds me of that old Cyndi Lauper song "Money Changes Everything".

Originally posted by Vampyr
To sum everything up in a few short words, the move to Arizona is back on.
Congratulations! I actually noticed that in your post in that "favorite movie thread" but was waiting for a more appropriate time to comment. When are you moving? I hope you and your Mom find a lot of good times awaiting 'neath the Arizona sky; I'm rooting for you (just don't go messin' up our TCM threads by posting show times in Mountain Time, ya hear). Good luck amigo!

Originally posted by Vampyr
Now to this wonderful thread
Thanks. Not a bad clone of your past "Star Focuses" ( focuses? foci?), eh? Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.

Originally posted by Vampyr
I'm glad Dimension X told me about this post the other day on Yahoo! chat (where I hope you can join in the future, so the three of us can discuss movies and such).
Offer accepted (if you'll bear with me just a little while though, things right now are a little chaotic, once they settle down, I'll touch base with you (assuming, of course, that the offer isn't rescinded in the meantime)).

Originally posted by BassDude
OHMIGAWD! You mentioned the 7X13=28 routine, flixtime!!! I remember seeing that one when I was younger and have wanted to see it again for years. Which film is that routine from?
I see that DVDTalker RoboDad beat me to it. "In the Navy" is definitely the film I associate with the 7x13=28 routine. Also, according to info. found at a couple of the A&C websites listed in this thread, the routine also appeared in their film "Little Giant". It seems the routine was shot after initial filming had been completed, therefore Bud's hairpiece appears slightly different during the 7x13 routine than it did during the rest of the film.

And lastly, anyone here ever seen the film [b]The 30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock (1959)? It's a film that Lou Costello did without Bud Abbott. Here's the IMDb.com link:
The 30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock at IMDb.com

And lastly, um, again, it might be jumping the gun but TCM will be showing A&C Meet Captain Kidd on April 1st (a handful of Marx Brothers films too). I'll try to bump this thread when the time comes.
Old 02-04-03, 04:54 PM
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flixtime - I've seen The 30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock. But it was many years ago and I don't remember much about it.

I hope I have better luck recording A&C Meet Captain Kidd than I had with Lost in a Harem (the cable company decided to run an EBS test 28 minutes into the movie ).
Old 02-05-03, 01:56 AM
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Originally posted by BassDude
OHMIGAWD! You mentioned the 7X13=28 routine, flixtime!!! I remember seeing that one when I was younger and have wanted to see it again for years. Which film is that routine from?

Here in Phoenix, they used to have Abbott and Costello theater on Sundays as well. Watched 'em every week. Great stuff!!! Too many favorites to mention...

Welcome to Arizona Vampyr!
Thanks for the Arizona welcome BassDude! It looks like it will take a while before we sell, buy and move in.......But........We're heading west

Too bad that Abbott and Costello theater is gone. That would have been fun.

BTW: I'll be visiting in the next month or two. I'd like to meet as many AZ forum members as possible. Maybe we can get together at that time



Originally posted by Dimension X
flixtime - I've seen The 30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock. But it was many years ago and I don't remember much about it.

I hope I have better luck recording A&C Meet Captain Kidd than I had with Lost in a Harem (the cable company decided to run an EBS test 28 minutes into the movie ).
Are you sure my cable company isn't moving into your area



flixtime ~ You're always too good to me Thanks for all the kind words Hope to hear from you soon.

Last edited by Vampyr; 02-05-03 at 02:00 AM.
Old 02-05-03, 09:52 AM
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Originally posted by Dimension X
I hope I have better luck recording A&C Meet Captain Kidd than I had with Lost in a Harem (the cable company decided to run an EBS test 28 minutes into the movie ).
Originally posted by Vampyr
Are you sure my cable company isn't moving into your area
My thoughts exactly. I hope it's not contagious!

Dimension X, Vampyr, and any other Flynn fans, if you are interested and haven't already recorded them, Errol Flynn's Desperate Journey (co-starring Ronald Reagan) (8:30am Thursday) and Gentleman Jim (6:00am Saturday) will be airing on TCM. Gentleman Jim is fast becoming a favorite of mine and just might make my Flynn Top 5 list.
Old 05-18-03, 09:48 AM
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While not a particular favorite of mine:

Abbott & Costello's Jack and the Beanstalk is on TCM Monday evening at midnight (which I suppose makes it Tuesday morning instead).

Tuesday, May 20th at 12:00 AM
Jack And The Beanstalk (1952)

A baby-sitter dreams himself and his best friend into the famous fairy tale.
Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Buddy Baer. D: Jean Yarbrough. C 78m.

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