on September 15, 2013
If you purchase the handsomely produced Abbot and Costello Universal Pictures Collection, and for the money it is a good deal especially if you like comedy, and they have their own unique blend, you will be surprised at the great value and bargain!! THe art on the outside of the box is great, its enclosed in a sturdy box nice and well crafted and attractive, you open it up, the inside has the discs in well protected, almost book like enclosures, and we even have a special book on their act! Very often the studios who produce these old practitioners dont put the material in such highg quality format, and i congratulate this studi, whom I dont know that much about, and the commentary on this film tells us much about the studio, and act, and how much this duo added to the studios fortune! What do we think of this act today, especially against the backdrop of these other comedy acts around at the time.
Laurel & Hardy, Marx brothers, charlie chaplin, the Little Rascals..now abbot and costello. Lou costello came out of New Jersey and he was looking to come to Hollywood and was involved in comedy in front of a live audience, routines and ad libs, vaudeville and burlesque, and the team comedy and formats seemed to do well and audiences responded..and at universal he found a home. This film is best looked at and its a war comedy, in a way that comedy is much better and more realistic than in comedies like private Benjamin or Mash..where often the services are lampooned which gives it an everything goes atmosphere here the writers are on surer ground where the realism or competence of those around them, are situated, except for a few lecherous crewmen, the antics of Costello against such a background stands out instead of say 1941 the steven spielberg comedy which had a critical drubbing since the few comedic scenes arent properly situated in the film, or for whatever reason, and audiences had trouble with it? Here we just have lou costello..and we can look athim against a few comedy acts charles chaplin and the three stooges who also do this type of war comedy?
The film combines some song and dance routines hostesses and being hit on by some raucous recruits and its entertaining as far as that goes..the andrew sisters with some songs..and a hostess who is more intent on love and finding mr right and the various advances and its all done in a comedic spirit and gets the point across and its well combined with the Costello war time comedy. If you compare the Chaplin comedy of war at the front and curly in the three stooges, and those films are situated ina different background, but also the classic comedic style of earnestness around them developing a serious comic situation. costello is good at what he does..hes aware of the other comics and at times, since hes viewed these other comics, and it shows, tries to imitate and copy. Thats when he doesnt come off well, and you will say him imitate Curly or Chaplin, but when he goes with his instincts as he does for many years at Universal, he can be very funny, routines he sets up, and this war film is not my favourite of his since the other comics are much better at this particular brand of humour, he knows hes making a film and will be compared..I find it funny, but in the other films and in succeeding films hell find his place and be more assured. Its hard to go on screen and in your first film compete with comedic masters, who are very varied can go in all kind sof directions, even with females and romance, which will dictate in the future with goos directors and writers the kind of comedy costello is adept at? I have not seen all these films and look forward to the experience, and why in the mid 50's the movies came to an end, as they aged. Thats how i saw this film, but the mix of the songs, the hostess and ideas of female romance and costello's war scenes, it all is mixed up well..and the classic comedy is well staged..and they became very popular at their brand of comedy, learning how to be a film comedian, and can he stretch it like the other film comics..your taste!
on May 9, 2004
It is my own reflections that you cannot judge the A and C Films in a singular way. If you watch just one of their best it looses its impact,rather, I suggest that you catch three at a time in this way you can fall into their brand of absurd comedy.
I was hooked as a kid and guess what , their films have more legs than most of the comedy giants of the past..for sure..
Jane Frazee is here ,along with the likes of Lee Bowman and even Shemp Howard..> The Andrews Sisters provie a bit of pace without slowing it all down too much..and these DVD transfers are fine..all proving once again that there has never been a better "straight " man than the peerless Bud Abbott..