Buck Privates [Blu-ray] (Bilingual) [Import]
|Price:||CDN$ 34.83 & FREE Shipping. Details|
Universal Studios hit box-office gold when they drafted vaudeville comedians and radio stars Bud Abbott and Lou Costello and turned them into one of the most successful screen teams of the 1940s and 1950s. After a tryout as supporting characters in the musical One Night in the Tropics, they starred in Buck Privates as con artists who accidentally enlist while hiding out from New York street cop Nat Pendleton. Naturally he winds up their drill sergeant and comic foil as they wreak havoc on the armed forces. It's vaudeville in fatigues, with the bare bones of a story provided by spoiled millionaire playboy Lee Bowman, his strapping All-American former chauffeur Alan Curtis, and the girl-next-door they both pursue, Jane Frazee. The lackluster subplot is directed with little verve by Arthur Lubin, and the film's energy comes completely from the snappy by-play of the comedians and Costello's flustered double takes and jumpy physical comedy (including a hilarious rifle drill in which the out-of-step soldier marches to the direction of a different compass). The Andrews Sisters sing "You're a Lucky Fellow, Mr. Smith" and "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy," among others, and future Stooge Shemp Howard shows where the "mess" in mess hall comes from as a cook on the receiving end of Costello's KP tomfoolery. This modest comedy became a smash hit and made Abbott and Costello Universal's most valuable commodity, prompting a quick follow-up with another peacetime armed forces comedy, In the Navy. --Sean Axmaker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Top Customer Reviews
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..Read more ›
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..
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
"Buck Privates" is probably their best film, aided in no small part by the terrific songs and dances of the Andrew Sisters, who would join them in two more films ("In the Navy" and "Hold that Ghost") that same year. LaVerne, Maxene, and Patty not only worked with Abbott and Costello, but also with The Ritz Brothers ("Argentine Nights") and Crosby and Hope ("Road to Rio") and also appeared with the top musicians of the 40s and 50s. At the time of "Buck Privates" the sisters had already established a name for themselves with such big hits as "Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen", "Hold Tight", "Roll out the Barrel", "Ferryboat Serenade", and "Beat Me Daddy Eight to the Bar". They perform four songs in the film - "You're a Lucky Fellow Mr. Smith", "Apple Blossom Time", "Bounce me Brother with a Solid Four", and "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" and "Boogie Woogie" was nominated for an Oscar as Best Original Song.
Abbott and Costello were originally a vaudeville act, and what they did was to bring their act to the big screen. Films were a series of smaller bits strung together with a plot. In this they copied the style of the Marx Brothers (even though their pedigree makes them look like successors to Laurel and Hardy, who used a completely different motif for their films) right down to the minor love plot, the menacing heavy, and the musical numbers.
There are so many funny bits in this film it's hard to list them all. Lou initiates his "I'm a bad boy" catchphrase that would last for more than a decade. The drill routine was originally scheduled for a few minutes but went nearly 5 due to the ad-libbing (watch closely for the reactions from the actors who participate). The verbal patter between the boys is priceless, as Bud convinces Lou that if he marries a younger woman she will eventually be older than he is. Here's a sample -
Bud - You're 40 years-old and you're in love with this little girl that's 10 years-old. You're four times as old as that girl and you couldn't marry her, could you?
Lou - Not unless I come from the mountains.
Nat Pendleton (1895-1967) plays the heavy who pursues the boys. Pendelton was famous for the "slow burn" and he appeared in over 100 films. He reprieved his role in 1947's "Buck Privates Come Home" - his last film.
Look for Shemp Howard (1895-1955) for a minor role as a cook. Shemp had been acting since 1932 when he broke away from "Ted Healy and His Stooges". He appeared with W.C. Fields, Fatty Arbuckle, Lon Chaney, and even John Wayne, but was making no real headway. In 1946 when brother Curly had a stroke he re-joined the Three Stooges and they made 73 short films together.
1941 was a terrific year for films - "Citizen Kane", "The Maltese Falcon", Sergeant York", "How Green Was My Valley", Meet John Doe", "They Died with Their Boots On", "The Sea Wolf" "High Sierra", "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", and "A Yank in the RAF". With such an impressive list, "Buck Privates" came in at #9 at the box office.
The NY Times called it "an hour and a half of uproarious monkeyshines." The film grossed a record $4 million, although some placed it as high as $10 million. It received 2 Oscar nominations but no wins - "Boogie Woogie" lost to "The last time I saw Paris" from "Lady Be Good" for Best Song and "Dumbo" won for Best Music. The film was so popular it generated a radio show later that year on the Lux Radio Theater. The Japanese were so impressed they showed the drill scene to their troops to demonstrate how poorly trained US soldiers were.
This is a great film from a great comedy team.