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Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, Aug 7, 2019.
My top two choices of their films, too!
Dear Robert: While tastes will vary and time and maturity do strange things to the movies we once thought were 'so cool', I would suggest to you that you have no fear about double-dipping for this one when it becomes available. I say this after having watched my box set from cover to cover very recently. Of the 28 pictures listed, I would say only 4 do not hold up with the passage of time. Little Giant is disappointing, as are the Wistful Widow of Wagon gap, Lost in Alaska, and, ...go to Mars. The rest of these A&C classics are simply that - classic, and charming, with the boys pulling out all the stops to remain fresh and funny.
Best of the lot: One Night in the Tropics, Hold That Ghost, Who Done It?, The Time of Their Lives, ...Meet Frankenstein, ...Meet the Mummy. The music in these A&C hits rarely gets mentioned outside of The Andrews Sisters. But just check out the mind-boggling Farandola, sung by Allan Jones and a bevy of wedding guests in One Night in the Tropics, or Ginny Simms and the Four Teens doing The Slap Polka from Hit the Ice. Patsy O'Connor's 'Old Timer' from It Ain't Hay always gave me a warm lump in the throat, as did the absolutely haunting, I Don't Care If I Never Dream Again from Here Come the Co-Eds; a film also notable for Peggy Ryan's ebullient, Jumping on a Saturday Night. Love Dorothy Shay singin 'You'll Be Jes Another Notch on Father's Shotgun, from The Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap and, Peggy King's sultry sexpot singing, You Came A Long Way From St. Louis from ...Meet the Mummy. And who can forget Ella Fitzgerald trilling, A Tisket, A Tasket from Ride 'Em Cowboy?
The A&C movies always had a lot more than A&C to recommend them. I really don't see how you could go wrong buying these in hi-def; that is, unless, Uni somehow bungles the transfers.
My votes are as follows:
YES - One Night In The Tropics (1940)
YES - Buck Privates (1941)
YES - In The Navy (1941)
DOUBLE YES - Hold That Ghost (1941)
YES - Keep 'Em Flying (1941)
YES - Ride 'Em Cowboy (1942)
OKAY, BUT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER - Pardon My Sarong (1942)
TRIPLE YES - Who Done It? (1942)
YES - It Ain't Hay (1943)
YES - Hit The Ice (1943)
YES - In Society (1944)
YES - Here Come The Co-Eds (1945)
OKAY - The Naughty Nineties (1944)
PASS - Little Giant (1946)
YES (although not a hit when it was released) The Time Of Their Lives (1946)
OKAY Buck Privates Come Home (1947)
PASS - The Wistful Widow Of Wagon Gap (1947)
QUADRUPLE YES (which is about how many times I already own this title from Uni's idiotic re-re-re-releases of their monster movies so far) Abbott And Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)
YES - Mexican Hayride (1948)
YES - Abbott And Costello Meet The Killer, Boris Karloff (1949)
OKAY - Abbott And Costello In The Foreign Legion (1950)
OKAY - Abbott And Costello Meet The Invisible Man (1951)
OKAY - Comin' Round The Mountain (1951)
OKAY - Lost In Alaska (1952)
PASS - Abbott And Costello Go To Mars (1953)
OKAY - Abbott And Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde (1953)
OKAY - Abbott And Costello Meet The Keystone Kops (1955)
YES - Abbott And Costello Meet The Mummy (1955)
I feel a little out of step with everyone concerning A & C Meet The Mummy. I haven't seen it since childhood, and picked up Universal's Mummy collection partially just to get a copy of it in high-def widescreen.
For me, it was a complete dud - lame recycling of tired and worn out 'scare' routines with the boy's timing and energy almost completely gone.
(But I'm still going to get Shout's set , especially since we now know that Bob Furmanek is involved.)
That basically sums up the meet the monsters series other than Meet Frankenstein but I still enjoy them all. I just find them to be a little overrated by casual fans and feel that they may be overlooking some of the boys best films by assuming that because they meet monsters in a film they are good A & C. Most comedy team films with monsters or haunted house themes do follow the same old plots lines. I think Gary's point was Meet the Mummy was a step up from the previous 3-4 films they did and much better than Dance with me Henry. I agree completely with that assessment. I will watch any Abbott and Costello and enjoy them all but as a big fan its also fair to point out the weaker ones.
For me picking a favorite Abbot and Costello is tough.
Every film they made from 41-45 could be included as my favorite including the 3 from MGM: Rio Rita, Lost in a Harem and In Hollywood. But if I had to narrow it down probably Hold That Ghost, Ride em Cowboy, Pardon My Sarong, Who done it and Hit the Ice would be my top 5 with the 3 MGM films following those. But any of their 41-45 films are the ones I never tire of watching and can always put them on when I need a laugh or something to cheer me up.
Thank you for that response, but I addressed my purchasing of this BD boxset in a later post.
Yeah I’m not as big a fan of A&C Meet The Mummy as some here. I mean it’s fine but not one of their best.
It may be the only A&C film where Abbot is heavier than Costello.
I saw Meet the Mummy as a very little boy in the theater on its original release (yep, I'm old): one of my oldest movie memories (others: Johnny Guitar, Tarantula, Lady and the Tramp - very eclectic movie tastes even as a small boy).
Anyway, that's why that movie remains one of my favorite A&Cs. It was my first.
I had decided a couple of days ago to post in this thread on Top 5 Favorites, and maybe Bottom 5 Abbott & Costello films. But some of you are already kind of beating me to the punch. The question is whether or not to include even the non-Universal films in our discussion. But since many (myself included) are already discussing other entries, might as well include them. For me the top section will mirror what I wrote earlier about the different "eras" of the boys' movie careers. My favorites all fall into the "Pre-Lou's Illness" era. They are:
1) Keep 'Em Flying
2) Ride 'Em Cowboy
3) Hit the Ice
4) Buck Privates
5) Pardon My Sarong
As everyone can see my favorites are all Universal, although In Hollywood is right there, and Here Come the Co-Eds almost squeezed in as a post-illness Top 5 favorite.
I know, I know. I didn't include Hold That Ghost or Who Done it? And gasp!!! I forgot A&C Meet Frankenstein! Blasphemy you say! I'll explain my picks in another post. I just wanted to list Faves and Least Faves to begin with. So my bottom 5 would be:
36) Dance with Me Henry
35) Lost in Alaska
34) Meet Captain Kidd
33) Keystone Kops
32) Foreign Legion
Africa Screams, Lost in a Harem and Mexican Hayride all competed for the last couple of spots as well.
If you don't want to list the bottom 5, I completely understand.
Gary "lets see some other lists to compare" O.
Here come the Coeds almost makes my top 5. I'm surprised to see Lost in a Harem and Africa Screams at your bottom. But I think I see a pattern concerning studio sets with your bottom choices For Lost in a Harem Murray Leonard in the Jail scenes is worth the price of admission alone for me . Its probably around 11 or 12 overall for me but my least favorite of the 3 MGM. Rio Rita is my favorite MGM film. The boys could do no wrong in 1942 for me.
A bottom 5 is tough for me because I do like them all but here it is:
36) Dance with me Henry
35) Comin Round the Mountain
34.) Jack and the Beanstalk
33.) Go to Mars
32) Meet the Keystone Cops.
All 1950's films for me.
For me their films fall into 3 groups with every film in the 1st group being preferred over the next group and so on.
1940-1945 -tough to pick a top film here as they are all strong.
1946-1949 - Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein top film here
1950-1956 -Meet the Invisible Man the top film here.
Almost a pattern. Except I mentioned In Hollywood as almost cracking my top 5. That’s easily my favorite MGM film from the boys. We are very close on agreeing with the 3 time frames and how we rank our favorites. There would only be a couple of exceptions on my end. The most blatant would be that I’d rank Meet the Killer over a few of the earlier films (Rio Rita, Lost in a Harem, and In Society). I’d say my favorite in the ‘46-‘49 period is Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap. My 50’s favorite is Comin’ Round the Mountain.
Gary “love talking Bud & Lou with other fans” O.
P.S. I also have a soft spot for Jack and the Beanstalk, so it would never be in my bottom 5.
Yeah it actually hurts to make a bottom 5 as I do like them all but have to pick something. Jack and the Beanstalk would probably improve for me if someone was able to release a better print on DVD or Blu Ray. I still have the laserdisc that Bob Furmanek did and it was a revelation at the time compared to all the public domain VHS tapes and I have the Roan DVD that was copied from the laserdisc but it could look a lot better now if given a new restoration and transfer as that one was done about 30 years ago.
There is no “bottom” for me when it come to Abbott and Costello
Then feel free to use the words “least favorite” if you’d rather. There’s no bigger fan of the boys than me, so it’s no dig to say “bottom 5” or “least favorite 5” as far as I’m concerned. I’ve watched every one of their films literally dozens of times each. I’ll watch Dance with Me Henry before I’ll watch any Martin & Lewis film (even though I like them and own the Paramount sets) and even most Laurel & Hardy and 3 Stooges stuff. So my bonafides as a serious Abbott & Costello fan have never been called into question by anyone that’s seen my den at home.
Gary “long live Bud and Lou” O.
Easy. My comment wasn’t directed at you. It was a general statement.
“There’s no bigger fan of the boys than me”
Yes there is. Me!
Thanks for the clarification on the first part. As for your last statement though...
Gary “I suspect several of us here will have to share the honor” O.
If you want to see A&C in a film where their timing and energy truly are "completely gone," DANCE WITH ME, HENRY (1956) is the one to beat. Any of the Universal films is a masterpiece next to this disaster. Sad to see them go out like this and want to weep, as did this young kid at a Saturday matinee back in the day. One or both of the stars may have been ill by this time, and probably desperately needed the income. I envy people who have never seen this film and never will...The IMDB score for this (6.1) indicates that someone out there likes this ( respectful nod to Gary), which I personally find inexplicable. But that is how the world turns.
Tino, I haven’t watched a non-monsters A&C movie in forever. If I one night feel like a good random laugh without committing to the whole series of films, what’s one you’d recommend to rent?
Right now I would say
Hold That Ghost
Time Of Their Lives
Recommendations are difficult, in large part because everyone's preferences and tastes are different. For instance, if a person is okay with Big Band and one or two sentimental musical numbers, I'd not hesitate to steer them toward Keep 'Em Flying or Ride 'Em Cowboy because Bud & Lou are in top form. They balance word play jokes with physical comedy perfectly in those early pictures. But if musical numbers are not someone's cup of tea I might recommend Who Done It? as the earliest example of an Abbott & Costello picture that doesn't have that element in it. Either way I'd personally recommend their wartime films first and foremost. Anything before 1946. Just my two cents.
Gary "then again, I'd never hesitate to recommend Meet the Killer - that's always gone over well with folks I've known" O.