Friday, May 6, 2011

Buck Privates (1941)

Director: Arthur Lubin

Starring: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Lee Bowman, Alan Curtis, The Andrews Sisters, SHemp Howard

More info: IMDb

Plot: Bud and Lou enlist in the army in order to escape being hauled off to jail, and soon find themselves in boot camp. To their dismay, the company's drill instructor is none other than the cop who was all set to run them off to the hoosegow in the first place! The boys end up having a whale of a time getting under the skin of their humourless nemesis.

My rating: 5.5/10

Will I watch it again? Maybe in 30 years.

I love Abbott & Costello. When they're one fire, they're amazing. But just having them in a movie doesn't make it a good picture. It's a better one because of them but they've got to have good gags and material and it just pains me that this picture didn't deliver. Their humor goes from juevenille silly to outright clever as hell. BUCK PRIVATES gives us lots of the former and none of the latter. I think I laughed once. Hell, I even watched it with my dad and he LOVES A&C as much if not more than me. I don't recall hearing him busting a gut either.

The Andrews Sisters are always delightful. The illicit the WWII era more than any other artist and it's a treat to see them on the screen. This is A&C's second picture and their first as the leads. Too bad it didn't showcase their talents like the last one, ONE NIGHT IN THE TROPICS (1940). They didn't get as much screen time in that one but what was there was clever and damn funny.

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