Buck Privates Come Home
Robert Arthur for Universal
directed by Charles Barton
starring Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Beverly Simmons, Joan Shawlee (as Joan Fulton), Nat Pendleton, Tom Brown, Don Porter, Donald MacBride, Don Beddoe, Charles Trowbridge, Russell Hicks, Joe Kirk, Knox Manning, Milburn Stone
story by Richard Macaulay, Bradford Ropes, screenplay by John Grant, Frederic I. Rinaldo, Robert Lees, music by Walter Shumann
Abbott & Costello
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When Abbott and Costello come home from winning a war (the second of
those World Wars to be precise), Costello couldn't help but bring a 7 year
old French girl (Beverly Simmons) with him. Of course, he was a little too
blue-eyed about it, and thus his attempt to smuggle the girl into the USA
is detected before reaching American shores - but since the girl is quite
resourceful on her own, she manages to escape authorities, and now it's up
to Abbott, Costello, the blonde (Joan Shawlee) who was supposed to take
her back but became sympathetic to her cause, and her racecar-builder
boyfriend (Tom Brown) to keep her out of the hands of the law, especially
one over-zealous but underqualified cop (Nat Pendleton) who was also
Costello's main nemesis in the army. After a big carchase finale, out
heroes triumph over authorities of course by moving everyone to tears ...
are good and bad things to say about this movie: On the plus side, Lou
Costello has some pretty good comedy moments, and the carchase involving a
vintage racecar is just great (and pretty well-executed even by today's
standards). On the minus side though, Bud Abbott doesn't at all contribute
to the humour of this movie anymore and most of the time you're just left
wondering why he's so rude, the movie's romantic couple of do-gooders
(Joan Shawlee and Tom Brown) are positively boring in their goodness (and
thus slow down the film at times), and the story as such is so hard trying
to "have a heart" it comes across as nothing more than cheesy.
don't get me wrong, Abbott and Costello have done much worse during their
career - but that doesn't make this one a particularly good film ...