The World of Abbott and Costello (1965)
Article 5564 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by various
Featuring Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Jack E. Leonard
What it is: Film clips
Footage from various Abbott and Costello movies is edited together.
A good assortment of the best moments from the movies of the comedy team Abbott and Costello would be something desirable, but I have to say this one doesn’t really do them justice. The team’s best work was primarily verbal, but this movie seems to emphasize visual slapstick. Only occasionally does it hit on them at their actual best; the inevitable “Who’s on First” routine, a craps-playing sequence from BUCK PRIVATES, and the priceless and surreal Susquehanna Hat Company sequence. Still, for those interested in the fantastic content from their movies, this compilation has its uses. Yes, it has the inevitable clips from ABBOTT AND COSTELLO GO TO MARS and their encounters with Frankenstein and the Mummy, but you’d probably see those anyway. It also contains fantastically themed clips from some of the movie which otherwise aren’t fantastically themed; there’s the encounter with the witch from COMIN’ ROUND THE MOUNTAIN, part of the mirage sequence from ABBOTT AND COSTELLO IN THE FOREIGN LEGION, as well as some reality stretching gags (including a covered wagon crossing magically across a gap between mountains) from ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET THE KEYSTONE KOPS. The clips are supposedly cobbled together to tell very loosely about their rise to fame as movie stars, but that’s just an excuse for Jack E. Leonard to make occasional comic commentary. All in all, it’s a mixed bag that could have been so much better.