Abbott and Costello on the Home Front: A Critical Study of the Wartime Films

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As two of the most popular entertainers of the mid-century film industry, comic greats Bud Abbott and Lou Costello offered an essential balm to the American public following the sorrows of the Great Depression and during the trauma of World War II. This is the first book to focus in detail on the immensely popular wartime films of Abbott and Costello, discussing the production, content, and reception of 18 films within the context of wartime events on the home front and abroad. The films covered include the service comedies Buck Privates, In the Navy, and Keep 'Em Flying; more mainstream comic relief films such as Pardon My Sarong and Who Done It?; and post-war experiments such as Little Giant and The Time of Their Lives. More than 120 stills and lobby cards from the author's personal collection illustrate the text, including many showing outtakes or deleted scenes.

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Editorial Reviews

Marsh Towers
McFarland's high production values are well to the fore. Scott Allen Nollen's very informative and well-researched work is a rewarding and recommended read
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786435210
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/9/2009
  • Pages: 222
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Scott Allen Nollen was educated in film and history at the University of Iowa. He has written and edited more than 40 books on the history of film, literature and music.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Chris Costello Costello, Chris 1

Preface 3

Introduction 5

1 New Jersey Boys Make Good 7

2 On the Land and On the Sea: Buck Privates (1941) and In the Navy (1941) 12

3 Money in a Moose Head: Hold That Ghost (1941) 27

4 In the Air Corps: Keep 'Em Flying (1941) 34

5 B Western Bunk: Ride 'Em Cowboy (1942) 42

6 The Nazis of MGM: Rio Rita (1942) 49

7 Widespread Comic Relief: Pardon My Sarong (1942) and Who Done It? (1942) 56

8 Stallions and Skaters: It Ain't Hay (1943) and Hit the Ice (1943) 72

9 Sickness and Slapstick: Lost in a Harem (1944) 86

10 Clique and Campus: In Society (1944) and Here Come the Co-eds (1945) 94

11 Who's in Uncle Tom's Cabin? The Naughty Nineties (1945) 106

12 Lucy and Lou: Abbott and Costello in Hollywood (1945) 113

13 Postwar Experiments: Little Giant (1946) and The Time of Their Lives (1946) 120

14 Back from the Front: Buck Privates Come Home (1947) 137

15 Cold War Monsters 149

Appendix The Feature Films of Abbott and Costello 181

Chapter Notes 205

Bibliography 207

Index 209

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