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It Ain't Hay
     

It Ain't Hay

Director: Erle C. Kenton, Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Grace McDonald

Cast: Erle C. Kenton, Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Grace McDonald

 
In one of their most genial comedies -- based on a Damon Runyon story -- Bud Abbott and Lou Costello have to help one friend (Cecil Kellaway) replace his beloved carriage horse, and another friend (Leightno Noble) put together a US Army camp show. Through a misunderstanding, they take what they think is a worthless nag from a racetrack stall, only to discover that

Overview

In one of their most genial comedies -- based on a Damon Runyon story -- Bud Abbott and Lou Costello have to help one friend (Cecil Kellaway) replace his beloved carriage horse, and another friend (Leightno Noble) put together a US Army camp show. Through a misunderstanding, they take what they think is a worthless nag from a racetrack stall, only to discover that they've actually stolen "Tea Biscuit," the world's greatest racehorse. Not only are the authorities after the pair -- who try to hide the horse in their hotel room -- but so is freelance trouble-shooter Eugene Pallette (who already has had one unrelated run-in with the boys), and complicating matters even further are three racetrack touts (led by Shemp Howard) who want to cash in on the mistake. Grace McDonald and Patsy O'Connor), along with bandleader Noble and the Step Brothers, provide the music and dancing in this wild romp, that takes us from New York's Central Park to the racetrack at Saratoga.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
The better part of a decade before Guys And Dolls went on the boards, Universal decided to musicalize Damon Runyon's work with It Ain't Hay, based on the author's story Princess O'Hara. Composer Harry Revel and lyricist Paul Francis Webster might not have been any real competition for Frank Loesser, but they did a pretty good job for a B-musical from what was almost a B-studio at the time -- Revel's melody for "Sunbeam Serenade" (used over footage of what looks like the real Central Park) is woven throughout the score, and "Glory Be" provides the basis for a nicely exuberant production number. And the final production number, built on "Hang Your Troubles On A Rainbow" -- and highlighted by the work of the Step Brothers (with Lou Costello) -- is a delightful patriotic piece with great comedic grace notes. And that brings us to the real reason that anyone watches a movie like this, for the comedy of Abbott & Costello. The duo's timing is so good throughout this picture that it's still fun to see across 50 years, even if it isn't the best script they ever had to work with -- it might be the best story, at least until Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein. And as an added bonus, the Damon Runyon ambience, for an earthy, lusty New York that still existed in 1942 (and lasted for another four decades, in ever-receding corners), still comes through in the early scenes.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/07/2014
UPC:
0025192095917
Original Release:
1943
Source:
Universal Mod
Presentation:
[B&W]
Time:
1:21:00
Sales rank:
34,557

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Bud Abbott Grover Mockridge
Lou Costello Wibur Hoolian
Grace McDonald Kitty McClain
Cecil Kellaway King O'Hara
Eugene Pallette Gregory Warner
Patsy O'Connor Peggy Princess O'Hara
Leighton Noble Pvt. Joe Collins
Shemp Howard Umbrella Sam
Samuel S. Hinds Col. Brainard
Eddie Quillan Harry the Horse
Richard Lane Slicker
Andrew Tombes Big-hearted Charlie
Pierre Watkin Maj. Harper
William Forrest Banker
Wade Boteler Reilly
Selmar Jackson Grant
Vagabonds Musical Specialty
Step Brothers Themselves
Charles Bennett S.P.C.A. Driver
Eddie Bruce Good Humor Man
Charles Coleman Actor
Fred Cordova Attendant
Paul Dubov Tout
James Flavin Cop
Eddie Foster Grafter
Kit Guard Actor
Tom Hanlon Radio Announcer
Harry Harvey Shorty
Herbert Heyes Manager
Robert E. Homans Actor
Kate Lawson Matron
Barry Macollum Hack Driver
Mike Mazurki Actor
Jack Norton Drunk
Spec O'Donnell Newsboy
Frank Penny Ticket Seller
Ralph Peters Man at Mike
Rod Rogers Jockey
Sammy Stein Bouncer
Harry Strang Policeman
Herb Vigran Man in Mike Room
Bobby Watson Clerk
Matt Willis Actor
Harold DeGarro Stilt-Walker
Janet Ann Gallow Little Girl

Technical Credits
Erle C. Kenton Director
Allen Boretz Screenwriter
Daniel Dare Choreography
Russell A. Gausman Set Decoration/Design
John B. Goodman Art Director
Alex Gottlieb Producer
John Grant Screenwriter
Frank Gross Editor
Harold H. MacArthur Art Director
Charles Previn Musical Direction/Supervision
Harry Revel Score Composer
Frank Skinner Musical Arrangement
Charles Van Enger Cinematographer

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