Best of Abbott & Costello 1

Best of Abbott & Costello 1

Director: Arthur Lubin, Edward Sutherland, Erle C. Kenton
Cast: Bud Abbott

DVD (Black & White)


The films of Abbott and Costello have undergone a major upgrade for the first time in decades on The Best of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, Vol. 1. A handful of their movies, including Buck Privates and In the Navy, were previously available early in the DVD era from Image Entertainment as direct conversions of their old laserdisc masters, with the same dirt, occasional missing frames, bad splices, and other flaws that prevailed on the laser editions. (Just to show how much DVD consumer economics have changed since 1999, at that time the Image edition of Buck Privates by itself cost as much as this set of eight movies.) This two-disc set contains the eight feature films that Abbott and Costello made in their first two years in Hollywood: One Night in the Tropics (1940), Buck Privates (1941), In the Navy (1941), Hold That Ghost (1941), Keep 'em Flying (1941), Ride 'em Cowboy (1942), Pardon My Sarong (1942), and Who Done It? (1942). The movies that overlap with the earlier Image discs have all been transferred anew from distinctly cleaner, sharper sources, although there are still small flaws, such as a hair visible on the lower-left-hand corner of the screen in the opening credits for Hold That Ghost, which otherwise looks beautiful. The full-frame (1.33:1) transfers are as sharp as the technology will allow, at the practical limits of resolution so that they shimmer on shots of striped garments. Each movie has been given a detailed production and release history, and all but one (Pardon My Sarong) come with trailers (principally reissue trailers from Realart), which are usually a little on the scratchy side. One surprise, however, is the trailer for Keep 'em Flying, which was prepared in conjunction with a government-sponsored "Keep 'em Flying Week" intended to attract volunteers, and which runs a full nine minutes. Each film looks as good as has likely been seen over the past 40 years, be it in broadcast, on laserdisc, or theater screens. All come with 18 chapters (except for Buck Privates, which gets 19) and optional French and Spanish subtitles and English captions, and all four disc sides open automatically to a menu that goes three layers deep.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/10/2004
UPC: 0025192468223
Original Release: 0000
Rating: NR
Source: Universal Studios
Region Code: 1
Presentation: [B&W]
Sound: [Dolby Digital Mono]
Time: 11:01:00

Special Features

[None specified]

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Bud Abbott Abbott,Algernon Shaw,Blackie Benson,Chick Larkin,Chuck Murray,Duke,Smokey Adams,Slicker Smith
Lee Bowman Randolph Parker III
Alan Curtis Bob Martin
Allan Jones Jim Moore
Lou Costello Ferdinand Jones,Heathcliffe,Mervyn Milgrim,Pomeroy Watson,Wellington Phlug,Willoughby,Costello,Herbie Brown
Dick Foran Jimmy Roberts,Jinx Roberts
Dick Powell Tommy Halstead/Russ Raymond
Joan Davis Camille Brewster
Martha Raye Lillibelle Bolton
Nancy Kelly Cynthia
Patric Knowles Jim Turner
Virginia Bruce Joan Marshall
Anne Gwynne Anne Shaw
Carol Bruce Linda Joyce
Claire Dodd Dorothy Roberts
Lionel Atwill Dr. Varnoff
Richard Carlson Dr.Jackson
William Gargan Lieutenant Moran,Craig Morrison
Evelyn Ankers Norma Lind
Johnny Mack Brown Alabam
Louise Allbritton Jane Little
Robert Cummings Steve Harper
Robert Paige Tommy Layton
Andrews Sisters Themselves
Jane Frazee Judy Gray
Mischa Auer Gregory, Maitre D'

Technical Credits
Arthur Lubin Director
Edward Sutherland Director
Erle C. Kenton Director

Scene Index

Side #1 -- Disc 1
1. Love Like This (Main Titles) [3:37]
2. The Marriage Is Off [5:14]
3. Love Insurance [8:04]
4. Meet the Boys [5:37]
5. Caught in the Act [5:37]
6. You Go Your Way [2:56]
7. "Who's on First?" [4:30]
8. "You and Your Kiss" [5:54]
9. "Jonah and the Whale" [5:55]
10. "Back in My Shll" [6:05]
11. A Dirty Trick [6:17]
12. At the Bullfight [3:45]
13. "Mustard" [2:41]
14. "Your Dream Is the Same as My Dream" [5:14]
15. Call Me Lucky [2:58]
16. A Ghastly Pair [2:17]
17. Matrimonial Holdup [4:17]
18. The Payoff [1:24]
1. Main Titles [1:56]
2. New Recruits [4:57]
3. You're in the Army Now [5:34]
4. You're a Lucky Fellow. Mr. Smith [5:18]
5. The Clubhouse [3:47]
6. No Place Like Camp [4:53]
7. I Wish You Were Here [2:43]
8. Nice Move Solider [7:12]
9. I'll Be With You When it's Apple Blossom Time [4:42]
10. Drill Team [4:04]
11. Numbers Game [2:22]
12. Rifle Match [4:05]
13. On/Off [2:25]
14. When Private Brown Becomes a Captain [5:49]
15. Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B [2:25]
16. The Champ [4:32]
17. Military Maneuvers [6:30]
18. A Solider at Last [3:36]
19. Bounce Me Brother With a Solid Four [4:55]
20. You're a Lucky Fellow. Mr. Smith (Reprise) [2:11]
Side #2 -- Disc 1
1. Main Titles [2:01]
2. America's Singing Heartthrob [2:46]
3. A Clown in a Sailor's Suit [3:39]
4. Incognito [5:04]
5. "Off to See the World" [4:02]
6. Frame-Up [5:38]
7. "Find the Submarine" [6:34]
8. "Gimme Some Skin" [3:23]
9. Fighting Men [7:17]
10. "The Sailor's Life's for Me" [5:50]
11. Harnessing the Hammock [3:21]
12. "We're in the Navy Now" [6:53]
13. Sons of Neptune [3:35]
14. "Hula-Baluau" [4:23]
15. "7x13=28" [4:25]
16. The Captain's a Dope [6:39]
17. Clear the Deck for Action [5:12]
18. Double Crossed (End Titles) [4:40]
1. Main Titles [1:21]
2. Relief Waiters [4:38]
3. The Andrews Sisters [6:58]
4. Starting Trouble [5:01]
5. Beneficiaries [6:59]
6. Holdup for the Night [6:00]
7. Dirty Dancing [5:48]
8. Where's Mr. Smith? [4:47]
9. A Room for Ferdie [4:47]
10. It's Murder [4:09]
11. I'm Dreaming [5:23]
12. Testing the Water [3:48]
13. Ghostly Steps [4:46]
14. Watch the Candles [5:37]
15. Money Moose [4:59]
16. Hand it Over [4:15]
17. Everybody's Happy [5:21]
18. End Titles [1:04]
Side #3 -- Disc 2
1. Main Titles [1:54]
2. Playing Games [5:05]
3. "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You" [4:40]
4. Stick to the Union [3:45]
5. Cheapskates [5:09]
6. Double Trouble [2:41]
7. Sneaking Into the Academy [5:07]
8. Private Ground Crew [5:33]
9. "Big Foot Pete" [4:32]
10. Phone Fight [2:48]
11. "Let's Keep 'Em Flying" [2:49]
12. Runaway Torpedo [4:13]
13. In the Funhouse [8:25]
14. "The Boy With the Wistful Eyes" [3:36]
15. Grounded [8:26]
16. Fly Boys [6:37]
17. Jinxed Rescue [7:54]
18. Bail Out (End Titles) [2:37]
1. Bronco Bob (Main Titles) [5:45]
2. Peanuts and Popcorn [3:58]
3. America's Greatest Cowgirl [4:34]
4. A Narrow Escape [4:18]
5. "Wake Up, Jacob" [3:35]
6. "A-Tisket, A-Tasket" [5:24]
7. Springboard Champion [5:16]
8. Sign Up for the Rodeo [3:53]
9. Roping Wildcat [5:15]
10. "Besides the Rio Tonto Shore" [3:59]
11. Udder What? [5:52]
12. "I'll Remember April" [3:41]
13. Only a Dummy [5:59]
14. Dr. Ha Ha's Sanitarium [5:05]
15. "Rockin' Around the Square" [5:43]
16. Sunday Driver [8:40]
17. Frontier Day [2:58]
18. "Ride 'Em Cowboy" (End Titles) [1:31]
Side #4 -- Disc 2
1. Main Titles [1:28]
2. Off-Route [6:10]
3. The Four Ink Spots [5:53]
4. Disappearing Act [6:47]
5. Tip, Tap and Toe [5:00]
6. Able-Bodied Seamen [3:55]
7. All Hands on Deck [6:50]
8. Sea Rationing [4:15]
9. Uncharted Isle [4:20]
10. Mullah, The Legendary God [4:38]
11. "Lovely Luana" [7:31]
12. The Next Sacrifice [2:50]
13. "Vingo Jingo" [8:41]
14. Sacred Jewel [3:55]
15. Enter the Temple [3:49]
16. Jungle Gym [4:06]
17. Mullah to the Rescue [3:21]
18. End Titles [:18]
1. Main Titles [1:28]
2. "Murder at Midnight" [4:07]
3. Limburger Cheese [2:33]
4. Soda Jerks [4:00]
5. Murder! [6:57]
6. "Not Watts, Volts!" [4:47]
7. The Rubber Glove Clue [1:54]
8. Spruce Yourself Up [4:01]
9. Your Time Has Come [6:49]
10. Another Dead Body [6:22]
11. Secret Code [2:44]
12. The Flying Bordeilos [4:14]
13. The Line Is Busy [5:45]
14. "Every Time You Hear Those Two Guys..." [2:54]
15. Black Horse Mervyn [6:48]
16. Midnight Broadcast [3:41]
17. High-Wire Act [6:43]
18. Jr. G-Man [1:08]

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Best of Abbott & Costello 1 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
By the time Bud Abbott & Lou Costello made their way to the big screen they already had over a decade's worth of radio success. Voted in 1942 as America's best beloved movie stars, the team easily breezed through a series of classic comedies in a career that - only near the end - showed signs of their growing tempestuous relationship and that their popularity was waning. It's widely acknowledged today that the team did not get along in their private lives - a shame since their on camera shenanigans suggest a friendship that, sadly, never was. UNIVERSAL gives us eight great Abbott & Costello comedies in The Best of Abbott & Costello: The Franchise Collection. One Night In The Tropics (1940) is A&C¿s first on screen appearance. They play supporting roles as a couple of front men for a wacked out 'love insurance' racket involving then resident heartthrob, Allan Jones. William Frawley¿s also in it for kicks as well as the sadly forgotten Robert Cummings. The film is a pleasant mix of song, comedy and dance. The Tarentello production number is among the most lavish sequences that Universal ever produced for an A&C film. On the strength of their debut, Universal rushed Bud and Lou into Buck Privates (1941). The boys join the army to avoid a prison sentence and wind up falling in love with the trio of songbirds, The Andrews Sisters, who would remain a main staple cameo act in many of the subsequent A&C adventures that followed. Hold That Ghost (1941) is a hilarious mob hit/ghost story that cemented Bud and Lou¿s popularity at the box office. Despite the intrusion of several tacked on production numbers (provided by Ted Lewis and The Andrews Sisters) the comedy on this occasion is sterling. After a big time thug, Moose Madsen is killed in the back of their car Bud and Lou inherit a run down speakeasy in which a million dollar inheritance has been hidden. Pardon My Sarong (1942) as Bud and Lou heading for the South Seas. It¿s something of a disappointment though, with head and fortune hunters taking over the latter half of the plot. A drawn out chase sequence ensues with mediocre comedic results. Keep 'Em Flying (1941) has A&C crash the air force after they inadvertently become involve is a spurious circus racket. Ride 'Em High (1942) is a genuine treat, a rodeo lampoon with plenty of horse play and high comedy. Ella Fitzgerald introduces one of her all time hits, ¿A Tisket, A Tasket¿ and several other production numbers make for a pleasant dude ranch diversion. Who Done It? (1942) is the other high water mark of comedic genius in this collection, as Bud and Lou attempt to solve a radio land murder mystery by impersonating police detectives. In The Navy (1941) tops off this collection. It¿s a sort of Buck Privates on the ocean. It¿s not as succinct as Buck Privates, but it does retain the familiar formula of A&C and The Andrews Sisters, the latter delivering another bumper crop of hit swing tunes that are sure to please. There¿s plenty to smile over with the transfers. The films are spread, 2 per side, of two double sided discs. Certain films in this collection have benefited from prior restoration work done when they were reissued nearly a decade ago on laserdisc. Although each film represents variations in age related artifacts (dirt, scratches, dust, etc.) Universal has taken great care in digitally remastering these films to DVD. I have to say that after realizing there were two movies on each side of each disc I didn't hold out much hope for quality. I am pleased to say I was wrong. The picture quality of all the movies in this set is remarkably solid with an excellent gray scale and perfectly balanced contrast and shadow levels. These DVD's are a considerable improvement over the quality featured on the previous discs. The audio for all is MONO but well balanced and ideally represented. Extras are, unfortunately, limited to theatrical Trailers and production notes. Seriously, though, with two movies per side anything more would
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
so nice to acquaint my grandchildren to these great old abbot and costello classics. even in black and white, these movies are so funny that we could watch them over and over.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Abbott and Costello have been my favorite comedic duo since I was a kid. I was elated when I found out about this release. Having these first movies of their brilliant career on DVD is a dream come true. I cannot wait for the next volume.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago