Friday, May 14, 2010

Abbott and Costello vs Bedouins and
Cheese-eatin' Surrender Monkeys!

Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion (1950)
Starring: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Patricia Medina, Walter Slezak, Douglas Dumbrille and Wee Willie Davis
Director: Charles Lamont
Rating: Seven of Ten Stars

While in North Africa on business, a couple of American wrestling promoters (Abbott and Costello) become drawn into local intrigues by a beautiful French intelligence agent (Medina) and agents of a villainous Arab Bedouin sheik (Dumbrille) and are tricked into joining the French Foreign Legion.

"Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion" is one of the funniest, fastest-paced films the duo made. The film barrels from comedy setpiece to comedy set piece and and nonsense verbal routine to nonsense verbal routine with barely an establishing shot to separate them.

As funny as the film is, it's not perfect. A couple of the extended comedy routines don't quite work--like the chase scene involving a jeep and Arab bad guys on horseback--and the ending feels a little rushed and badly constructed. However, the good far outweighs the bad here, and it's definitely worth checking out if you've enjoyed other Abbott and Costello films, or if you're just a lover of wild crazy comedies.

Or if you're a lover of films that probably couldn't even be made today. This film features villainous Arabs who are sexist, violent and duplicitous in all things--oh noes! Never mind that the real world contains plenty of real people who are far worse than the character portrayed by Douglass Dumbrille in this film.

1 comment:

  1. Glad you liked this: a lot of A&C fans rate it pretty low. But it's always been one of my favourites.