Thursday, September 2, 2010

City Slickers Get Caught in a Hillbilly Feud

Comin' Round the Mountain (1951)
Starring: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Dorothy Shay, and Margaret Hamilton
Director: Charles Lamont
Rating: Four of Ten Stars

When small-time talent agent Al Stewart (Abbott) book up-and-coming nightclub singer Dorothy McCoy (Shay) and talentless magician Wilbur the Magnificent (Costello) on the same bill, the two performers realize that not only are they cousins, but that Wilbur holds the key to locating a long-lost family treasure. So, the trio leave the big city for hillbilly country and riches... only to become embroiled in a reawakened backwoods feude between the McCoys and the Winfields.

"Comin' Round the Mountain" is definately one of Abbott & Costello's lesser films. This is partly because it that is also intended as a vehicle for singer Dorothy Shay. She has entirely too many musical numbers in the film (one would have been plenty), and her talent as an actress leaves something to be desired. I also think the hillbilly humor also hasn't aged well... well, or maybe the jokes just aren't that funny. (Although, paradoxically, part of me feels that if the film had spent a little more time on hillybillies fueding and shooting at each other, and gotten rid of some of the romance stuff, the film might have been funnier.)

Leave this one be, unless you're a tremendous A&C fan who must see all their films before your life is complete.

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