|OpenFlix > Africa Screams|
I also wanted to see if they were as entertaining as I remembered them from my childhood: They aren't. I can only suppose they were an innovative act in their heyday in the '40s, when they were the biggest grossing movie comedians, but -- what can I say? -- they fail the proverbial test of time. They were fated to Trotsky's ash heap of history -- or, in this case, comedic history -- along with Eddie Cantor, Ma&Pa Kettle, Martin&Lewis, and, hopefully before long, Adam Sandler.
There's a saving grace or two, though, in this movie: One of the Three Stooges, Shemp Howard, has the best bit as a Mr. Magoo-like big game hunter, while a future Stooge, Joe Besser, who, eerily, would one day replace the deceased Howard, does his usual turn as a ludicrous sissy. If only this Abbott&Costello feature had a tenth of the classic qualities of those Three Stooges shorts that contemporaneously got so little respect!
Why? Well, it was classic Bud&Lou all the way. Picture Lou finding a trail of diamonds.....calling on Bud to help him carry ALL HIS MONEY! I'M GOING TO BUY POLO PONIES...OFFICE BUILDINGS!!!
I forget the name of the guy who plays Gunner, but you'll recognize him instantly as well........YOU GOTTA BUY THIS!!!!!!
The best comedy routines in "Africa Screams" involves Costello and animals, whether it is Abbott dressed up in a lion skin so "Stanley" can prove what a great hunter he is or being rescued by a gorilla. But my favorite scene is when Buzz thinks Stanley is dead and does not notice that his "dead" friend is commiserating with him over his regrets for having treated Stanley so badly. "Africa Screams" is one of the funnier Abbott&Costello films from this period, playing to Costello's strength in pantomime. This 1949 film was directed by Charles T. Barton and features not only the famous hunters Clyde Beatty and Frank Buck, but Shemp Howard of the Three Stooges as Gunner, the near-sighted gunman employed by Diane, and former World Heavyweight Champion Max Baer and his "little" brother Buddy as Grappler McCoy and Boots Wilson, her two goons.
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