Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tuesday Forgotten (or Overlooked) Film: HOLD THAT GHOST (1941) starring Bud Abbott and Lou Costello


If you have low tolerance for foolishness, you probably won't like this film much. But if you're feeling indulgent and you have an idea of how Abbott and Costello get on, this is a fun film to watch on a chilly October eve, with maybe a plate of accompanying vittles and a hot chocolate.

"Are you scared?"
"No. But if you see a pair of pants flying across the room, don't grab 'em cause I'll be in 'em."

HOLD THAT GHOST (1941) is an RKO film directed by Arthur Lubin and starring the once upon a time famed comedy duo of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello who are an acquired taste which you may not have acquired unless you too grew up watching them on television. Their brand of comedy is of the slapstick variety with Costello (the chubby one) being on the receiving end of many of Abbott's occasionally cringe-inducing slaps and digs. It takes getting used to. But when we were kids we thought it was hilarious.


That being said, some of their schticks are still funny and I've always had a secret liking for this particular film and for ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN (1948) (which I think is their best) and ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET THE KILLER, BORIS KARLOFF (1949) and WHO DONE IT? (1942). Obviously there's a theme going on here, admittedly I'm not a fan of the Abbott and Costello movies NOT featuring a mystery gimmick of some sort. The exception to that rule would be THE TIME OF THEIR LIVES in which Lou Costello played a ghost left over from the Revolutionary War and Abbott played a modern day psychiatrist - although maybe playing a cowardly ghost could be considered gimmicky enough.

In HOLD THAT GHOST the pair are up to their usual idiocy playing two numb-skulls who go from inept waiters, to inept gas station attendants to inept inheritors of a gang-land chief's road house: a spooky old place in which it is rumored, the dead guy hid all his money. Such a strong rumor naturally enough lures all sorts of bad-guy types to the house looking for the dough on a dark and stormy night.


Chaperoned by Charlie Smith (the very long-lived, sneery-faced actor, Marc Lawrence) playing a crooked lawyer's henchman (the first to die of course), and three travelers (Evelyn Ankers, Joan Davis and Richard Carlson) Lou and Bud are soon up to their ears in spooky doings and dead bodies. The famous 'candle scene' alone is worth the price of admission which, since you can watch the film for free at the link below, amounts to zip, but you know what I mean.

Joan Davis and Lou Costello. Uh-ohsource

And as if that weren't enough, in the end you get a nifty song and dance number from the Andrew Sisters, "Is it me or just my money...oh, oh, oh, Aurora."  FUN.

Link to watch HOLD THAT GHOST online.

Since it's Tuesday, don't forget to check in later at Todd Mason's blog, Sweet Freedom, to see what other forgotten (or overlooked) films, television or other audio/visuals other bloggers are talking about today.

14 comments:

  1. Well colour me foolish Yvette! This is one of my favourite early Bud & Lou films - grest choice!

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    1. Color me foolish as well, Sergio. Ha. Though truth to tell, the only scene which still makes me laugh is the 'candle scene'. Uh-oh. :)

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  2. I must be one of the few people who never found them very funny. Nor Laurel and Hardy for that matter. Nor the Marx Brothers. I must be missing a funny gene,

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    1. Awww, Laurel and Hardy?? I LOVE them in March of the Wooden Soldiers. The Holiday season just wouldn't feel right without at least one view of this old chestnut. But admittedly I'm not all that fond of the rest of their stuff. Still, from what I've read about them, I like them very much as people.

      The Marx Brothers too? Oh Patti, I love Groucho! NIGHT AT THE OPERA? No? Oh well, as I like to say: Nobody's perfect.

      We love you anyway, sweetie. :)

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  3. I love their goofy humor and these 'scary' old movies. Perfect for chilly fall evenings or rainy afternoons.

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    1. Exactly right, Joan. It's this time of year that these old movies give us the moist comfort. Probably leftover from childhood rituals. :)

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  4. Yvette, I'd love to see this film as it sounds like a lot of fun and besides I have never seen an Abbott and Costello film before.

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    1. Will you be able to watch at the link, Prashant? I hope so. Let us know what you think. :)

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  5. However I found A NEW LEAF riotously funny.

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    1. Well, how could you not? :) I love that movie too. One of my favorites. We have a rapprochement.

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  6. Yvette, we loved these movies too! Watched them all when the boys were little. March of the wooden soldiers was one of their favorites at Christmas time too. Of course now they wouldn't watch those old black and white hokey movies! Maybe someday when they are old?

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    1. Oh, for sure, Peggy Ann. Just wait until they get older. :) Then it's all nostalgia and 'I wouldn't miss it for the world.'

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  7. Oh my gosh! I saw this with my Mother. They were pretty funny.
    Boy, I feel old today, my bones hurt. Must be the rain heading to Maine.
    Stay dry, yvonne

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    1. Yeah, those were the good old days. I used to love these movies when I was a kid. Still do - part of the reason are the warm memories. We're having unseasonably warm weather these days. Don't like it. It's October - it should be chilly. But at least it's not raining or snowing. Ha.

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