One of the joys of my youth was spending Sunday mornings watching Abbott and Costello films on local television stations. With the rise of cable networks and broadcast affiliations, most of those films no longer make it to air and are left to be sought out on VHS and DVD. While Bud and Lou are best known for their spoofs on horror films featuring Frankenstein or the Invisible Man, one of their overlooked but nonetheless hilarious films is Abbott and Costello In Hollywood. The plot isn't much. In fact, it's more or less a shameless rip-off of A Night At The Opera (which shouldn't come to much of a surprise since screenwriter Nat Perrin was a well-known joke writer for the Marx Brothers), but that doesn't really matter. The film is little more than a strung together series of the old A&C vaudeville routines. As barbers looking to break into show business, Bud and Lou perform a lot of shtick, including the famous "shaving the balloon" bit, which inevitably leads them to run amok around a "major" Hollywood studio and coincidentally, providing opportunities for more gags. Among the highlights of these are a scene where Lou is forced to pose as a stunt dummy and is thrown around a western bar set and a big amusement park sequence. Most of the characters are very thinly drawn, but the necessary romantic interludes between the younger leads can almost be skipped. The real fun is when Abbott and Costello are on-screen causing mayhem. Most of the available versions of the film have a number of scenes deleted, which causes some of the sequences to appear disjointed and haphazard, but in the end it's still a good laugh of a film. Never quite on a par with the Marxes or the Stooges, the Abbott and Costello flicks are still fun.
by Dan Friedman review