Hit the Ice (1943)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Slapstick  |   Run Time - 82 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Hal Erickson

The Abbott & Costello vehicle Hit the Ice started life as satire of health clinics, with Lou Costello cast as a hypochondriac who used a streetcar conductor's change-purse to dispense pills to himself. By the time the film hit the screens, it was a standard A&C melange of comedy, music and fast-paced chase scenes, with nary a pill in sight. Bud and Lou are cast as would-be photojournalists Flash and Tubby, who inadvertently snap a picture of two bank robbers leaving the scene of the crime. Accused of knocking over the bank themselves, our heroes find it expedient to hide out at a Sun Valley ski resort. Here they tie up with Silky Fellowsby (Sheldon Leonard), the mastermind of the bank heist, who is led to believe that Flash and Tubby are a couple of Detroit "hit men". In the course of events, Tubby falls in love with Silky's girl Marcia Manning (Ginny Simms), romancing her by pretending (with Flash's dubious assistance) to be an accomplished concert pianist. The final confrontation with the crooks leads to an elaborate chase on skis, with all manner of hilarious (and wildly impossible) sight gags. The barely necessary romantic subplot involves doctor Bill Elliot (Patric Knowles) and nurse Peggy Osborne (played by Elyse Knox, the mother of actor Mark Harmon). Best bits: the classic "packing-unpacking routine, a zany skating sequence, and the old "I'll bet I can stand next to you and you can't touch me" chestnut. Hit the Ice was Lou Costello's last film before rheumatic fever kept him off screen for a full year.



bank-robbery, hypochondriac, name-clearing, photojournalist