Jack and the Beanstalk (1952)

Genres - Children's/Family, Comedy, Fantasy  |   Sub-Genres - Children's Fantasy, Fairy Tales & Legends, Parody/Spoof  |   Release Date - Apr 9, 1952 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 82 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

Although Abbott & Costello are much loved by children, Jack and the Beanstalk is one of the few films they made that was specifically geared toward that audience. (It is also one of only two color films the comedy team made.) Those adults who are diehard fans of the duo will certainly enjoy Jack, but they may be a little disappointed, as the film keeps the two separated for great lengths of time and doesn't allow for as many opportunities for the discombobulated dialogue routines (a la "Who's On First") that are their strengths. While slapstick is always a part of a "Bud and Lou" flick, there's much more of it in Jack than is usual. There's also a great deal more music than one might expect, and it must be admitted that most of the tunes are rather more perfunctory than inspired. However, the fairytale framework does give Jack a more cohesive feeling than many of the team's outings, and there are a great many memorable moments, including an amusing exploding egg sequence and a very funny dance sequence between little Costello and the Amazonian Dorothy Ford. Although Abbott & Costello, as previously noted, are not allowed to engage in their usual repartee, they are otherwise much the same as usual, which will delight some and annoy others -- although the children at whom the film is aimed will undoubtedly fall into the former category. Shaye Cogan and James Alexander sing well but are otherwise quite dull, and the supporting cast in general is adequate rather but little more. But one doesn't watch an Abbott and Costello film for the supporting cast.