Mexican Hayride (1948)

Genres - Adventure, Comedy  |   Run Time - 77 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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The Cole Porter musical upon which Mexican Hayride is based was no great shakes, but it did have the benefit of Porter's witty lyrics and his sparkling music. As was so often the case with Hollywood in the 1940s, the film jettisoned the entire score -- leaving an absolutely nothing script upon which to build a picture. The result is a pretty mediocre affair, and a surprisingly dull one given the involvement of stars Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. Perhaps because the plot the writers inherited was so weak, they overcompensated by overfilling Hayride with pointless complications and detours -- none of them imaginatively conceived or capable of adding much to the proceedings. The stars do get a few chances to shine, such as in the "gold ore" sequence which plays up their verbal misunderstanding-based humor, and Costello's climactic bull fight sequence does deliver a lot of laughs, But there are also long stretches where the jokes fall flat on a consistent basis. Abbott and Costello get some comic assist from Fritz Feld and Sid Fields, but they're work is strictly supporting and can't add enough "oomph" to things. Charles Barton's direction is workmanlike, but much more is needed to make Hayride the riot it wants to be.