HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Vicious Fun
Unearth
Circumstantial Pleasures
Tyger Tyger
Filmmaker's House, The
Man Standing Next, The
Rock, Paper and Scissors
Batman: The Long Halloween Part One
Salaam Bombay!
Boss Level
My Heart Can't Beat Unless You Tell It To
Edge of the World
PTU
Superdeep
Insignificance
Treasure City
Piccadilly
Parallel
Invasión
Shiva Baby
Flowers of Shanghai
War and Peace
Agony
Merrily We Go to Hell
Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt)
Amusement Park, The
Lemebel
Hands of Orlac, The
Cats
Death has Blue Eyes
Caveat
Kala Azar
Duplicate
Flashback
Gunda
After Love
Earwig and the Witch
Zebra Girl
Skull: The Mask
Vanquish
   
 
Newest Articles
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
   
 
  Jack and the Beanstalk Don't Amount To A Hill Of Beans
Year: 1952
Director: Jean Yarbrough
Stars: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Buddy Baer, Shaye Cogan, James Alexander, Dorothy Ford, Barbara Brown, David Stolery, William Farnum, Johnny Conrad, Arthur Shields
Genre: Musical, Comedy, FantasyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 2 votes)
Review: Jack (Lou Costello) and his agent Mr Dinkel (Bud Abbott) are keen to put him to work, so they arrive at this employment agency to see if there are any posts he can take. Unfortunately Jack's driving is not the best and he bumps into a police car, the giant-sized cop (Buddy Baer) getting out and remonstrating with him, then finding they're both going into the same place as they end up inside the agency. The cop is there to see a receptionist (Dorothy Ford) almost as tall as he is, but before she goes she offers Jack a babysitting job - what could be simpler?

And what does this have to do with the fairytale of Jack and the Beanstalk? Patience is necessary, although perhaps a lot more than you might have anticipated when settling down to watch an innocuous children's film. It was notable for a few reasons, one being that Abbott and Costello were making one of their few outings expressly aimed at the kiddies; they were enormously popular with them at the time, having seen their audience with adults growing out of them to some extent, so it was a natural choice for them to star in a fable retooled for their particular brand of humour. Actually it was Lou's brother Pat who had the idea, and it sounded good enough to both of them to go with.

Another reason it was interesting was the boys hardly ever worked in colour: most of their films were in black and white, as was their television series, but here in true Wizard of Oz fashion the film began in sepia tones and once the fantasy plot commenced we were treated to a glorious wonderland of rainbow hues. Well, that was the idea, but this didn't half look cheap with its obvious sets and costumes brought out of mothballs to suit their purpose; what happens is rather than a tornado picking up the duo to the Land of Oz, Jack is being read the story by the obnoxious child he's supposed to be looking after for the night, then drops off and in his slumber he dreams up the whole thing.

With Costello as the hero, living with his not-so-doting mother on their farm where he looks after Henry the (female) cow, to the extent that he puts lipstick and rouge on its face, which will have you pondering the degree of his affection for the creature. Anyway, mother tells him to sell the cow because the giant has been raiding the area and nobody has much to eat anymore, so off Jack goes to the butcher, Mr Dinkelpuss (Abbott again), who buys it from him for five magic beans. You know how this goes, but the trademark fast talking vaudeville style of routines that made the comedians' names is not much in evidence, preferring to let them play out various creaky gags and lots of running about once they reach the top of the beanstalk.

You might have thought with their juvenile following Abbott and Costello would be a fine match for pitching their material at a younger age group, but oddly it doesn't turn out that way, and they're not much good here at all. Not half-hearted exactly, but obviously out of their element far more than their other excursions into fantastical genres were, though not helping was that they blatantly did not have the budget that would have made this succeed better than it actually did. This was a musical, and the songs were to a note absolutely diabolical with some appalling rhymes for ballad and humorous ditty alike, not helped by the one thing everyone recalls, the dreadful choreography, with the lead male dancer apparently making it up as he goes along. Costello and Ford also have a number where he takes his character's habit of bumping into things to ludicrous extremes: she even boots him in the face at one point. For a short film, there was a lot of padding as Baer (the giant) chases Lou about, and for creepiness check out the talking harp. No wonder it went unloved to public domain.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1712 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: