Friday, March 30, 2012

ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET THE INVISIBLE MAN / Universal International - 1951

It's Friday with Tabonga, here at The Dungeon!.. Our feature is a fun little comedy with, at the time, my favorite comedians. My Aunt Edith had a collection of 8mm shorts we used to watch, one was where Lou drove a sprint racer, I loved it!..

Hey!.. Eegah!! made a soundclip for our listenin' pressure, sooo, push the big red 'GO' button, there next to the mutton, now, Rufus The Gnat! Here's some audio from... ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET THE INVISIBLE MAN!

As you can hear in the soundclip, Bud and Lou have just graduated as detectives from a crime school, notice the official diploma and 'detective' attire. Heaven help us all!

Arthur Franz was in a lot of cool fifties monster flicks which includes this impressive line-up... FLIGHT TO MARS, INVADERS FROM MARS, BACK FROM THE DEAD, THE FLAME BARRIER, MONSTER ON THE CAMPUS and THE ATOMIC SUBMARINE!! Here, he plays boxer Tommy Nelson, who's been framed for murder. His girl's dad, a doctor, has perfected an invisibility formula and Tommy just injected himself with it. All chased with a typical reaction by Lou!

What a beautiful shot!

This is a great part, where Tommy drives the car as Bud and Lou have to sit in the back. This motorcycle cop pulls up beside the 'driver' to pull him over, but, ends up at the psychiatrist's office instead!

But, the best part has to be here, where Lou impresses the crowd with his super dexterity on the speed bag! Tommy, who's invisible, is actually the one doing the work, as Lou pretends. It's freakin' hilarious!! Anyway, Louie The Looper introduces himself to the world... That's Sheldon Leonard there on the left as local crime boss, Boots Morgan.

This crazy comedy wouldn't be complete without scenes like these, the card game and dinner at a restaurant. Their waiter is played by Syd (the malt shop owner in THE CRAWLING HAND) Saylor.

Here, Adele Jergens puts the make on Louie. She plays Boots Marsden, Boots Morgan's scheming partner. Adele played Ruby in one of our favorite fifties flicks, DAY THE WORLD ENDED!

Bud and Lou have to carry an inebriated Tommy back to their room! William Frawley plays the bewildered house dick.

Rocky Hanlon is Tommy's arch enemy in the ring and works for Morgan. Louie and Tommy have Rocky wondering what the Hell's going on around here!!.. Gremlins?!

At one point, Tommy gets knocked out and Louie has to defend himself against Rocky, who's really pissed!! But, in the end, Tommy knocks Rocky out for the count and Louie wins the bout.

Tommy gets Boots to confess to framing him for the murder.

The doctor's giving Tommy a blood transfusion in order to save him after one of Boot's men tossed a knife into his chest, and, the transfusion's causing him to turn visible again!

Wouldn't you know it, Lou was the only one with the same blood type as Tommy.

Of course, the procedure causes Lou to turn invisible, making for the perfect ending!


L. said...

Great site , congratulations. I was wandering if you could help me since im trying to find an italian vampire movie i just need to know its name, the plot is simple in an old castle the master of it its aparently a priest that has communication with an important person on the vatican they exchange aparently biblical quotes but its a key to look for passages in black magic and occult books to transform the castle master into a vampire. In the mean time theres murders, a couple that visit the castle and thats all i remember. Thank you

Douglas McEwan said...

Abbott & Costello Meet the Invisible Man, tired though much of it is (And I've seen it again within the last 3 months), will always be important to me for one simple reason; it was the first movie I ever saw in a theater (The Strand, Redondo Beach, CA, 1952). The scene at the end where parts of Costello are fading out, and he screams, well to me at age 2, I saw it exactly as Lou did, and I screamed in terror also, and had nightmares at home that week about my legs running off and leaving the rest of me floating helplessly. I'm not joking. That part scared the crap out of me when I was 2.

Nowadays, it's the idea of seeing Lou Costello playing extended scenes shirtless that scares me.

I'd rate A&C Meet the Invisible Man as better than A&C Meet the Mummy but not as good as A&C Meet Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. Of course, A&C Meet Frankenstein towers over them all.

Oddly, though the setting is moved from a rich mining family to the standard boxing movie plot, the overall storyline is a remake of The Invisible Man Returns with Vincent Price.

In his pre-Abbot & Costello days, Lou costello actually was a boxer.

I am surprised you didn't include a shot from the office scene where you see the framed photo of Claude Rains, their one nod to James Whale's original movie. (A gag I didn't get when I was 2)

Eegah!! and Tabonga! said...

Can't say as I have an answer to that question, L. Maybe one of our readers knows what movie you're talking about!

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