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Africa Screams (1949)

With a supporting cast that includes Shemp Howard, Max and Buddy Baer, and future Abbott and Costello Show regulars Hillary Brooke and Joe Besser, one would think that Africa Screams is better than it is. That's not to say that Africa Screams is necessarily a bad film; just an underwhelming one.

Buzz Johnson (Abbott) and Stanley Livingston (Costello) work at a book store. When Diana Emerson (Hillary Brooke) expresses interest in a book containing a map in it, Buzz and a reluctant Stanley take the opportunity to accompany her on an expedition to Africa, as Stanley has read the book that she was looking for and supposedly remembered the map. Along the way, Stanley is followed by a gorilla that he unintentionally saved and the duo continues to annoy the members of the expedition, which also includes famous animal trainer Clyde Beatty, nearsighted hunter Gunner (Shemp Howard), and the whiny Harry (Joe Besser).

The main problem with this film is Abbott and Costello themselves. The succ…

Mexican Hayride (1948)

With Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein being such a huge success at the box office, you'd think that Universal would try to just cash in on that right away and make even more crossovers between Abbott and Costello and the Universal Monsters. Actually, that wasn't the case, at least, not yet. Instead, they chose to adapt a Cole Porter musical, Mexican Hayride. Add this to the fact that Charles Barton, director of The Noose Hangs High and Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, was set to helm this project, Universal must have thought they had all the elements to succeed. They did not.

Costello is Joe Bascomb, a man from Iowa who's on the run after getting involved in an oil stock scam set up by Harry Lambert (Abbott). After another misunderstanding involving his ex-girlfriend, Mary (Virginia Grey), Bascomb finds himself travelling through Mexico as the United States's "goodwill ambassador" under the new name of Humphrey Fish. Meanwhile, two cops (Tom Powers…

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

Get ready for the ultimate crossover! Dracula is on the hunt for subjects to give the Frankenstein monster a new brain. With the help of his assistant, he is going to take these new subjects to his castle and perform the operation. However, one man is standing in his way: Larry Talbot, a.k.a. the Wolf Man. Featuring Bela Lugosi as Dracula, Glenn Strange as the Monster, Lon Chaney, Jr. as the Wolf Man, and, in their most frightening performance yet, Abbott and Costello...wait, what?

Yes, this movie actually happened. Someone at Universal must have said, "You know what moviegoing audiences have really been clamoring for? They want Abbott and Costello to meet the Universal Monsters." I mean, sure, these were two of their most profitable franchises, but pairing them together makes as much sense as having Martin and Lewis meet King Kong, or having Daffy Duck and Porky Pig meet the Groovie Ghoulies...oh right, that happened. Whatever happened, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein…

Disney in 1938

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For the Madein1938Blogathon, I’ve decided to go over all the Disney releases from this year. Outside of their usual shorts output, Disney also created a radio show, comics, and widely released their first ever feature film. There’s a lot to cover, so let’s dive right into Disney’s output for 1938.

TheMickeyMouseTheaterofTheAir


Considering that Disney was one of the first film producers to make the leap to television, creating such shows as TheMickeyMouseClub and the Disneyland TV series, it’s surprising to learn that the Disney studio only produced one radio series during radio’s Golden Age. Just as the Disneyland series was created mainly to promote the theme park of the same name, this radio show’s main purpose was to promote Disney’s full-length feature film, SnowWhiteandtheSevenDwarfs. It premiered on January 2, 1938 and a week later, a whole episode specifically dedicated to the feature aired. It featured several of the actors and actresses from the film, including Lucille La Vern…