Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Pardon My Sarong (1942)

Within the first half of this movie, Abbott & Costello leave town in a bus that shouldn't really be leaving town, have fun pretending to be magicians, help out on a sailing trip and end up on an uncharted island. You can't accuse the duo of not trying hard enough with this effort, one that is full of some great comedy sequences and a number of amusing lines.

It's not perfect, and certainly won't win over anyone not a fan of the boys, but there's a lot here to make you laugh out loud. When the boys try to use a baseball story to avoid paying for gas you get the first decent bit of comedy but the highlight of the whole film would have to be when Abbott & Costello try to avoid being caught by a detective by impersonating magicians (especially amusing when Lou keeps removing his cigar from his mouth, complete with the false beard and moustache attached to it). Having said that, a classic comedy staple (the old "pretending to be a statue" gag) is also a contender for the highlight of the film, mixing some standard slapstick with clever changes in the poses adopted by our two leads. And there's a cute seal. What more could you ask for?

There are also a few lively song and dance numbers here and there (though it's strange to watch a film nowadays that features a group of African American singers called "The Four Ink Spots") and a decent supporting cast. Robert Paige, Virginia Bruce and Leif Erickson are just fine but Lionel Atwill is always a pleasure to see onscreen, William Demarest takes part in that great magician sequence and Nan Wynn is a delight to watch.

Erle C. Kenton directs well enough but it's the screenplay, by True Boardman, Nat Perrin and John Grant, that really helps raise this one up a couple of points. Fans of A & C would do well to make sure they see this enjoyable outing and anyone else who just enjoys a good laugh should give it a try sometime.




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  2. Thanks very much. Pardon My Sarong is certainly one of the best A & C movies I've seen so far but I always have affection for the duo after seeing them often in my youth when the TV used to repeat their comedy show during school holidays and I saw many of their fantastic routines in their original form :-)