Thursday 2 August 2012

Abbott And Costello Meet The Mummy (1955)

It's a shame that Abbott and Costello kept making a number of movies after their peak years were already fading fast behind them but there were still fun moments for fans to take from each of their films. And, despite the dismissal it gets by many film lovers, I think that this movie sees A & C end their days making films for Universal on a bit of a high note. It's still quite a bit below their best work but there are a number of great set-pieces here that work like a charm.

The plot, as if you couldn't figure it out, sees the two men getting mixed up with a lively mummy. There is more than a little scheming, there's a murder and there's an extra complication when Lou eats a medallion that many people want to get their hands on.

John Grant is back on writing duties (as usual) and Charles Lamont is directing again for this flimsy bit of fun. From an opening sequence that showcases some absolutely, jaw-droppingly, great "Apache" dancing to a fun skit involving A & C being unnerved by a dead body to the moments that lead up to the medallion being eaten to the argument that stems from Bud "taking his pick" and opting for a spade, there are plenty of enjoyable moments from beginning to end.

Everything comes to a temporary halt for Peggy King to sing the pretty dire "You Came A Long Way From St. Louis" but it gets right back on track again soon after. Marie Windsor, Kurt Katch, Richard Deacon and a bandaged Eddie Parker provide a mixed bag of support but this A & C movie is just like most of the other A & C movies, at its best when the two leads are onscreen and sparking off each other.

Fans of The Mummy, as one of the classic Universal monsters, may be upset by the fact that the character isn't ever really portrayed as a real threat but fans of Bud and Lou should find this a worthwhile viewing.


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