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Hold that Ghost (1941)

Buy from Amazon.comEditorial review of  Hold that Ghost  (1941) starring  Bud Abbott,  Lou Costello, the Andrews Sisters, Ted Lewis and  Shemp Howard,  courtesy of  Amazon.com

Hold That Ghost, Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, 1941The third Abbott and Costello movie of 1941, and perhaps their funniest of all time, was rushed into release to capitalize on the wild box office success of their first two starring films,  Buck Privates  and  In the Navy. In  Hold that Ghost, Bud and Lou come into an inheritance: an abandoned roadhouse formerly belonging to a “rubbed out” mobster. This choice piece of real estate is also supposedly the hiding place for the mobster’s illicit loot. When they arrive to claim the “inheritance,” all mayhem breaks loose. People are mysteriously murdered. Lights go on and off. Walls turn inside out. Moans and shrieks are heard. And ghosts run rampant in this delightful comedy co-starring Joan Davis, who is hilarious as a “professional screamer,” and featuring musical performances by  The Andrews Sisters.

Funny movie quotes from Abbott and Costello’sHold That Ghost  (1941)

Ferdinand “Ferdie” Jones (Lou Costello): I called 42 “Oh, Chucks” and you didn’t come in.
Chuck Murray (Bud Abbott): I came in as soon as you hollered “Oh, Chuck!”
Ferdinand “Ferdie” Jones (Lou Costello): From now on, don’t wait for me to say “Oh, Chuck!” Get in here on the “Oh!”


Camille Brewster (Joan Davis): You boys ready to leave?
Ferdinand “Ferdie” Jones (Lou Costello): I was ready to leave when he put the key in the front door to come in!


Ferdinand “Ferdie” Jones (Lou Costello): [to Camille] Look, from now on, keep one eye on that candle, another eye on that one, and with the other eye watch me!


Ferdinand “Ferdie” Jones (Lou Costello): [to Chuck] I was playing choo-choo train! Aww you never let me have any fun.


Camille Brewster (Joan Davis): Are you a married man?
Ferdinand “Ferdie” Jones (Lou Costello): No.
Camille Brewster (Joan Davis): Neither am I.
[to Chuck]
Camille Brewster (Joan Davis): He’s old enough, isn’t he?
Ferdinand “Ferdie” Jones (Lou Costello): Oh sure I’m old enough, I play games, I play post office.
Camille Brewster (Joan Davis): Post office? That’s a kids’ game.
Ferdinand “Ferdie” Jones (Lou Costello): Not the way I play.


Ferdinand “Ferdie” Jones (Lou Costello): [looking at an old house with no paint] What did I tell you, Chuck? Anyplace painted dark brown, I never liked it.


Ferdinand “Ferdie” Jones (Lou Costello): Somebody blew out my candle!
Chuck Murray (Bud Abbott): That was the wind.
Ferdinand “Ferdie” Jones (Lou Costello): Since when does the wind eat garlic?


Ted Lewis: Is everybody happy?


Ferdinand “Ferdie” Jones (Lou Costello): If you see a pair of pants go flyin’ through the air, don’t grab ‘em.
Chuck Murray (Bud Abbott): Why not?
Ferdinand “Ferdie” Jones (Lou Costello): I’ll be in ‘em!


Camille Brewster (Joan Davis): [after tasting the soup] Like mother used to make… It stinks!


Camille Brewster (Joan Davis): What a tonsil.
[shouts]
Camille Brewster (Joan Davis): What a tonsil!


Ferdinand “Ferdie” Jones (Lou Costello): Oh a bed, that’s just what I need, a nice big bed to hide under.


Driver: [Ferdie parks his car disasterously] That man should have his license taken away.
Chuck Murray (Bud Abbott): I’ll see that he does as soon as he gets one.


Chuck Murray (Bud Abbott): Everything happens to you.
Ferdinand “Ferdie” Jones (Lou Costello): Everything except what happened to Charlie Smith.


Norma Lind: Somebody’s trying to scare us out of this house.
Dr. Duncan ‘Doc’ Jackson: Hey, what happened to those two detectives?
Camille Brewster (Joan Davis): Maybe they’re
[makes throat cutting noise]


Camille Brewster (Joan Davis): You sure you never heard of me? Camille Brewster?
Ferdinand “Ferdie” Jones (Lou Costello): No.
Camille Brewster (Joan Davis): You must have a cheap radio.


Ferdinand “Ferdie” Jones (Lou Costello): We were very close to Charlie Smith at the time of his demise.


Ferdinand “Ferdie” Jones (Lou Costello): He’s all tied up and he’s got a something in his mouth.
Chuck Murray (Bud Abbott): He had a gag in his mouth.
Ferdinand “Ferdie” Jones (Lou Costello): If he did he never got a chance to tell it.


Camille Brewster (Joan Davis): What’s on him, a cobweb?
Ferdinand “Ferdie” Jones (Lou Costello): It ain’t a wedding veil.


Chuck Murray (Bud Abbott): Remember that stuff that took the enamel off your teeth?
Ferdinand “Ferdie” Jones (Lou Costello): Sure, once I had 6 bottles of that stuff, I didn’t stagger.
Chuck Murray (Bud Abbott): Didn’t stagger?
Ferdinand “Ferdie” Jones (Lou Costello): I couldn’t move.


Ferdinand “Ferdie” Jones (Lou Costello): When I said gone with the wind, I should’ve said never the twain shall meet.
Camille Brewster (Joan Davis): What twain?
Ferdinand “Ferdie” Jones (Lou Costello): The twain on twat twee.

Trivia for Abbott and Costello’s  Hold That Ghost  (1941)

  • The Andrews Sisters were brought in after filming wrapped and the final nightclub footage was edited in after the film’s completion.
  • The runaway success of Buck Privates caused a stir in the upper ranks of Universal Pictures, which had already begun production on this film. The studio was enjoying its first solidly profitable year since it was acquired by new owners in 1936 and wanted to exploit Bud Abbott and Lou Costello as quickly as possible. The team’s next assignment, In the Navy, was decided by the powers-that-be to be a better follow-up project, so production on this film was ordered halted. It resumed about 4 months later. In retrospect, the decision was logical but probably unnecessary, since the comedy duo was the hottest act in show business and would remain so throughout the war years.
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