Abbott and Costello’s In Society (1943), starring Bud Abbott, Lou Costello – DVD review
Bud Abbott and Lou Costello play the part of inept plumbers, who are hired to repair a leaky faucet at a mansion, shortly before a costume ball. After a hilarious sequence destroying the bathroom through their incompetence, Abbott and Costello are (mistakenly) invited to a society weekend, where a villain tries to enlist their help in stealing a valuable painting, “The Plunger.” This leads into a comedic chase scene at the end, where all gets resolved.
One of their finest movies, with the destruction of the bathroom being one of the funniest moments on film. It also features Abbott and Costello’s famous “Bagel Street” routine, also known as “Susquehannah Hat Company“, where Lou is trying to deliver some hats – but everyone he meets beats him up and ruins one of his hats – a truly hilarious routine.
Trivia about Abbott and Costelloâs In Society:
- Introduced here by Marion Hutton, the song “My Dreams are Getting Better All the Time” became one of the top hits of 1944 when recorded by Doris Day with The Les Brown Orchestra.
- Abbott and Costello were engaged in an acrimonious contract dispute with Universal during the making of this film, and as a result they refused to do re-shoots and every day, at exactly 4:00 p.m., whether they were in the middle of a scene or in the middle of a line, would immediately cease working and go home.
- This was the first Abbott and Costello feature to go into production in more than a year, following Lou Costello’s recovery from rheumatic fever.
- This was the first Abbott and Costello film to be directed by Jean Yarbrough.
- Universal was so anxious to get a new Abbott and Costello film into theaters that they sped up the production by bringing in a second director, Erle C. Kenton (who directed at least two production numbers, uncredited) and created the climatic chase sequence using footage from Never Give a Sucker an Even Break (1941). The rushed production schedule made this the most expensive Abbott and Costello film up to that time.