Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion (1950) starring Bud Abbott, Lou Costello
In Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion Bud Jones (Bud Abbott) and Lou Hotchkiss (Lou Costello) are wrestling promoters. Their star attraction, Abdullah, skips town to return to his home in Arabia. While scouring the desert in search of Abdullah, Bud and and Lou inadvertently purchase slave girl Nicole Dupre. With equal inadvertence, they join the Foreign Legion. In their own bumbling, inept fashion, our heroes manage to foil a desert uprising fomented by Shiek Hamud El Khalid and traitorous Legion Sergeant Axmann (Walter Slezak).
The film’s highlights include :
- An opening scene parody of pre-rehearsed wrestling matches (shades of the WWE).
- A “mirage” routine capped by one of the punniest vaudeville punchlines in history.
- A runaway-jeep routine at the finale.
- Bud Abbott … Bud Jones
- Lou Costello … Lou Hotchkiss
- Patricia Medina (The Beast of Hollow Mountain) … Nicole Dupre
- Walter Slezak (The Inspector General) … Sgt. Axmann
- Douglass Dumbrille (Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, The Frozen Ghost) … Sheik Hamud El Khalid
- Leon Belasco … Hassam–Auctioneer
- Marc Lawrence (The Monster and the Girl, Life with Blondie)… Frankie–Loan Shark
- William ‘Wee Willie’ Davis (The Asphalt Jungle, Samson and Delilah) … Abdullah
- Tor Johnson (Plan 9 from Outer Space, Bride of the Monster)… Abou Ben
- Henry Corden (The Man Called Flintstone) … Ibrim
Quotes from Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion
Bud Jones (Bud Abbott): What’s the idea of teaching midgets to wrestle?
Lou Hotchkiss (Lou Costello): They’re for those small television sets.
Trivia for Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion
- Filming was originally scheduled to begin in December 1949. It was postponed when Lou Costello had to undergo an operation for a gangrenous gall bladder in November 1949. Despite having a stunt double, Costello did his own wrestling in the film. This resulted in a wrenched arm socket and a stretched tendon.
- In the mirage sequence the skeleton is voiced by Candy Candido. He later teamed up with Bud Abbott after Lou Costello died.
- Douglass Dumbrille plays a corrupt Arab sheikh. Just as he had done in Abbott and Costello’s other Middle Eastern spoof, “Lost in a Harem.”
- The mirage Paper boy was David Gorcey, younger brother of Leo Gorcey, who played part of “The Bowery Boys.”