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Keep ‘Em Flying (1941)

Keep 'em Flying - Lou Costello, Bud Abbott

Abbott and Costello in Keep ’em Flying (1941) starring Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Martha Raye

Lou Costello on the wing of a biplane in Keep 'Em Flying

Bud Abbott and Lou Costello play two carnival workers who join the Army Air Corps with their barnstorming stunt pilot friend. Abbott and Costello swear off women until a beautiful singer joins the USO, which begins a very unusual love triangle. €”Martha Raye plays the part of twin sisters, one shy and demure, and the other outgoing and earthy. This leads to one of their most famous routines, Turkey Sandwich and a Cup of Coffee – hilarious, and one of the high points of the movie.

Funny movie quotes from Abbot and Costello’s Keep ’em Flying:

Bud Abbott: No, you don’t want to drink. Remember, every time you go into a barroom, the Devil goes in with you.
Lou Costello: If he does, he buys his own drink.

Trivia about Abbott and Costello’s Keep ’em Flying:

  • This was originally planned for production after Ride ‘Em Cowboy (1936). The huge success of the previous service comedies, Buck Privates (1940) and In the Navy (1940), caused Universal to produce this first. The War Department also announced a recruitment campaign called “Keep ’em Flying Week” which Universal could use as a patriotic tie-in.
  • The original trailer was actually a one-reel recruitment short, running about 9 minutes, for the Army Air Corps which included clips from this film.
  • For the torpedo chase, Lou did his shots in front of a rear projection screen. For the long shots, it’s Pat Costello, Lou’s brother, doubling Lou for the stunts.

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