By all rights, One Night in the Tropics shouldn’t be an Abbott and Costello movie at all. It was a typical 1940’s romantic musical comedy, starring Allan Jones (perhaps most famous for Showboat as well as his work with the Marx Brothers in A Day at the Races and A Night at the Opera), Bob Cummings and Nancy Kelly. However, Universal Pictures had just put a pair of radio comedians under contract and wanted to give the pair, known as Abbott and Costello, a small part in the movie as comic relief, to see how they would do.
Bud Abbott and Lou Costello responded by stealing the show — literally. Every scene that they filmed had the film crew roaring with laughter, prompting the producer to keep expanding their parts, time and again. As a result, they worked some of their best routines into the picture, including:
- Who’s On First (a shortened version – the full version is found in “The Naughty Nineties“)
- Mustard Routine
- Money Changing
- Jonah and the Whale
- Paid In Full
- Two Tens For a Five
Although A Night in the Tropics is a fine romantic comedy all by itself, it has earned its’ place in movie history as Abbott and Costello’s first feature film — and a funny film it is, too.
I rate it 4 clowns on a 5-clown scale.
Funny movie quotes from Abbott and Costello’s One Night in the Tropics:
Bud Abbott: Put that out. There’s no smoking in here.
Lou Costello: What makes you think I’m smokin’?
Bud Abbott: You’ve got a cigar in your mouth!
Lou Costello: I’ve got shoes on … don’t mean I’m walkin’.
Lou Costello: He’s gonna make a wonderful husband.
Bud Abbott: You don’t even know what a husband is.
Lou Costello: A husband is what’s left of a sweetheart after the nerve has been killed.
Trivia from One Night in the Tropics starring Bud Abbott and Lou Costello
- Originally titled Caribbean Holiday
- Abbott and Costello’s first feature film. They were not the top-billed stars of the movie; this was just a routine Universal B-movie musical with contract players in the cast.
- Abbott and Costello were big radio stars when they made this, their debut film. The voices are heard before they appear on screen.
- William Frawley (playing the role of Roscoe) is best remembered for his role of Fred Mertz in the classic TV sitcom “I Love Lucy.”
- Leo Carrillo (playing the role of Escobar) is best remembered for his role as Pancho in the classic 1950’s TV series “THE CISCO KID.”