Friday, July 27, 2007
"a husband is what's left of a sweetheart after the nerve has been killed."
Just wanted to stick my head in here real quick to suggest a movie. The line above comes from a great movie called "One Night in the Tropics". It was largely an Allan Jones/Nancy Kelly vehicle , but it survives today on DVD because it was the first big screen outing for the team of Abbott and Costello. It's available in The Best of Abbott and Costello Vol. 1. If you watch it hoping to see a standard A & C movie then you will be not get what you came for. The movie has some great scenes with the pair which include one liners like the above title as well as the first silver screen rendition of 'Who's on first?". Notwithstanding, they are merely co-stars in this film. Allan Jones had always been "the guy in a couple of Marx Bros. films to me until I watched this. Mr. Jones holds his own here and I was left wanting to find more of his films.
In "One Night in the Tropics", Jones plays an insurance salesman who has a skeptical view of love and sells his friend Steve (Robert Cummings) love insurance. If his friend's impending marriage to Cynthia (Nancy Kelly) goes off without a hitch, then all is well. If they don't say "I do." then Jim (Allan Jones) has to pay out a large sum. Jim gets a local night club owner/tough guy (William Frawley of 'I Love Lucy' fame) to back the policy and all is set. On his way to this 'sure thing', an old flame of Steve's enters the picture and throws a kink in the plans. Jim figures to solve this by escorting the happy couple to San Marcos, South America for a getaway before the wedding. Abbott and Costello are sent as well to make sure everything goes according to plan as they are employed by the night club owner. Those two in the roles of bumbling and good hearted tough guys was wonderful. Somehow Steve's old flame appears and causes more trouble, until Jim begins to fall in love with Cynthia which brings the real trouble.
It's a great comedy directed by A. Edward Sutherland who directed another great comedy team in 'The Flying Deuces'. Along the way, Jones sings a few songs which really get me curious about soundtrack possibilities (Sallie, if you're reading this you can consider this a request). Robert Cummings is very entertaining as the confused, accident prone friend to Jones' smooth, singing, unintentional ladies man. It's a shame that it goes largely unnoticed by film fans and hopefully more will discover it. I watched this again recently and remembered how truly enjoyable it is. Take my advice and do what you can to check out this great film. You'll thank me for it.
Please feel free to comment if the need strikes you.
“Abbott: Put that out. There's no smoking in here.
Costello: What makes you think I'm smokin'?
Abbott: You've got a cigar in your mouth!
Costello: I've got shoes on... don't mean I'm walkin'. ”