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.

In America you can go on the air and kid the politicians, and the politicians can go on the air and kid the people.

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'. ”


Laura said...

I'm completely unfamiliar with this film. Sounds like fun. Nancy Kelly is of interest to me as she was the older sister of one of my all-time favorites, Jack Kelly of MAVERICK. I'll keep this film in mind! Always fun to be exposed to new titles. Thanks for an interesting write-up.

Best wishes,

Campaspe said...

Sutherland? A. Edward Sutherland, as in the director who had a brief marriage to Louise Brooks? definitely I shall take a look. I like Abbott & Costello, always have.

Wolf Flywheel said...


That would be the very same A. Edward Sutherland. You will certainly be satisfied with his work in this film.

Sallie said...

This is a great film- the whole series of Abbott & Costello is great. Another one I love is Who Done It?

Wolf Flywheel said...


'Who Done It' is one of my favorites. It's a good mystery movie to watch during the Halloween season along with 'Hold That Ghost'. I'd love it if you could locate a soundtrack for 'One Night in the Tropics'. I know it's a long shot, but there were great songs in there. 'Back in My Shell', 'You and Your Kiss', 'Remind Me' and your dream were wonderful. Allan Jones did a wonderful job with the music given him.

Sallie said...


I'll see what I can do. If nothing else, I can do a dvd rip of the songs! :)

Lyndatoye said...

I absolutely LOVE this movie! I'm a huge A & C fan and bought a "series" of A & C dvd's and this was the first of the bunch! Besides the who's on first, I laughed out loud at the "cigar smoking" bit, the mustard bit, the I worked 365 days at $1 a day bit and the husband/nerve bit to name a few! I love Jim "Lucky" and his goof ball buddy Steve and as much as I liked Cynthia I think Mickie stole the show with her tough-guy/gal attitude and never quit nerve! This is a GREAT movie of the time and makes you think when you compare beautiful voices, great writing and wonderful choreography it makes you wonder where all the actual talent went...days gone by, but even some of us "youngin's" appreciate the class of the old movies....


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