Harvey Korman was one of the funniest supporting comedy actors of all time, brightening up the big and small screen with his memorable performances. On this episode of “The Online Movie Show,” the funnyman’s son and biographer Chris Korman discusses his father’s career and off-camera life.
Hillary Brooke could always be relied upon to bring an aura of cool glamour to the screen, whether she was the sophisticated foil to Abbott and Costello’s antics or the arch-enemy of Sherlock Holmes or the bringer of casual cruelty in “Jane Eyre” and “The Enchanted Cottage.” On this “Online Movie Show” episode, film historian Ron Palumbo offers insight on the life and often-surprising career of this much-loved blonde bombshell.
The episode can be heard here.
BOOTLEG FILES 704: “Abbott & Costello Meet Superman” (2015 fan film).
LAST SEEN: On YouTube.
AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.
REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: It’s kind of obvious what is going on here.
CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: They’re lucky that Mike the Cop doesn’t arrest them.
Fan films often represent a victory of enthusiasm over talent, with aspiring Spielbergs getting carried away with their mania over popular film franchises. For the most part, these films can be accepted as charming – a few are actually quite polished thanks to an intelligent use of digital effects.
BOOTLEG FILES 690: “Knights of the Bath” (1951 short film consisting of footage from the 1944 Abbott and Costello comedy “In Society”).
LAST SEEN: It is on YouTube.
AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.
REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: The material is copyright protected.
CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Unlikely.
Beginning in the 1930s, a company called Castle Films was a dominant force in the nontheatrical home entertainment market. In the decades before video technology, movie lovers would purchase either a projector and watch their favorite Hollywood films in the comfort of their homes. However, the Super 8, 8mm and 16mm formats did not easily support feature-length films, and the productions were often edited down to fit the reels being sold to the public. In many cases, certain sequences would be excised from the larger works and sold as standalone pieces, usually for one-reel or two-reel exhibition.
Originally airing on December 14, 1952 for the Colgate Comedy Hour, Abbott and Costello get to celebrate Christmas with the viewing audience and have a raucous time doing so. As with all Abbott and Costello comedy, the show moves at a rapid fire pace with consummate professionals Bud Abbott and Lou Costello having an impossible time staying still and taking a breather. Despite some segues here and there which were very typical of variety shows in the height of their popularity (there’s a wonderful dance routine by the Nicholas Brothers). Lou Costello is brilliant at reaction shots and double takes, and Bud Abbot is a wonderful straight man and foil. Also like skilled comedians, they make the best out of flubs.
It’s pretty crummy that Abbott and Costello don’t get to do much with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In fact you have them in a movie with Boris Karloff who doesn’t get to do much to spook them beyond his monster mask, and you have the pair of knuckleheads that almost play second banana in their own movie. In fact, they don’t really show up until twenty minutes in to the movie, and their entrance smacks of sloppiness and lack of ideas. The pair should have memorable introductions, and yet here their characters Tubby and Slim are only in the story by circumstance.
I honestly can’t think of a better film where the opposite spectrum of film come together so seamlessly, it’s absolutely flawless. Abbott and Costello were always that comedy pairing that could walk in to any situation and find themselves in peril, but teaming them with Universal monsters is a gamble. It’s one that thankfully pays off in to one of the funniest horror comedies of all time. While I tend to like “Hold that Ghost” a little more, “Meet Frankenstein” is spectacular just the same.
With the release of the big screen remake of “The Three Stooges” coming soon to theaters, we’re anxiously awaiting the audience reaction to this attempt at reviving the old team. Will audiences and critics be accepting of this effort? Or will it bomb out big time? Nevertheless, watching three modern actors attempt to capture the magic of the Three Stooges got us to thinking about some of our favorite comedy teams of all time and we compiled a list of five our favorites that we continue to visit time and time again in film and television.