The 40's

Abbott And Costello Meet The Killer, Boris Karloff [1949]

Like their earlier movie “Who Done It?”, Abbott and Costello find themselves once again investigating a murder. And despite the title being a bit misleading, this is among their finest work. No, Boris Karloff is not actually the killer here, as he is only a supporting character. I guess putting his name in the title was deceptive and made this appear to be a horror flick, while it’s actually a murder mystery (which is totally fine by me). Legend has it that the movie was originally titled “Abbott and Costello Meet The Killers”. The “s” was dropped to avoid confusion with the 1946 drama “The Killers”. The plot: While working at a secluded resort, goofy bellboy Freddie Philips (Costello) stumbles onto a stiff. Now suspected of commiting the murder, Freddie taps detective Casey Edwards (Abbott) to help prove his innocence. But first, they must deal  with the mysterious Swami Talpur (Karloff), a hypnotist who’s out to make Freddie the fall guy. You can see that poor Lou is going to have a hard time trying to prove his innocence, especially when dead bodies keep popping up wherever he goes (which made this comedy even more hilarious).

No great analysis is needed for a film like this; fans of the duo should be more than pleased with it. The movie has some nice set pieces in it, mostly handled brilliantly by Costello- such as a drag sequence where he attracts an admirer, and has to play cards with a corpse! But the movie works very well as a whodunit mystery aswell; a ream of characters, all acting oddly, come and go to keep the viewer guessing right through the closing credits. Another classic A&C comedy!

Rating: 3/4

Categories: The 40's

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