J. Ewaniuk | los angeles, ca United States | 06/29/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I am a big fan of Abbott and Costello, but this title is not one of their best films. Later this summer the superior ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN is slated for DVD release, and I hope it is a better reproduction. What is the point of releasing these old titles on DVD if there are no extras? MCA/Universal is very bad at this. At least the old box set laser discs of A&C films had the trailers included. A complete filmography would be nice. Another reviewer mentioned this release was supposed to be in widescreen, but that is doubtful because it was not a widescreen film when it was released in theatres almost 50 years ago. MCA/Universal, though, is notorious for being cavalier with their video releases and making mistakes. Read the liner notes put out by the studio for this title, and you'll see that they misdescribe events and get character names wrong. They also identify a fish as a crab! Abbott and Costello may have been low budget but their pertformances and routines were quality. Their films made a lot of money for the studio when the studio needed it, and I would expect the studio to have greater respect for the boys."
Abbott and Costello take to the desert--or is that a mirage?
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 06/12/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This time around Abbott and Costello are wrestling promoters Bud Jones and Lou Hotchkiss. Their star, Abdullah (Wee Willlie Davis), refuses to loose when they tell him to and he returns home to Algeria. The boys have to go after Abdullah and bring him back because they borrowed $5,000 from the syndicate to bring him to America in the first place. However, Abdullah's cousing, Sheik Hamud El Khalid (Douglas Dumbrille) and the evil Foreign Legionnaire Sgt. Axmann (Walter Slezak), have been raiding the railroad being constructed so they can get rich extorting money for protection. The bad guys assume Bud and Lou are spies for the railroad and order them killed. Lou has also upset the Sheik by outbidding him on six beautiful slave girls, including Nicole (Patricia Medina), a French spy. Anyhow, the boys end up enlisting in the Foreing Legion, narrowly avert death several times, and end up saving the day with ample help from Abdullah and Nicole.This 1950 film, directed by Charles Lamont, was the 25th film featuring Abbott & Costello, then in their 15th year as a comedy team. The film suffers somewhat in comparison to Laurel & Hardy's 1939 classic "The Flying Deuces," but there are enough laughs in this one to make "Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion" at least an average comedy by the boys. Of course, to be fair, Costello had faced a pair of serious illnesses, rheumatic fever and a gangrenous gall bladder, in the months before this film was produced. The wrestling sequence remains the comic highlight of the film, along with the mirages the boys encounter in the desert. The bit between Lou and the Commandant where the word play of "we"/"oui" is merely cute. Still, this movie is arguably the second best Foreign Legion comedy of all time, for what that is worth."
Rolf Seluchins (firstname.lastname@example.org) | Melbourne, Australia | 11/02/1999
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I was looking forward to a widescreen version, but it seems this is NOT on the dvd even though its referred to in the Amazon blurb."
ONE OF ABBOTT & COSTELLO'S BEST FILMS
Lawrance M. Bernabo | 09/09/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bud and Lou play the manager and trainer of a professional wrestler named Abdullah. When Abdullah decides to back to his native land, Bud and Lou give chase to bring him back to the U.S. and UNWITTINGLY enlist in the Foreign Legion. The BEST highlight of the film has the boys lost in the desert, where they begin to experience a series of OUTRAGEOUS mirages. One has Lou 'meeting' a newsboy selling newspapers who shouts to people to read all about a water shortage. When Lou asks him what he's doing way out in the desert the kid replies: "Can I help it if they gave me a bad corner?" This is Bud and Lou at their BEST."
Another Foreign Adventure
Acute Observer | Jersey Shore USA | 12/22/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The Foreign Legion marches along the trackless desert. It all started back in Brooklyn at a wrestling match. Abdullah is the wrestling champion of North Africa. They rehearse the script. [Did you notice the stunt double?] What syndicate was involved? So the boys go to Algiers to find Abdullah. There is a conspiracy to attack the railroad construction to extort money. There is a comic chase after Lou. Don't wave at an auction! Was there a plot to infiltrate the sheik's household? Then another comic chase. Next the boys join the Foreign Legion! [Are they training with 1903 Springfield rifles?] How does the enemy know about the Legion's plans?
There is an assignment for Bud and Lou. But they overhear the plot. A comic skit follows. A French undercover agent meets them and learns about Axmann. "Keep out of trouble!" The Legion is ordered to help a besieged army fort. [Do they have Bactrian (Asian) camels in North Africa?] The Legion is attacked. Bud and Lou are lost in the desert. [The shadows show the stage lighting.] There is comedy in their fishing attempt. "Don't you wish this was a mirage?" There is a wrestling exhibition for entertainment, and as escape for the boys. They are chased. "Let Lou hold the fort." There is a happy ending for some. Bud and Lou will return to Brooklyn.
This film is not among their best. The skits duplicate earlier films. A better story makes a better film. Perhaps the health problems of Lou affected his performance? "