Thoughts From The Music(al) Man (2019) on… The Noose Hangs High (1948)

HEY ABBOTT!!!! We’re back again for the 1948 comedy The Noose Hangs High, starring Bud Abbott and Lou Costello!

Ted Higgins (Bud Abbott) and Tommy Hinchcliffe (Lou Costello) work for the Speedy Service Window Washing Company, but during one of their breaks, they are mistaken as employees of the Speedy Messenger Service by bookie Nick Craig (Joseph Calleia). He sends them after $50,000 owed him by somebody else, but upon giving them the money and getting a receipt, the guy sends two of his own thugs after them to get the money back. Ducking into another office to escape, Tommy tries to mail the money to Nick, but, without knowing, sends him the wrong envelope. Nick is furious when he discovers he got the wrong messengers, since he owes the money to Julius Caesar (or I should I say “J.C.,” as that is the only name Nick knows him by) McBride (Leon Errol). He forces Ted and Tommy to stay in his office overnight where he and his goons could watch them, and when the mail arrives, the money is not there. Since J.C. McBride has given Nick 48 hours to come up with the money, Nick decides to give Ted and Tommy 36 hours to get the money back. They find that Carol Blair (Cathy Downs) got the money and spent most of it. They try to find ways to make the money back while trying to reach out to J.C. to convince him to give Nick more time. In the process, they also run into Julius Caesar (but don’t put two and two together to realize that he is J.C.), who befriends them.

At the time this movie was made, Abbott and Costello had it in their contract with Universal that they were able to make at least one movie a year apart from the studio. They decided to produce The Noose Hangs High themselves, remaking the Universal-owned film For Love Or Money. Essentially, with their own creative control, the movie’s plot ends up being more of an excuse for them to do some of their various comedy routines without them interrupting the flow of the movie as had been the case in some of their previous Universal films. Within this movie, they have routines such as “Mustard,” “Hole In The Wall,” “Mudder/Fodder,” “Getting Arrested” and a few others. The movie is certainly fun enough. While it’s not one of their best films, it’s certainly within the upper half of their films, in my opinion, and always worth a few good laughs!

This movie is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Classicflix. It is one of the first movies I bought from this label (and was and remains at this moment the only film that I had heard of before they released it). The transfer on this movie is wonderful, and has easily convinced me to try out a lot of the other movies that they have been releasing. Easily a highly recommended release of a wonderful film! The movie is one hour, seventeen minutes in length.

My Rating: 9/10

Audience Rating:

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

The Wistful Widow Of Wagon Gap (1947)Bud Abbott/ Lou CostelloAbbott And Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

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