We’re sticking around for the second film of today’s triple-feature as we finish out the Universal run of the Abbott and Costello films, with their 1955 comedy Abbott And Costello Meet The Mummy!
Coming Up Shorts! with… Sink Pink (1965)
(available on Blu-ray and DVD as part of The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection: Volume 1 (1964-1966) from Kino Lorber)
(Length: 6 minutes, 21 seconds)
The Pink Panther faces off against a hunter trying to recreate Noah’s ark so he can hunt all the animals. Fun little idea, although the cartoon mainly focuses on the hunter trying (and failing) to outwit the panther. This one actually changes things up a little, as the hunter actually talks for most of the cartoon (and the panther himself has one quick line to end the cartoon)! It’s fun, and worth seeing every now and then even if it does break with the otherwise mostly silent cartoons in this series.
And Now For The Main Feature…
Note: even though the credits list their parts as Pete Patterson (Bud Abbott) and Freddie Franklin (Lou Costello), they go by their own names within the movie, so I will stick with their own names for the synopsis.
Dr. Gustav Zoomer (Kurt Katch) has announced to a journalist that he has found the mummy of Klaris, with a clue to a big treasure. He is overheard by many parties. Among them are Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, who hope he will hire them to help take the mummy to America. However, before they can talk to him, Dr. Zoomer is murdered by members of Klaris’ cult followers. When Bud and Lou discover the body of Dr. Zoomer, they take pictures that they send to the police. The only problem is, Lou took a picture of Bud with the body, and now the police suspect him of being the murderer! While on the run from the police, they return to Dr. Zoomer’s home, where they hope to find some clues to his murderer. While they are searching, two other groups are also there, looking for a medallion that would reveal the lost tomb of the Princess Ara. Lou stumbles across it, and, when one group gives chase, they make a run for it. Unsure of the medallion’s value, they ask around, only to scare people away. In a pawnshop, they run into Madame Rontru (Marie Windsor). Unknown to them, she is a treasure hunter and the leader of one of the groups after the medallion. She offers them money for the medallion, but she wants to meet them at a cafe later that evening to pay them. While they are waiting for her, Lou accidentally eats the medallion. Madame Rontru takes him to a doctor to confirm that he ate the medallion, and it is there that they meet Semu (Richard Deacon). He is the leader of Klaris’ followers, but, to lead them into a trap and recover the medallion, he pretends to be a professor, with an ability to read heiroglyphics. Once they arrive at their destination, Madame Rontru and Semu go their separate ways, so they can each plan their betrayal of the other, while Bud and Lou are forced to start digging. Lou finds the secret passage, and encounters Klaris, who scares Lou into spitting out the medallion. Bud and Lou hope to make a deal with Semu, although Klaris keeps causing them trouble.
After dealing with Dracula, the Frankenstein monster, the Wolfman, the Invisible Man, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, of course Abbott and Costello had to meet up with the Mummy! Abbott And Costello Meet The Mummy was directed by Charles Lamont, the ninth time that he would direct Bud and Lou in the movies. Of course, by this time, Bud and Lou were no longer the darlings of the studio, with their recent films not received as well by audiences. In spite of the fact that this movie was finished a day early and came in within the budget, Universal spent very little money advertising the movie. After the movie was finished, it was also time for Bud and Lou to renew their contract with Universal, but in between their films not being as successful and their demands for more money, Universal decided instead to drop them.
For me, this movie was truly a return to form for Bud and Lou (although sadly a short-lived one with Universal ending their contract). They made use of some of their comedy routines, including “Changing Room” and “Take Your Pick.” With Lou’s character eating a medallion at one point, we rather hilariously see the villains shaking him up as they try to find it in his stomach with an x-ray machine (although it is fairly obvious at one point that it is some stunt doubles throwing a dummy around instead of Lou). While Lou and his antics when scared by the Mummy are nothing new, he’s still very effective and funny when scared. This is a fun movie, very effective around Halloween, but equally good any other time of the year. I have no trouble whatsoever with recommending this movie!
This movie is available on Blu-ray from Universal Studios either individually or in the Mummy Legacy Collection, or as part of Shout Factory’s 28-film set The Complete Abbott And Costello Universal Pictures Collection.
Film Length: 1 hour, 19 minutes
My Rating: 8/10
List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections
Abbott And Costello Meet The Keystone Kops (1955) – Bud Abbott/ Lou Costello
Abbott And Costello Meet The Keystone Kops (1955) – The Complete Abbott And Costello Universal Pictures Collection – The World Of Abbott And Costello (1965)