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"The gentlemen are going to do their native dance." "I ain't gonna take my clothes off for anybody!" - Grace Goodall & Curly (PARDON MY SCOTCH, 1935)

Bookmark and Share BUCK PRIVATES

Average Rating:     [9.25/10]   3 votes


Two street vendor con artists, Slicker Smith (Bud Abbott) and Herbie Brown (Lou Costello), inadvertantly enlist in the Army while on the run from policeman Sgt. Collins (Nat Pendleton). Slicker and Herbie are quickly horrified to learn that their boot camp Sergeant is... Sgt. Collins.

Answering the draft, the Company also welcomes rich playboy Randy Parker (Lee Bowman) and his put-upon chaffeur Bob Martin (Alan Curtis). Parker is certain his family's money and influence will spring him back to civilian life, but Parker Sr. decides the Army is the solution needed to turn his son from a playboy, into a responsible man. Parker and Martin also find themselves competing for the affections of USO hostess Judy Gray (Jane Frazee).

Lou Costello shines in a musical number performed with Shemp Howard, When Private Brown Becomes a Captain.

Bud Abbott and Lou Costello's first starring film, and in spite of the intrusive, romantic sub-plot of Bowman/Curtis/Frazee, the burlesque veterans easily make BUCK PRIVATES their own. Classic routines include: "Marry a Girl From the Hills," "Dice Game," "Lend Me $50," "Go Ahead and Play the Radio," and an extended reprise of the drill routine they created for Broadway's THE STREETS OF PARIS (1938). The Andrews Sisters (Patty, Maxene & LaVerne) perform several numbers. Musical numbers often distract during feature comedies, but the Andrews' numbers (Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, Bounce Me Brother With a Solid Four, You're a Lucky Fellow Mr. Smith, I'll Be With You When It's Apple Blossom Time) are edited/inserted as pleasurable diversions throughout the film.

View the RealArt re-issue theatrical trailer at TCM.com

IMDb Rating


Shemp Howard (Solo)
Release Date
January 31, 1941
Production Type
Feature Film
84 min.
Buy at Amazon.com

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Production Notes   (1)
Shooting Days:   23 days   From: 1940-12-13   To: 1941-01-11

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Fan Reviews   (2)
Posted 2010-12-01 13:46:41 by falsealarms
BUCK PRIVATES was pretty good. A little short of great, but definitely good. I enjoyed it more than any of the TV episodes I've seen them in. There were several musical numbers, but at least they had some spunk to them. The romantic subplot was tolerable as Jane Frazee was cute. A&C shined most during the opening 10-15 minutes when they were selling ties on the street prior to getting themselves into the military.

Reviewer's Rating: (8)
Posted 2001-02-16 22:23:00 by sickdrjoe
First of five Shemp appearances in Abbott & Costello films. Rumor has it Costello used Shemp's Stooges connection to view private screenings of the Columbia shorts, apparently 'researching' Curly's style. This makes for good scuttlebutt, but is probably untrue - as a vaudeville pro long before he went to Hollywood, Costello already had his 'character' fleshed out and was brilliant at slapstick without needing any pointers. Besides, Costello's style (pratfalls, running into walls & involved verbal routines w/ Abbott) was unique from Curly's own style of comedic mayhem. Like most early A&C features, this one has too many songs and pointless romantic subplots, but the boys are very good, and Shemp's bit is excellent, as always.Edited by - sickdrjoe on 6/13/01 8:27:10 PM

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