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IT AIN'T HAY

Universal's adaptation of the Damon Runyon short story Princess O'Hara casts Bud Abbott & Lou Costello as two broke NYC taxi cab drivers, friends of the neighborhood's beloved carriage driver King O'Hara (Cecil Kellaway) and his daughter Peggy "Princess" O'Hara (Patsy O'Connor). Wilbur (Lou Costello) feeds candy to O'Hara's horse Finnegan, unwittingly killing it. Determined to find a new horse for the O'Haras, Wilbur and Grover (Bud Abbott) fall for three touts' story that a local stable wants to sell an old racehorse. Temporarily short on funds after mixing it up with a crooked betting parlor and a con man, the boys head out to 'borrow' the horse in the dead of night. Unfortunately, they take off with the nag's stablemate Tea Biscuit, the # 1 racehorse in the country. Further mixups and misunderstandings ensue when Wilbur and Grover try to return the horse, which leads them to Saratoga Springs, and Wilbur riding the horse in the Sweepstakes.

Bud Abbott and Lou Costello are in fine form, and the film's plot allows them to use their "mudder," "fodder" and "forelegs" routines. The betting parlor sequence with Richard Lane is a hilarious highlight. The film is almost stolen by gravel-voiced Eugene Pallette as efficiency expert Gregory Warner. Warner finds himself in a series of foiled encounters with Wilbur and Grover, each time leaving him fired from his latest job and owing money to somebody. Warner joins with the three touts (Shemp Howard, Eddie Quillan and David Hacker) to win Tea Biscuit's reward money, further digging a financial hole for himself.



One of A&C's lesser-known, under-appreciated films. It's an enjoyable mix of music (The Vagabonds), dance (The Four Step Brothers), pathos, and comedy. One of A&C's best.

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IT AIN'T HAY on IMDb

Featuring
Shemp Howard (Solo)
Release Date
March 19, 1943
Studio
Universal
Production Type
Feature Film
Duration
81 min.
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Production Notes   (4)
Working Title(s):   HOLD YOUR HORSES
Title Origin:   Retitled IT AIN'T HAY, a reference to Bud & Lou's record-setting War Bond tour prior to IAH production, raising $85MM... "It Ain't Hay" being an old slang expression meaning "a lot of money."
Prod. No.:   1275
Shooting Days:   38 days   From: 1942-09-28   To: 1942-11-11

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Re: IT AIN'T HAY
Posted 2003-07-27 08:53:00 by Bruckman
Based on a story by Damon Runyon (previously filmed as PRINCESS O'HARA [1935]) this is a somewhat sentimental outing for Abbott and Costello, w/Lou as a taxi driver out to procure a racehorse for a youngster. Shemp is a racetrack tout named Umbrella Sam and his part isn't large, but is spotted here and there throughout the picture, including the hilarious cafeteria scene. Why Umbrella Sam? "Hey, I'm a Damon Runyon character," Shemp explains. Eugene Pallette is hilarious as Warner, the team's officious nemesis. Typical A&C inside gag: "Don't answer the door, it's probably Warner." "That's okay, we're working for Universal." One of Shemp's more substantial supporting roles and, with THE BANK DICK, one of his best

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