Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


AFRICA SCREAMS (1949). Director: Charles Barton.

Bud Abbott and Lou Costello wind up in a studio-bound "Africa" along with the real Clyde Beatty, Frank Buck, two of the famous three stooges, and the curvaceous Hillary Brooke, who is hoping that Lou can lead her to a treasure in diamonds. Unfortunately, the map that Lou has supposedly memorized from a book is actually a map that shows how to get from his house to the department store where he works. Silly comedy has some really ancient gags in it, but it's also fast-moving and fun, with some genuinely amusing sequences. One of the best has Lou locked in a cage with a lion that he thinks is Abbott in a costume. A King Kong-sized gorilla shows up at the end in another funny sequence. The boys are in good form in this one. Joe Besser. who plays the petulant Harry, was "Stinky" on their TV show and briefly joined The Three Stooges. Shemp Howard (Gunner) was also a member of the stooges.

Verdict: Fun if you're in a silly mood. **1/2.

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