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

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


PARDON MY SARONG (1942). Director: Erle C. Kenton.

Bud Abbott and Lou Costello are city bus drivers who wind up driving their bus out of town for a wealthy yachtsman (Robert Paige) in a hurry, then -- wanted by the police -- become his crew, only to become lost in a gale. Along for the ride is a pretty gal played by a snappy Virginia Bruce. On a small uncharted island the group runs into natives and comes afoul of Lionel Atwill, who is trying to get his hands on a sacred ruby and brooks no interference from anyone. Pardon My Sarong starts out promisingly, with some funny routines by the boys, but once they go to sea the story becomes uninvolving and the gags are silly even by A&C standards. Bruce tries to liven things up but hasn't enough to do, and Lionel Atwill is completely wasted in a nothing part. Leif Ericson does a fine job as a native who's in love with a gal who falls for Lou, and Irving Bacon (Ethel's father on the classic "Ethel's Hometown" episode of I Love Lucy) is great as an exasperated gas station attendant. William Demarest is also good as a detective who tries to nab Bud and Lou. A nightclub scene features some talented Black entertainers: The Four Inkspots and Tip, Tap and Toe. Nan Wynn is the native girl who inexplicably falls for Costello. The film ends with Costello acting heroically in a way that is somewhat out of character for him.

Verdict: Some amusing bits but painfully stupid at times. **.

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