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

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


COMIN' ROUND THE MOUNTAIN (1951). Director: Charles Lamont.

"Anybody who'd kiss me would kiss anybody!" -- Lou Costello.

Wilbert (Lou Costello), a client of talent agent Al (Bud Abbott) learns from Dorothy (Dorothy Shay), another of his clients, that he may be a long lost member of the McCoy clan from the hills and there's a treasure a'waitin' for him back home. For years the McCoys have been feuding not with the Hatfields but the Winfields, one of whom, Clark (Kirby Grant) Dorothy falls for. Wilbert is crazy for Dorothy, however, so he goes to a witch (Margaret Hamilton) to get a love potion to make Dorothy fall for him. (The film's funniest sequence has Hamilton and Costello sticking pins in the posteriors of each other's dolls!) This was singer Shay's only film (she did TV work twenty years later); she's pleasant but unpolished and lacks that certain "X" factor. Kirby Grant is a bland love interest for Shay; the following year he was cast in the title role of TV's Sky King and played it for seven years. Joe Sawyer is as good as ever as one of the McCoys while Glenn Strange (who played Frankenstein's monster a couple of times) has one of his best roles as "Devil" Dan Winfield. But this is not one of the more memorable Abbott and Costello features.

Verdict: Not enough real laughs. *1/2.

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