Keep 'Em Flying
Action / Adventure / Comedy
Keep 'Em Flying
Action / Adventure / Comedy
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When a barnstorming stunt pilot joins the Air Corps, his two goofball assistants decide to go with him..
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
Aug 15, 2021 at 03:53 PM
grade Movie Reviews
Chocks and chortles away!
Out of Universal Pictures comes Keep 'Em Flying starring the comedy team of Abbott and Costello with support from Martha Raye, Dick Foran and Carol Bruce. It's directed by Arthur Lubin with music by Charles Previn and was filmed on location at the Cal-Aero school in Ontario, California. Plot sees the bumbling duo and their stunt pilot pal Jinx Roberts (Foran) join the Army Air Force after getting fired from their positions at a carnival & air show. High jinx and love interests will of course follow.The fifth film outing for Abbott and Costello, and their third featuring the armed forces after Buck Privates & In The Navy, Keep 'Em Flying is one of their better feature length productions. Tho somewhat surprisingly rather thick on plot, the piece is all the better for some narrative substance in that it lets us savour the slaphappy antics of the intrepid duo when their routines come alive. Action sequences to savour here include a runaway torpedo, a spooky carnival fun house and a short sharp shock treatment of Lou falling over his ankle grabbing pants. While there's quality in a dialogue driven skit that the boys perform in a Café-where we are introduced to the bright and bubbly Raye; playing twin sisters who each end up dating the boys. There's also some nice tunes penned by Don Raye & Gene de Paul, with the stand out being "Pig Foot Pete" that was famously nominated for an Academy Award but for the wrong movie (Hellzapoppin').Funny, daft and even romantic, Keep 'Em Flying soars high enough to entertain the masses. 8/10
They Both Get Martha Raye
One of the funniest of Abbott and Costello's early Universal films was Keep 'Em Flying which stuck with the tried and true formula established by Buck Privates. The boys are working at a carnival with their pal Dick Foran who's a stunt flier. After a disagreement with management, all three of them quit and wind up in the Army Air Corps.For Foran he gets to renew a personal rivalry with William Gargan who's an instructor who had fired Foran once before in a civilian flying job. They're both interested in the lovely Carol Bruce who sings great and is a USO hostess. The boys are up to their usual monkeyshines. Seeing both of them on the back of a speeding torpedo was as funny as when they repeated the same gag on the back of a bucking bronco in Ride 'Em Cowboy. And seeing them hit the silk at the end of the film is indescribable.Martha Raye plays a dual role in the film as twin sisters, one of whom likes Abbott and the other Costello. Of course poor Costello doesn't realize they're twins and Martha's on and off attitude towards him is baffling. Later on the same twin gimmick was used by Betty Hutton in Here Come The Waves. Gene DePaul and Don Raye wrote the original songs for this film and actually came up with an Academy Award nomination for one of their songs, Pigfoot Pete which Martha Raye sings and which is incorrectly credited in Academy records to another Universal Film, Hellzapoppin'. It's not bad, but it's really a poor man's Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy. The best song in the film is one interpolated for Carol Bruce when we first meet her as a nightclub singer, the Tommy Dorsey standard, I'm Getting Sentimental Over You.Keep 'Em Flying is right in the great tradition of Buck Privates and In the Navy and still as funny today as when first made.
Seamless combination of our boys and the Army Air Corps.
As a reviewer wrote elsewhere, the only way to watch Bud and Lou's movies is in sequence. 'Buck Privates' was perhaps a better story, but 'Keep 'em Flying' sees Lou put in probably his finest performance. This time the boys are perfectly integrated into the story and their gags flow along as part of the natural sequence of events.There is an excellent rapport between Martha Raye and our heroes, which becomes evident in the USO canteen sequence. Not only was Martha a fine singer and dancer, she was a great comedienne. Without giving away the gag, the fact that it runs on so long and still remains funny is testament to the trio - or "quartet's" skill in working together.Okay, I love this movie and given a limit of 10 movies to take to a desert island, this would be included. But that says something, doesn't it?
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