Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff
Robert Arthur for Universal
directed by Charles Lamont
starring Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Boris Karloff, Lenore Aubert, Gar Moore, Donna Martell, Alan Mowbray, James Flavin, Roland Winters, Nicholas Joy, Mikel Conrad, Morgan Farley, Victoria Horne, Percy Helton, Claire Du Brey, Harry Hayden, Vincent Renno
story by Hugh Wedlock jr, Howard Snyder, screenplay by Hugh Wedlock jr, Howard Snyder, John Grant, music by Milton Schwarzwald
Abbott & Costello
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A prominent lawyer (Nicholas Joy) comes to a hotel - and is mrudered
almost immediately. And even though the hotel is filled with former
clients of his he threatened to write a tell-all book about, suspicion
immediately falls on the hotel's klutzy bellhop Freddie (Lou Costello).
Two of the hotel guests, a hypnotist (Boris Karloff) and a seductive woman
(Lenore Aubert) even try to make him confess or make him commit suicide
(which woiuld be as good as a confession), but to no avail. Only the hotel
detective Casey (Bud Abbott) believes Freddie is innocent, even when two
more corpses are found inhis room. He even helps Freddie get rid of the
corpses - though it eludes me why, they don't seem on especially friendly
terms otherwise. Anyways, eventually, Casey can convince the police that
Freddie is innocent, and they try to capture the killer in some caves he
has set up a trap for Freddie - unsuccessfully so though, Freddie almost
walks into the trap set up for him open-eyed.
In the end, everything is
revealed to be a blackmail plot in which the deceased lawyer's (by now
also murdered) secretary (Morgan Farley) was involved, as well as the
hotel's manager (Alan Mowbray), who now turns out to be the murderer of
the piece. Revealed to be the killer, the manager tries to make a run for
it, but since Freddie has put up boobie traps at all the exits of his
room, the manager doesn't get far ...
Rather lame comedy/murder
mystery of the old dark house variety, that's especially marred by
lack of much-needed atmosphere and lack of chemistry between Abbott and
Costello - a general shortcomings of their films. Also, even though Boris
Karloff has made it to the very title of this film, his role is no more
than a cameo with little meaning to the film's main plot.
review © by Mike Haberfelner
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