With Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Tom Brown, Joan Shawlee, Nat Pendleton, Beverly Simmons
Directed by Charles Barton
Black and White
Reviewed by JB

     The first half of the film has more laughs than the second half but overall, BUCK PRIVATES COME HOME is a fine and funny sequel to Abbott and Costello's signature film BUCK PRIVATES.  The plot somewhat resembles that of Laurel and Hardy's army comedy PACK UP YOUR TROUBLES, in which Stan and Ollie try to find the relatives of an orphaned little girl.  In BUCK PRIVATES COME HOME, Bud and Lou wish to adopt their orphaned little girl, whom the authorities wish to send back to France.  Laurel and Hardy's film, their second feature, was a disjointed affair with too much plot and not enough comedy.  Abbott and Costello's film strike just the right balance.  Perhaps as a nod to their borrowing from the masters, the screenwriters use two Laurel and Hardy gags in the film - a dialog gag from the short Beau Hunks and a sight gag from Chickens Come Home.

    The first half has several funny routines not seen in other films, such as the boys setting a table they are unaware is precariously balanced on only one sawhorse, and Bud as a shifty tie salesman and Lou as his shill. There is also a beautifully timed "in through one door and out of the other" routine featuring Lou and Nat Pendelton trying to find each other. 

    In the second half of the film, the plot plays out, but not in a heavy-handed way.  Thankfully, Beverly Simmons, the little girl on whom the plot revolves around, was pretty talented for her age and the rest of the cast featured such stalwarts as Joan Shawlee, Donald MacBride, Russell Hicks and Nat Pendleton, reprising his Sgt. role from the original BUCK PRIVATES.  Despite the usual tacked-on slapstick chase ending, BUCK PRIVATES COME HOME was the start of a major comeback for Abbott and Costello, whose last few film, including the classic THE TIME OF THEIR LIVES, did poorly at the box office. 4 - JB


This was character actor Nat Pendleton's final film of his career.  

Abbott and Costello      The Age of Comedy