As last films by great comedians go, DANCE WITH ME, HENRY is certainly more coherent and pleasant than The Marx Brothers LOVE HAPPY or Laurel and Hardy's ATOLL K. About the worst thing you can say about this final Abbott and Costello comedy is that it's dull. Amiable, occasionally amusing, but dull. It is a rare A&C flick that contains not a single shoehorned-in burlesque routine; perhaps THE TIME OF THEIR LIVES is the only other A&C films of which this is true. In fact, there are only occasional exchanges that even approach Abbott and Costello's usual humor. Instead of dialog gags and slapstick, DANCE WITH ME, HENRY offers a sentimental story about a kind man (Lou) who tries to keep his adopted children from being taken away, while his best friend (Bud), a gambler, gets him mixed up with gangsters and a bank robbery job. Bud and Lou, perhaps sensing that the times were changing, are content to play straight roles, hit their marks and recite their dialog. They are both good, and the film never becomes cringe-worthy or sad, but it also doesn't offer a whole lot of entertainment value either. Inevitably, the film ends with a what-the-hell, we-gotta-do-it slapstick chase around the small amusement park Lou runs, but this is followed by a final scene in which Lou plays The Pied Piper, leading all of the neighborhood children to a party, a nice image on which to end Lou's A&C movie career.
A year after this film's release, Bud and Lou
split up. Lou would go on to appear on television, often
reprising old routines, and in 1959 he starred in his one and only solo
picture, THE 3O FOOT BRIDE OF CANDY ROCK. He died later that year
just a few days shy of his 53rd birthday. Bud, ten years older
than his pal, lived for 15 more years, passing away in 1974 at age 79.