IN SOCIETY was the first A&C film put into production after Lou Costello recovered from a lengthy bout of rheumatic fever. The most expensive Abbott and Costello film to date, IN SOCIETY featured superb production values, several musical numbers and a firetruck chase fashioned from excerpted footage of the chase scene in the W. C. Fields film NEVER GIVE A SUCKER AN EVEN BREAK. With all the attention Universal gave to this comback film, it's a shame it isn't funnier.
Bud and Lou play a pair of plumbers who accidentally get invited to a
high society party (it could happen). But most of the fun in the
film comes before this. A few minutes into the film, the two
engage in some pretty loud but amusing slapstick as they attempt to fix
a wealthy man's leaky faucet and wind up flooding the joint.
Later, Lou attempts to find out where the Susquehanna Hat Company is,
in what is likely the best rendition of the old burlesque routine
"Floogle Street" ever captured on film, although here it is titled
Bagel Street. Once they get to the party, not a whole lot happens,
although it's always amusing to see how much ad-libbed business Lou
can throw out there in otherwise middling scenes. ½ - JB
Toward the end of the movie, there is business concerning a stolen
painting that had just been unveiled at a high society party.
Perhaps not coincidentally, Margaret Irving plays the Grand Dame who
owns the painting. Ms. Irving was very familiar with this
particular plot twist, as she had "stolen" a painting as a practical
joke in the 1930 Marx Brothers classic ANIMAL CRACKERS.