It seems that Universal made a fatal mistake when putting together ONE NIGHT IN THE TROPICS. The film was supposed to be a comical farce starring Allan Jones as a slick huckster and Bob Cummings as a lovable goofball. Then Universal added stage and radio comedy team Bud Abbott and Lou Costello... as a slick huckster and a lovable goofball. All though Bud and Lou play only supporting roles, they easily steal the film out from under Jones and Cummings.
The decision was fatal to the film's chance of succeeding on its own merits, but not to Abbott and Costello, who were among the few things critics praised about the film. Throughout the film, they do several of their classic routines, including a short version of "Who's On First?", which was a huge hit with their radio audience. They also run around with the energy audiences hadn't seen since The Marx Brothers in MONKEY BUSINESS. Meanwhile, Jones and Cummings, two fine, talented performers, come off as a half-hearted comedy team that couldn't hold a candle to the stuff Bud and Lou were doing in the film.
ONE NIGHT IN THE TROPICS proved that Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were perfect for the movies, just like they had been perfect for stage and radio. They would continue making movies for the next decade and a half. ½ - JB