THE NOOSE HANGS HIGH, a rare independent film from Abbott and Costello, sheds the musical productions and "boy loves girl" subplots of their Universal films, leaving much more time for the antics of Bud and Lou. There is hardly a scene in which they do not appear, which makes it one of the purest A&C movies in the canon. A remake of an earlier non A&C comedy titled FOR LOVE OR MONEY, THE NOOSE HANGS HIGHS has Bud and Lou as window washers who accidentally wind up owing a gangster fifty grand. This slight situation gives the team enough of a story to drive the film while allowing them plenty of room to stop every five or ten minutes and play out some of their great burlesque routines. There's Lou's trip to the dentist (the dentist is crazy, of course), Bud convincing a gangster that he's 'someplace else" and one glorious six minute stretch at a restaurant where the boys do nothing but talk, in the process running through such memorable bits and "You're 40, She's 10" and the classic routine known as "Mustard". As an added bonus, comedian Leon Errol shares a few scenes with the boys, and substitutes for Abbott during a runthrough of the verbal classic "Mudder, Fodder" where he drives Lou to near tears with such ideas that a horse eats its "fodder" and a male horse is a better "mudder" than a female.
Back in its day, THE NOOSE HANGS HIGH was just another Abbott and Costello film, but today it is a virtual mini-museum of classic comedy sketches, performed by the two guys who could do them best. - JB
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