Growing up in Chicago in the 70’s, we were blessed with having some of the best local television stations in the country. At the top of the list was WGN; Cubs baseball, classic television shows, and lots and lots of movies. Every Sunday morning, if there wasn’t a baseball game, there were movies from 11 AM until 3. 11:00 – Charlie Chan. 1:00 – A comedy. Mostly Abbott and Costello movies. I don’t think I missed one. I can’t even say that I was a fan, but they were always on; I took them for granted.
That’s why I was surprised to run across one of their movies that I’d never heard of, The Noose Hangs High. An awkward title for an independently produced feature they did in 1947. So independent that Lou Costello’s mother was one of the producers!
I won’t go into details of the plot because it really doesn’t matter. What does matter is if you are going to watch one A&C film, this would be the one I would show people. They pulled out all of their old comedy routines for this film. Word confusion, getting dressed then undressed, and best of all ‘the Mustard sketch’.
Lou Costello, yet another man/child character, is funny, but the marvel when I saw this scene is Bud Abbott. Groucho Marx called him the best straight man that there ever was… and it’s true. He makes nonsense sound logical.
The full movie can also be watched on Hulu.com. But with commercials.