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Abbott & Costello The Complete Universal Pictures Collection: Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) - Blu-ray Review

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Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

Sandra!  Junior?  SANDRA! Junior? SAAAANNNNNDRA!

Having successfully stolen the show in 1941’s One Night in the Tropics, the comedy duo of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello - who were big on radio but untested on film - were quickly signed by Universal Pictures for a remarkable run of INSANELY popular films that saw them paired with everyone from The Andrew Sisters to The Invisible Man and, in one of their final films, rocketing off to Mars.   

"revived the duo’s career as it paired them with a whole slew of Universal Monsters while upping the comedic elements as Gothicism gets turned on its head"


 

 

In honor of their achievements in comedy, Shout Select put together the ultimate box set for all die-hard Abbott and Costello fans to salivate over.  That was in 2019, but, to celebrate the 81st anniversary of the duo, we dive into one of the 28 films - which also includes Buck Privates, Who Done It?, Hold That Ghost, In The Navy, and Abbott & Costello Meet The Mummy - that makes up the collection to draw attention to the remarkable release: Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein.

Released in 1948, this horror comedy - directed by the duo’s “Go-To-Guy” Charles Barton (The Shaggy Dog) - revived the duo’s career as it paired them with a whole slew of Universal Monsters while upping the comedic elements as Gothicism gets turned on its head.  Obviously, we have Frankenstein (played here by Glenn Strange), but also in the mix in this SINGLE FILM is Dracula (Bela Lugosi), The Wolf Man (Lon Chaney, Jr), and The Invisible Man (who is voiced by Vincent Price).  Whew.  The results are a film which the American Film Institute lists as one of the "100 Funniest American Movies" of all-time.  

And they aren’t wrong either.  In fact, part of the joy in diving into this movie - and this collection of comedy films - is the fact these films are INSTANT classics that have definitely not gone out of style.  The timing.  The style.  The slickness of it all still creates a wonderful euphoria that isn’t easily forgotten.  Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

Opening with a hilarious series of scenes in which baggage clerks Chick Young (Bud Abbott) and Wilbur Grey (Lou Costello) receive a shipment of dangerous items for McDougal’s House of Horrors, a Floridian Wax Museum, and then manage to mishandle all of the crates after being warned about them by Lawrence Talbot (Chaney Jr.), Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein quickly shuffles the boys off to a large house owned by McDougal (Frank Ferguson) who is curious to see just how badly the items delivered have been handled by the two nitwits.  

Of course, inside the crates are Frankenstein and Dracula and, once set free to roam about the premises of the big house, manage to scare up some frightfully funny scenes which sees Costello sitting on Frankenstein’s lap, screaming “Open Sesame” to stone walls, and repeatedly having to describe what the monsters look like to Chick at this Masquerade Ball that they have been invited to . . . unbeknownst to them, they are in Dracula’s castle.

For this Halloween season, I’m going to start my Abbott and Costello journey with the horror comedies of which Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein is one of several in this release.  With 28 films together in one set and ALL in high definition, where are you going to start?

Abbott & Costello: The Complete Universal Pictures Collection (80th Anniversary Edition) is out now on blu-ray thanks to Shout! Select.  Talk about another REEL CLASSIC release!

5/5 stars

Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray
- November 19, 2019
Screen Formats: 1.85:1, 1.37:1, 1.36:1, 1.35:1, 1.33:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; fifteen-disc set
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

All 28 films together in one set in high definition!  Get ready to laugh out loud with the most popular comedy duo of all time in Abbott & Costello : The Complete Universal Pictures Collection! All 28 films produced during the height of their popularity at Universal Pictures are here in one collection. Featuring their most popular movies, such as Buck Privates, Who Done It? and Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein, this collection is filled with some of the most hilarious routines of all time, including "Who's on First?"! Loaded with hours of bonus features and an exclusive collectible book, this is the ultimate tribute to two of the funniest and most enduring comedians of all time!

Video:

With a crisp black-and-white transfer, Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein lands on blu-ray thanks to the crackling efforts of Shout Select.  Shadows, while not too terribly detailed, are thick and atmospheric throughout. Presented with an aspect ratio of 1.37:1, the film looks marvelous and easily beats the poor appearance on television and on home video DVD that has previously dogged it. The blacks and grays are handled expertly by the transfer.  Beads of sweat are visible, wet city streets, textures in clothing, and even the dirt in the pavement is all visible with fine textures throughout.

Audio:

Let the hijinks begin again!  The DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track which accompanies this film is solid in its footing.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • See Special Features for specific details about this film.

Special Features:

Fifteen discs, 28 movies, and hours on end of bonus material.  Dig deep!

DISC ONE:

  • ONE NIGHT IN THE TROPICS (1940)
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Gallery
  • Production Notes
  • BUCK PRIVATES (1941)
  • Audio Commentary By Authors/Film Historians Bob Furmanek And Ron Palumbo (Abbott And Costello In Hollywood)
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Gallery
  • Production Notes

DISC TWO:

  • IN THE NAVY (1941)
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Gallery
  • Production Notes
  • HOLD THAT GHOST (1941)
  • Audio Commentary By Film Historian Jeff Miller
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Gallery
  • Production Notes

DISC THREE: 

  • KEEP ‘EM FLYING (1941)
  • NEW Audio Commentary By Author/Film Historian Scott Allen Nollen
  • Recruitment Short/Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Gallery
  • Production Notes
  • RIDE ‘EM COWBOY (1942)
  • NEW Audio Commentary By Author/Film Historian Scott Allen Nollen
  • NEW Audio Commentary By Author/Film Historian James L. Neibaur
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Gallery
  • Production Notes

DISC FOUR:

  • PARDON MY SARONG (1942)
  • Still Gallery
  • Production Notes
  • WHO DONE IT? (1942)
  • Audio Commentary With Film Historian Frank Conniff
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Gallery
  • Production Notes

DISC FIVE:

  • IT AIN’T HAY (1943)
  • NEW Audio Commentary By Author/Film Historian Scott Allen Nollen
  • Still Gallery
  • Production Notes
  • HIT THE ICE (1943)
  • NEW Audio Commentary By Author/Film Historian Scott Allen Nollen
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Gallery
  • Production Notes

DISC SIX:

  • IN SOCIETY (1944)
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Gallery
  • Production Notes
  • HERE COME THE CO-EDS (1945)
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Gallery
  • Production Notes

DISC SEVEN:

  • THE NAUGHTY NINETIES (1944)
  • NEW Audio Commentary By Author/Film Historian Scott Allen Nollen
  • Still Gallery
  • Production Notes
  • LITTLE GIANT (1946)
  • NEW Audio Commentary By Author/Film Historian Scott Allen Nollen
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Gallery
  • Production Notes

DISC EIGHT:

  • THE TIME OF THEIR LIVES (1946)
  • Audio Commentary With Film Historian Frank Thompson
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Gallery
  • Production Notes
  • BUCK PRIVATES COME HOME (1947)
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Gallery
  • Production Notes

DISC NINE:

  • THE WISTFUL WIDOW OF WAGON GAP (1947)
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Gallery
  • Production Notes
  • ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN (1948)
  • Audio Commentary By Film Historian Gregory William Mank
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Gallery
  • Production Notes

DISC TEN:

  • MEXICAN HAYRIDE (1948)
  • NEW Audio Commentary By Author/Film Historian Scott Allen Nollen
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Gallery
  • Production Notes
  • ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET THE KILLER, BORIS KARLOFF (1949)
  • NEW Audio Commentary By Author/Film Historian Troy Howarth
  • Still Gallery
  • Production Notes

DISC ELEVEN:

  • ABBOTT AND COSTELLO IN THE FOREIGN LEGION (1950)
  • Still Gallery
  • Production Notes
  • ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET THE INVISIBLE MAN (1951)
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Gallery
  • Production Notes

DISC TWELVE:

  • COMIN’ ROUND THE MOUNTAIN (1951)
  • Still Gallery
  • Production Notes
  • LOST IN ALASKA (1952)
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Gallery
  • Production Notes

DISC THIRTEEN:

  • ABBOTT AND COSTELLO GO TO MARS (1953)
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Gallery
  • Production Notes
  • ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE (1953)
  • Audio Commentary By Film Historians Tom Weaver And Richard Serivani
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Gallery
  • Production Notes

DISC FOURTEEN:

ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET THE KEYSTONE KOPS (1955)

  • Still Gallery
  • Production Notes
  • ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET THE MUMMY (1955)
  • NEW Audio Commentary By Author/Film Historian Troy Howarth
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Gallery
  • Production Notes

DISC FIFTEEN:

  • THE WORLD OF ABBOTT AND COSTELLO (1965)
  • ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET JERRY SEINFELD (1994)
  • ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET THE MONSTERS (2000)
  • NEW Abbott And Costello: Their Lives And Legacy – Featuring Interviews With Chris Costello (Daughter Of Lou Costello) And Ron Palumbo (Co-author Of Abbott And Costello In Hollywood)
  • NEW Abbott And Costello: Film Stories – Featuring An Interview With Author/Film Historian James L. Neibaur (The Monster Movies Of Universal Studios)
  • NEW Abbott And Costello: Behind The Scenes – Ron Palumbo Talks About The Various Writers And Directors
  • NEW Abbott & Costello Meet Castle Films – 8 Of Abbott And Costello’s Best Castle Films 8mm/16mm Films
  • Outtakes From Pardon My Sarong, It Ain’t Hay, Hit The Ice, Little Giant, And Abbott And Costello Meet Frankenstein
  • The Abbott And Costello Trailer Reel

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 5/5 stars
  Video  5/5 stars
  Audio 4/5 stars
  Extras 5/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

5/5 stars

Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

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