Review: ‘The Time of Their Lives’

This one's a picnic for Abbott & Costello fans, replete with trowelled-on slapstick, corned-up gags and farcical plot.

This one’s a picnic for Abbott & Costello fans, replete with trowelled-on slapstick, corned-up gags and farcical plot.

Shot by mistake as a traitor in the American Revolutionary War and doomed to remain an earthbound ghost until proved innocent, Costello turns up in 1946 still looking for the evidence. In a similar fix, Marjorie Reynolds floats through the film like a Sears-Roebuck model ghost, but Costello can’t quite make the smoothie grade. It’s good for laughs.

Abbott, who early in the picture plays a 1780 heel, turns up in modern times as a psychiatrist, house-guesting in the mansion Costello and his girl friend are haunting. Latter wreak their revenge via a series of invisible-man stunts that drive the brain specialist out of his mind. This gimmick is worked to the limit, and beyond.

The Time of Their Lives

Production

Universal. Director Charles T. Barton; Screenplay Val Burton, Walter De Leon, Bradford Ropes; Camera Charles Van Enger; Editor Philip Cahn; Music Milton Rosen; Art Director Jack Otterson, Richard Riedel

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1946. Running time: 82 MIN.

With

Lou Costello Bud Abbott Marjorie Reynolds Binnie Barnes Gale Sondergaard
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