Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd (1952)

70 mins | Musical comedy | 27 December 1952

Director:

Charles Lamont

Producer:

Alex Gottlieb

Cinematographer:

Stanley Cortez

Editor:

Edward Mann

Production Designer:

Charles D. Hall

Production Company:

Woodley Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd was the only feature film produced by Bud Abbott's company, Woodley Productions, Inc. The film, which was shot at the Motion Picture Center studios in Hollywood, was the second and final Abbott and Costello film in color. According to modern sources, Charles Laughton, whose comic character "Captain Kidd" was a departure from his previous roles, claimed he took the part in order to learn the art of double takes from Costello. Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd marked recording artist Fran Warren's film debut. Charles Laughton also portrayed Captain Kidd in the 1945 film Captain Kidd , which was directed by Rowland V. Lee and released by Universal-International(see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50 ). The character "Capt. Bonney" was based on the early eighteenth century pirate, Anne Bonny (1700--?), who is featured as a character in the following films: The Spanish Main , a 1945 RKO picture directed by Frank Borzage and starring Maureen O'Hara (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50 ), Anne of the Indies , Twentieth Century-Fox's 1951 production directed by Jacques Tourneur and starring Jean Peters (See Entry) and the 1995 Carolco picture Cutthroat Island , directed by Renny Harlin and starring Geena ... More Less

Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd was the only feature film produced by Bud Abbott's company, Woodley Productions, Inc. The film, which was shot at the Motion Picture Center studios in Hollywood, was the second and final Abbott and Costello film in color. According to modern sources, Charles Laughton, whose comic character "Captain Kidd" was a departure from his previous roles, claimed he took the part in order to learn the art of double takes from Costello. Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd marked recording artist Fran Warren's film debut. Charles Laughton also portrayed Captain Kidd in the 1945 film Captain Kidd , which was directed by Rowland V. Lee and released by Universal-International(see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50 ). The character "Capt. Bonney" was based on the early eighteenth century pirate, Anne Bonny (1700--?), who is featured as a character in the following films: The Spanish Main , a 1945 RKO picture directed by Frank Borzage and starring Maureen O'Hara (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50 ), Anne of the Indies , Twentieth Century-Fox's 1951 production directed by Jacques Tourneur and starring Jean Peters (See Entry) and the 1995 Carolco picture Cutthroat Island , directed by Renny Harlin and starring Geena Davis. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
29 Nov 1952.
---
Daily Variety
20 Nov 52
p. 3.
Film Daily
3 Dec 52
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Feb 52
p. 17.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Mar 52
p. 17.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Nov 52
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
29 Nov 52
p. 1622.
Variety
26 Nov 52
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Men's ward
Ladies' ward
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
Choral arr
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
DANCE
Mus numbers staged by
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv
Scr supv
Dial dir
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col consultant
Col consultant
SOURCES
SONGS
"Meet Captain Kidd," "A Bachelor's Life," "We Sail Tonight," "Speak to Me of the Tall Pine," "Away-Aye-Ay-Aye-O" and "North of Nowhere," words and music by Bob Russell and Lester Lee.
DETAILS
Release Date:
27 December 1952
Production Date:
late February--30 March 1952 at Motion Picture Center
Copyright Claimant:
Woodley Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
17 December 1952
Copyright Number:
LP2173
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Color
SuperCinecolor
Duration(in mins):
70
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
15832
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In the late seventeenth century, Captain Kidd and his pirates dock on the island of Tortuga for some recreation. Meanwhile, Rocky Stonebridge and Oliver "Puddin' Head" Johnson, who are working as tavern waiters for their passage back to America, are asked to deliver a love letter from Lady Jane to the tavern's singer, Bruce Martingale. Before they can deliver the letter, Puddin' is sent to wait on Kidd, who is dining with his rival, the beautiful Capt. Bonney. Accusing Kidd of pillaging in her "territory," Bonney demands that stolen jewels be turned over to her. When Kidd claims they are buried on Skull Island and shows her a treasure map, she decides to accompany him there on his ship, with her own ship following, in case of trouble. Their discussion is interrupted by Puddin's bungling entrance with the food, and during the resulting disorder, the treasure map and Jane's love letter are inadvertently switched. When Rocky and Puddin' discover the mix-up, Rocky realizes the importance of the map. They try to trick Kidd into taking them to the island by disguising Puddin' as an important naval officer, but the disguise is discovered. To save Puddin' from Kidd's wrath, Rocky tells him they have hidden the map, and then negotiates for Kidd to take them to the island and share the wealth. As Rocky and Puddin' return to the ship with Kidd's first mate Morgan and the other pirates, Puddin' tosses what he thinks is the love letter to Bruce, who, wondering why his friends gave him a map, follows them to ask, and is shanghaied. On the ship, Kidd searches Puddin' and Rocky for the map, planning to feed ... +


In the late seventeenth century, Captain Kidd and his pirates dock on the island of Tortuga for some recreation. Meanwhile, Rocky Stonebridge and Oliver "Puddin' Head" Johnson, who are working as tavern waiters for their passage back to America, are asked to deliver a love letter from Lady Jane to the tavern's singer, Bruce Martingale. Before they can deliver the letter, Puddin' is sent to wait on Kidd, who is dining with his rival, the beautiful Capt. Bonney. Accusing Kidd of pillaging in her "territory," Bonney demands that stolen jewels be turned over to her. When Kidd claims they are buried on Skull Island and shows her a treasure map, she decides to accompany him there on his ship, with her own ship following, in case of trouble. Their discussion is interrupted by Puddin's bungling entrance with the food, and during the resulting disorder, the treasure map and Jane's love letter are inadvertently switched. When Rocky and Puddin' discover the mix-up, Rocky realizes the importance of the map. They try to trick Kidd into taking them to the island by disguising Puddin' as an important naval officer, but the disguise is discovered. To save Puddin' from Kidd's wrath, Rocky tells him they have hidden the map, and then negotiates for Kidd to take them to the island and share the wealth. As Rocky and Puddin' return to the ship with Kidd's first mate Morgan and the other pirates, Puddin' tosses what he thinks is the love letter to Bruce, who, wondering why his friends gave him a map, follows them to ask, and is shanghaied. On the ship, Kidd searches Puddin' and Rocky for the map, planning to feed them to the sharks afterward, but finding only the love letter, he puts them in irons. Enticed by the love letter she thinks Puddin' wrote, Bonney frees them, in return for the map, but discovers later that they gave her the love letter. When an English merchant ship, in which Jane is a passenger, approaches, a sea battle commences, and Jane is captured. In exchange for Jane's life, Oliver gives Kidd the map. Later Puddin' stumbles into Bonney's room and discovers that her ardor for him is getting hotter. However, Rocky pulls Puddin' away to search the captain's room for the map, which Puddin' memorizes, then eats, just before Kidd catches him. At the sight of Skull Island, they all disembark and row out to search. Ordered to lead them to the treasure, Puddin' finds a spot and begins digging, while Jane and Bruce find a spot to continue their courting. After several hours, Puddin' uncovers a chest filled with jewels, but Kidd, who feels obligated to remain true to his reputation, announces his plans to double-cross all of them. Knowing she is to be killed later that evening, Bonney saves Puddin' and Rocky from a live burial and proposes a means of escape. That evening, according to Bonney's plan, Jane and Bruce distract the pirates, while Bonney signals to her ship. Puddin' knocks out Kidd and steals his clothes, then posing as Kidd, rescues Jane from the pirates. Bonney's men then fire their cannon at Kidd's men, while Bonney and the rest of her new cohorts prepare to carry the treasure by boat to the ship. In his disguise, Puddin' is mistaken by Bonney's men for Kidd and fired upon, but he survives. Kidd, Morgan, Rocky and Puddin' lead each other on a merry chase, but eventually Kidd is captured and hung by his feet on the ship's yardarm and Morgan volunteers to become a loyal second mate. After Puddin' and Bonney share a noisy and passionate kiss, Puddin' takes over as skipper and they all sail away. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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