Africa Screams (1949)

79 mins | Comedy | 27 May 1949

Director:

Charles Barton

Producer:

Edward Nassour

Cinematographer:

Charles Van Enger

Editor:

Frank Gross

Production Designer:

Lewis H. Creber

Production Company:

Nasbro Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Abbott and Costello in Africa . Although reviews list Lou Costello's character name as "Livingston," closing credits list him as "Livington." According to a HR news item dated 7 Dec 1948, production was to halt on that day to permit Bud Abbott, Costello and other members of the cast to attend funeral services for Abbott's stunt man and stand-in, Irving Gregg. According to copyright materials, this was the first independent production of brothers William and Edward Nassours' company, Nasbro Productions, Inc. Some reviews incorrectly list film editor Frank Gross's first name as David. Animal trainer Clyde Beatty and hunter Frank Buck, who play themselves in the film, were well-known performers with the Ringling Bros. Circus as well as stars of many 1930s films.
       On 9 Jun 1949, HR reported that Classic Pictures, Inc., which had acquired distribution rights to the 1930 Columbia film Africa Speaks , filed suit against United Artists for copyright infringement. According to DV news items, Costello, who had signed a deal with the Nassours to be paid "a straight salary, plus 60 percent of profits," sued the producers in Nov 1950, accusing them of "deliver[ing] to their own use and benefit large sums due plaintiff." The suit alleged that the Nassours overcharged the production by $250,000. The disposition of these suits is not ... More Less

The working title of this film was Abbott and Costello in Africa . Although reviews list Lou Costello's character name as "Livingston," closing credits list him as "Livington." According to a HR news item dated 7 Dec 1948, production was to halt on that day to permit Bud Abbott, Costello and other members of the cast to attend funeral services for Abbott's stunt man and stand-in, Irving Gregg. According to copyright materials, this was the first independent production of brothers William and Edward Nassours' company, Nasbro Productions, Inc. Some reviews incorrectly list film editor Frank Gross's first name as David. Animal trainer Clyde Beatty and hunter Frank Buck, who play themselves in the film, were well-known performers with the Ringling Bros. Circus as well as stars of many 1930s films.
       On 9 Jun 1949, HR reported that Classic Pictures, Inc., which had acquired distribution rights to the 1930 Columbia film Africa Speaks , filed suit against United Artists for copyright infringement. According to DV news items, Costello, who had signed a deal with the Nassours to be paid "a straight salary, plus 60 percent of profits," sued the producers in Nov 1950, accusing them of "deliver[ing] to their own use and benefit large sums due plaintiff." The suit alleged that the Nassours overcharged the production by $250,000. The disposition of these suits is not known. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
7 May 1949.
---
Daily Variety
29 Apr 49
p. 3.
Daily Variety
15 May 1950.
---
Film Daily
2 May 49
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Sep 48
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Nov 48
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Nov 48
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Dec 48
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Dec 48
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Jan 49
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Apr 49
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Jun 49
p. 2.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
7 May 49
p. 4597-98.
New York Times
5 May 49
p. 34.
Variety
4 May 49
p. 11.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Huntington Hartford Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Dial dir
PRODUCERS
Exec in charge
Assoc prod
WRITER
Orig story and scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Ward mgr
MUSIC
Mus
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
PRODUCTION MISC
Exec prod mgr
STAND INS
Stunts and stand-in for Bud Abbott
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Abbott and Costello in Africa
Release Date:
27 May 1949
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 4 May 1949
Production Date:
10 November--late December 1948
Copyright Claimant:
Nasbro Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
27 May 1949
Copyright Number:
LP2771
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
79
Length(in feet):
7,120
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
PCA No:
13694
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In Klopper's department store in New York City, salesmen Stanley Livington and Buzz Johnson are each approached by separate parties about a book, Dark Safari , which contains a map of diamond mines in the Congo. Although the book is out of print, Stanley swears he recalls the map's details and agrees to copy it for Grappler McCoy and Boots Wilson for a large sum of money. Unknown to Stanley, Buzz has arranged for him to copy the map for wealthy Diana Emerson later that evening for even more money. Grappler and Boots are Diana's henchmen, and when Buzz and Stanley arrive at her estate, Buzz overhears them planning an expedition with famous explorer Clyde Beatty. When Buzz learns how much Diana is paying Beatty, he negotiates higher terms for Stanley's map copying services, insisting that both go along on the safari. Diana reluctantly agrees, for although she tells everyone involved she is searching for the rare orangutan gargantuan, she actually hopes to find an enormous diamond mine to which the map is key. Once in Africa, Buzz discovers Stanley never knew anything about the legitimate map, and to stall, they pretend to be guides, leading the group further into the interior. En route, Stanley meets big game hunter Frank Buck, who is genuinely seeking the orangutan gargantuan. When Stanley accidentally frees the orangutan from one of Buck's traps, the beast is grateful and becomes attached to him. After some near mishaps with crocodiles and lions, Stanley and Buzz stumble across the diamond mine and realize it has been Diana's goal all along. A group of cannibal natives then kidnap ... +


In Klopper's department store in New York City, salesmen Stanley Livington and Buzz Johnson are each approached by separate parties about a book, Dark Safari , which contains a map of diamond mines in the Congo. Although the book is out of print, Stanley swears he recalls the map's details and agrees to copy it for Grappler McCoy and Boots Wilson for a large sum of money. Unknown to Stanley, Buzz has arranged for him to copy the map for wealthy Diana Emerson later that evening for even more money. Grappler and Boots are Diana's henchmen, and when Buzz and Stanley arrive at her estate, Buzz overhears them planning an expedition with famous explorer Clyde Beatty. When Buzz learns how much Diana is paying Beatty, he negotiates higher terms for Stanley's map copying services, insisting that both go along on the safari. Diana reluctantly agrees, for although she tells everyone involved she is searching for the rare orangutan gargantuan, she actually hopes to find an enormous diamond mine to which the map is key. Once in Africa, Buzz discovers Stanley never knew anything about the legitimate map, and to stall, they pretend to be guides, leading the group further into the interior. En route, Stanley meets big game hunter Frank Buck, who is genuinely seeking the orangutan gargantuan. When Stanley accidentally frees the orangutan from one of Buck's traps, the beast is grateful and becomes attached to him. After some near mishaps with crocodiles and lions, Stanley and Buzz stumble across the diamond mine and realize it has been Diana's goal all along. A group of cannibal natives then kidnap Stanley and Buzz, taking them back to their village as food. The orangutan frees Stanley and once back at camp, Buzz bullies Diana into cutting Beatty, Boots and Grappler out of the deal. Meanwhile, the native chief and a group of his men come into the camp offering a huge bag of diamonds in exchange for the savory Stanley. Stanley and Buzz flee, pursued by both the natives and Diana's men. Buzz stops to hide his bag of diamonds, but when he runs into the orangutan he faints in fear, and the orangutan takes the diamonds. The orangutan them summons all the jungle monkeys to aid Stanley and Buzz and the garangutuan appears, frightening off the entire expedition. Back in New York a daper looking Stanley enters the towering new Livington building where Buzz works as the elevator man. Stanley goes up to the president's office and reports to his boss, the orangutan. +

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

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.