In Society (1944)

73-74 mins | Comedy | 18 August 1944

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HISTORY

The film was also reviewed under the title Abbott and Costello in Society. This was Bud Abbott and Lou Costello's first Universal film following Costello's long bout with rheumatic heart disease. The picture was also the first Abbott and Costello film to be directed by Jean Yarbrough, who went on to direct four more of the comedy team's films as well as produce and direct their television series. HR news items state that writers Hugh Wedlock, Jr. and Howard Snyder had originally intended to produce the film, which is based on their original story, for Universal in Feb 1943. In May 1944, HR reported that the picture was to go into the Universal production schedule ahead of the previously announced Abbott and Costello vehicle, The Naughty Nineties (See Entry), because the two comedians prefered the script for In Society. At that time, Arthur Lubin was set to direct the film. A Jul 1944 HR news item lists Robert Dudley and Bob Stebbins in the cast, but their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. HR also reported that portions of the film were shot on location in Pasadena, CA, in late Jun 1944. According to modern sources, chase footage from the 1941 Universal film Never Give a Sucker an Even Break was used in this film (See Entry). ...

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The film was also reviewed under the title Abbott and Costello in Society. This was Bud Abbott and Lou Costello's first Universal film following Costello's long bout with rheumatic heart disease. The picture was also the first Abbott and Costello film to be directed by Jean Yarbrough, who went on to direct four more of the comedy team's films as well as produce and direct their television series. HR news items state that writers Hugh Wedlock, Jr. and Howard Snyder had originally intended to produce the film, which is based on their original story, for Universal in Feb 1943. In May 1944, HR reported that the picture was to go into the Universal production schedule ahead of the previously announced Abbott and Costello vehicle, The Naughty Nineties (See Entry), because the two comedians prefered the script for In Society. At that time, Arthur Lubin was set to direct the film. A Jul 1944 HR news item lists Robert Dudley and Bob Stebbins in the cast, but their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. HR also reported that portions of the film were shot on location in Pasadena, CA, in late Jun 1944. According to modern sources, chase footage from the 1941 Universal film Never Give a Sucker an Even Break was used in this film (See Entry).

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
19 Apr 1944
---
Daily Variety
16 Jun 1944
---
Daily Variety
9 Aug 1944
p. 3, 6
Film Daily
15 Aug 1944
p. 6
Hollywood Reporter
4 Feb 1943
p. 8
Hollywood Reporter
18 May 1944
p. 4
Hollywood Reporter
16 Jun 1944
p. 13
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jun 1944
p. 5
Hollywood Reporter
12 Jul 1944
p. 6
Hollywood Reporter
9 Aug 1944
p. 4, 12
Hollywood Reporter
21 Aug 1944
p. 10
Los Angeles Examiner
30 Jun 1944
---
Los Angeles Times
22 May 1944
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
5 Aug 1944
p. 2032
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
12 Aug 1944
p. 2041
New York Times
17 Aug 1944
p. 20
Variety
9 Aug 1944
p. 12
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Carter DeHaven
Dial dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Prod
WRITERS
Orig story
Orig story
Addl comedy seq
Addl comedy seq
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2d cam
ART DIRECTORS
John B. Goodman
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
R. A. Gausman
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
Dir of sd
[Sd] tech
Edwin L. Wetzel
Re-rec and eff mixer
Mus mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
DANCE
Mus numbers devised and staged by
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr clerk
SOURCES
SONGS
"What a Change in the Weather," music and lyrics by Kim Gannon and Walter Kent; "No Bout Adout It" and "My Dreams Are Getting Better All the Time," music by Vic Mizzy, lyrics by Mann Curtis; "Rehearsin'," music and lyrics by Bobby Worth and Stanley Cowan.
SONGWRITERS/COMPOSERS
+
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Abbott and Costello in Society
Release Date:
18 August 1944
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 16 Aug 1944
Production Date:
12 Jun--mid Jul 1944
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Universal Pictures Co., inc.
30 August 1944
LP12877
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
73-74
Length(in feet):
6,639
Country:
United States
PCA No:
10328
SYNOPSIS

Plumbers Eddie Harrington and Albert Mansfield are hired to fix a leaky bathroom facet by wealthy Mr. Van Cleve, who has just returned home from a grueling business trip. They travel to Van Cleve's Long Island mansion in the taxi of their friend, Elsie Hummerdingle. The three arrive at the estate in the midst of Mrs. Van Cleve's costume party, and Elsie is mistaken for one of the guests by Peter Evans, the party's guest of honor. Meanwhile, as the exhausted Mr. Van Cleve tries to sleep, Eddie and Albert manage to destroy, rather than fix, the bathroom's plumbing and end up flooding the entire house. The next day, the Van Cleves write a letter of complaint to Eddie and Albert, but mistakenly mail to the plumbers an invitation for a weekend stay at the Bryerwood estate of Mrs. Roger Winthrop. After receiving the invitation, Eddie and Albert are visited by Drexel, a thief who lent the plumbers $1,000 to start up their business. Drexel threatens to kill the two if they do not either repay the loan that night or help him steal the valuables of their wealthy clients. Later, Eddie and Albert are joined at the Winthrop estate by Elsie, who has been invited there by Peter. Mrs. Winthrop is upset by Elsie's presence and Peter's attentiveness toward her, as she hopes to unite Peter with her daughter Gloria. The lovesick Albert also becomes upset when he sees Peter and Elsie together, but he soon has a change of heart and promises to help Elsie in her pursuit of the rich young man. Drexel then arrives at the Winthrop ...

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Plumbers Eddie Harrington and Albert Mansfield are hired to fix a leaky bathroom facet by wealthy Mr. Van Cleve, who has just returned home from a grueling business trip. They travel to Van Cleve's Long Island mansion in the taxi of their friend, Elsie Hummerdingle. The three arrive at the estate in the midst of Mrs. Van Cleve's costume party, and Elsie is mistaken for one of the guests by Peter Evans, the party's guest of honor. Meanwhile, as the exhausted Mr. Van Cleve tries to sleep, Eddie and Albert manage to destroy, rather than fix, the bathroom's plumbing and end up flooding the entire house. The next day, the Van Cleves write a letter of complaint to Eddie and Albert, but mistakenly mail to the plumbers an invitation for a weekend stay at the Bryerwood estate of Mrs. Roger Winthrop. After receiving the invitation, Eddie and Albert are visited by Drexel, a thief who lent the plumbers $1,000 to start up their business. Drexel threatens to kill the two if they do not either repay the loan that night or help him steal the valuables of their wealthy clients. Later, Eddie and Albert are joined at the Winthrop estate by Elsie, who has been invited there by Peter. Mrs. Winthrop is upset by Elsie's presence and Peter's attentiveness toward her, as she hopes to unite Peter with her daughter Gloria. The lovesick Albert also becomes upset when he sees Peter and Elsie together, but he soon has a change of heart and promises to help Elsie in her pursuit of the rich young man. Drexel then arrives at the Winthrop estate, having seen a photograph of Eddie and Albert posed with Mrs. Winthrop and her priceless oil painting, "The Plunger," in the newspaper's society section. He demands that the plumbers help him steal the painting, but when they refuse, he steals it with the help of Marlow, a crooked chauffeur. Eddie, Albert and Gloria are immediately accused of the crime, but when the plumbers see Drexel and Marlow leaving the estate, they chase after the thieves in a fire truck. Eddie and Albert manage to capture Drexel and Marlow and return the costly canvas to Mrs. Winthrop, but before they can be rewarded, Albert is pushed into the painting, destroying it.

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

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