“Buck Privates” was first released in theaters in 1941 and the movie starred the comedic duo of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. However, it has been re-released and digitally remastered on Blu-Ray for Universal Pictures’ 100th anniversary. In “Buck Privates,” Slicker (Abbott) and Herbie (Costello) are street peddlers that sell ties. After being chased by the cops, the pair ends up in an Army recruitment center where they unintentionally sign up and are shipped off to boot camp. Due to Abbott and Costello’s presence, chaos and comedy ensues everywhere they go.
I have heard about Abbott and Costello, but have not really watched any of their movies or seen any of their comedic skits until now. I am a big Three Stooges fan and noticed the same kind of humor between the two acts, but the Three Stooges had better story plots and more thoughtful comedy. I thought the comedy in this movie was wholesome and old-fashioned, but most of the jokes were hit or miss. Also, I thought the plot for the movie was too simple and had the tendency to drag for the 85 minutes. I think I would have enjoyed “Buck Privates” more if it were shorter like the Three Stooges shorts.
However, I was amazed at the digital remastering, the music, and the extras. For a movie that was made back in 1941, the picture quality was super sharp for a black and white movie and the remastering improvements were perfectly done. I also liked the music in the movie because the songs and the musical numbers were catchy, memorable, and helped speed up the pace of the movie. Lastly, the Collector’s Edition of “Buck Privates” had extras galore. Besides the cool collector’s book case it came in, they included trailers and featurettes spotlighting Abbott and Costello, as well as Universal Pictures’ 100 years in movie making. This was the perfect gift for any Abbott & Costello fan.
The movie in general was not bad, but I felt the plot was too simple for my taste. Abbott & Costello do bring good wholesome slapstick comedy everywhere they go, but I still favor my Three Stooges a lot more. This movie will appeal more to older audiences, but might make some new fans after receiving the Collector’s Edition of this movie. These guys can be funny and I am open to watching more of their movies, but hope the plots have a lot more content than this movie. For those reasons, I am giving this movie a “B-.”