First of all, we should note that Abbott & Costello are great, and that this was the first film of theirs that I saw. Because it was the first of their films I saw, I got a somewhat stilted impression of this films quality. While there are some nice routines in the film (particularly the shortened version of the who's on first routine and the mustard routine), the film is really particularly interesting for some of its lesser qualities.

It is clear in this movie that Universal did not see exactly how much money these two men would eventually make them (they were the largest box office draws during Hollywood's most successful years ever). So they pair these two nimwits with two other characters following a real story. While this was done in many of Abbott & Costello's films, this one is notable because it is clear that Abbott & Costello were not meant to be the main stars, the other actors were... and of course the other actors sucked.

Unless you watch a lot of Turner Classic Movies, someone who grew up after the golden age of hollywood might not realize how much complete junk Hollywood made in order to come up with one Casablanca. Especially at studios like Universal and Columbia, which had rather heavy budget constraints, the main concern was just to send out as many films as fast as you can, because people would watch damn near anything in those days (this is now true of TV). One Night in the Tropics, places the complete junk that Hollywood makes, next to their occasional moments of brilliance, and unfortunatly the film producers couldn't quite tell which is which.

If you haven't seen every Abbott & Costello film, then your life is missing something dear, I suggest this one highly, but perhaps you should start with The Noose Hangs High, or even Meet Frankenstein.

Buy One Night in the Tropics here

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