Movie Review: Abbott and Costello Go to Mars (1953)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 1953 comedy starring Bud Abbott and Lou Costello.

Synopsis: A delivery driver and his stowaway are given the task of loading supplies on a rocket headed to Mars. They accidentally launch the rocket and, after a quick stop in New Orleans, they, along with a pair of bank-robbing convicts, blast off into outer space before landing on the women-populated Venus.

Review

To tell you the truth, I never even knew this movie existed until a couple weeks ago. And, when I saw it, I decided to record it so my daughter (also an avid Abbott & Costello fan) and I could watch it together. We finally had a chance to do that tonight and, while it wasn't quite as good as some of their earlier films, it wasn't terrible.

This movie is actually two movies in one. First, Lester (Abbott) and Orville (Costello) end up in New Orleans and, because everyone is dressed up for Mardi Gras, believe they have landed on Mars. This part was actually much funnier than I was expecting, especially the way the two stars interact with all the strange people while, at the same time, believing they are on another planet surrounded by aliens.

The second half of the film, involving a pair of criminals (McMahon and Kruschen) who, in many ways, were very similar to characters you would expect Abbott and Costello to play, traveling with them to Venus was equally entertaining. I especially loved the jealous queen (Blanchard) who, after banning all men 400 years earlier, quickly falls in love with Orville. This budding relationship ended up being much less predictable than I was expecting it to be and was funny as a result.

The one thing I did notice about this movie is it does rely heavily on sight gags and doesn't have as much of the quick-paced, witty jokes you'll see in most of their movies. In fact, Kruschen and McMahon actually steal a few of the scenes. This, to be honest, was a little disappointing because there were many scenes in this film that made me wonder if I accidentally recorded a Three Stooges movie. Fortunately, the well-written story, talented acting and, of course, the cast of Miss Universe contestants did keep the overall film entertaining to watch.

Final Opinion

It's definitely not as good as some of the comedy team's earlier movies. But, this film did still turn out to be much funnier than I was expecting. It's worth taking the time to watch on a rainy day.

My Grade: B

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Updated: 07/29/2016, StevenHelmer
 
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