Movie Review: Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd (1952)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 1952 comedy starring Bud Abbott and Lou Costello.

Synopsis: Best friends Rocky and Puddin' Head are waiting tables at an inn in Tortuga when Lady Jane asks them to deliver a love letter. They fail in this task and, instead, mix up the love letter with a treasure map belonging to the notorious Captain Kidd. When they discover the mistake, Rocky and Puddin' Head decide to hide the map and force Kidd and his business partner, Capt. Bonney, to share the treasure.


I'm a big Abbott and Costello fan so, when I recently came across several of their films I had not seen before, I wound up recording them off of one of our movie channels. And, since I had yesterday afternoon off (and it was too cold to do anything outside), I ended up watching this film while eating lunch. Unfortunately, even though I normally enjoy this comedy team, this movie turned out to be a bit of a disappointment.

First of all, there is an awful lot of singing in this film. Normally, this isn't necessarily something that would turn me off of a film. But, if you were to remove the song and dance numbers, I honestly think this movie would be only about 45 minutes in length. It's not as though the songs were overly catchy either. In fact, I wound up fast forwarding through a couple of them just because they were getting on my nerves a bit.

I also thought this movie relied a little too much on physical comedy. One of the reasons why I like Abbott and Costello is their jokes tend to be somewhat intelligent with quick one-liners and the occasional physical comedy bit. Without that, they would be nothing more than the Three Stooges minus Larry. This movie seemed to forget that.

On top of it, the pair would drag out the physical comedy pieces for what seemed like an eternity. It was as though they were saying to me "this is supposed to be funny so we are going to keep doing the same thing over and over again until you laugh." The problem was, I just wasn't laughing at this film as much as I normally do when watching them.

On a positive note, I did think the end of the movie was somewhat entertaining, with the pair trying to escape Captain Kidd (Laughton) while Bonney's (Brooke) crew was trying to rescue them. When her crew mistook Puddin' Head (Costello) for Kidd, it did add enough of a twist to keep me interested. Unfortunately, by that point, I was just waiting for the film to be over.

Abbott & Costello Meet Captain Kidd [Remaster]

Abbott. Costello. Laughton. Three stars boasting one Oscar(r) between them deliver the yo-ho-ho-ho-ing of this merry musical-comedy tale of pirates and buried treasure. Casting ...

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Final Opinion

I like Abbott and Costello and will find time to watch the other movies I recorded. But, this was one of the first films I've seen them in that I just didn't enjoy as much as the others. I can only hope the other films won't be as bad.

My Grade: C

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Updated: 11/15/2018, StevenHelmer
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DerdriuMarriner on 04/02/2022

StevenHelmer, Thank you for product lines, pretty pictures and practical information.
The library system here does not have Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd among its Blu-ray and DVD collections. But sometimes a film hides in plain sight from the online catalogue when omnibus collections have more movies than there are spaces allotted for cataloguing. So I intend to look at every Abbott and Costello collection, perhaps more for the other films that you've reviewed positively.

How was the portrayal of Captain Kidd?

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