One Night in the Tropics

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One Night in the Tropics
Onenightinthetropics.jpg
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Directed byA. Edward Sutherland
Produced byLeonard Spigelgass
Written byGertrude Purcell
Charles Grayson
StarringAllan Jones
Robert Cummings
Nancy Kelly
Bud Abbott
Lou Costello
William Frawley
Peggy Moran
Music byJerome Kern and Dorothy Fields
CinematographyJoseph A. Valentine
Edited byMilton Carruth
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • November 15, 1940 (1940-11-15)
Running time
82 min.
LanguageEnglish

One Night in the Tropics is a 1940 comedy film noteworthy for being the film debut of Abbott and Costello. They are listed as supporting actors but steal the picture with five of their classic routines, including an abbreviated version of "Who's On First?" Their work earned them a two-picture deal with Universal, and their next film, Buck Privates, made them bona fide movie stars. Songs in the film were by Jerome Kern with lyrics by Dorothy Fields. The film is based on a 1914 novel, Love Insurance by Earl Derr Biggers, the creator of Charlie Chan.[1]

It was filmed as a silent movie in 1919 as Love Insurance by Paramount with Bryant Washburn and Lois Wilson, and in 1925 by Universal as The Reckless Age.

Synopsis[edit]

Jim "Lucky" Moore (Allan Jones), an insurance salesman, comes up with a novel policy for his friend, Steve (Robert Cummings): a 'love insurance policy', that will pay out $1-million if Steve does not marry his fiancée, Cynthia (Nancy Kelly). Encouraged by Jim's argument that Jim has never had to pay out on a policy so that the marriage is a sure thing, Steve accepts. The upcoming marriage is jeopardized by Steve's ex-girlfriend, Mickey (Peggy Moran), and Cynthia's disapproving Aunt Kitty. The policy is underwritten by a nightclub owner, Roscoe (William Frawley), who sends two enforcers - Abbott and Costello - to ensure that the wedding occurs as planned. Everyone involved in the situation winds up sailing or flying to San Marcos (a fictional South American country), where another complication arises, when Lucky falls for Cynthia. Lucky winds up marrying Cynthia, but Roscoe does not have to pay the $1-million because Steve ends up marrying Mickey.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

One Night in the Tropics was filmed from August 26 through September 30, 1940 under the film's working title, Riviera, an unproduced Jerome Kern musical from 1937 originally planned for Danielle Darrieux;[1] Kern's songs were reused in the film.[2][3]

It had several working titles before Universal settled on One Night in the Tropics, including Moonlight in the Tropics, Love Insurance, and Caribbean Holiday.[4]

Promotion[edit]

Just prior to the beginning of production, on August 21, 1940, Jones and Cummings were guests on Abbott and Costello's radio show and promoted the film.

World premiere[edit]

The film had its world premiere in Costello's home town of Paterson, New Jersey on October 30, 1940.[1]

Rerelease[edit]

The film was re-released (at 69 minutes) by Realart Pictures in 1950 with The Naughty Nineties and in 1954 with Little Giant.[1]

Home media[edit]

This film has been released twice on DVD. The first time, on The Best of Abbott and Costello Volume One on February 10, 2004, and again on October 28, 2008 as part of Abbott and Costello: The Complete Universal Pictures Collection.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Furmanek, Bob & Ron Palumbo (1991), Abbott and Costello in Hollywood, New York: Perigee Books, ISBN 978-0-399-51605-4
  2. ^ Hemming, Roy (1999), The Melody Lingers On: The Great Songwriters and Their Movie Musicals, Newmarket Press, p. 105, ISBN 978-1-55704-380-1
  3. ^ SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD. (1940, Jul 31). New York Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.sl.nsw.gov.au/docview/105290980?accountid=13902
  4. ^ Nollen, Scott Allen, Abbott and Costello on the Home Front: A Critical Study of the Wartime Films (2009) Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books?id=rloU-4ntD_EC&pg=PA10&lpg=PA10&dq=moonlight+in+the+tropics+costello&source=bl&ots=wPo1p_7izp&sig=vfxte920pLnBl-WZIZlA7DbA4P4&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj_pKDvwN_aAhUGTN8KHaJ0CesQ6AEIazAN#v=onepage&q=moonlight%20in%20the%20tropics%20costello&f=false

External links[edit]