3 January 2009 | bkoganbing
Bud And Lou On The Slopes
Hit The Ice was Universal Studio's attempt to cash in on the popularity of 20th Century Fox's Sun Valley Serenade which mixed swing music with Sonja Henie's ice skating. Universal didn't have an ice skater of the caliber of Sonja Henie, but they did have Abbott&Costello and Costello on the ice was a sight to see.
As for the swing music, Glenn Miller and his Orchestra were in Sun Valley Serenade and Universal didn't have them either. By this time Glenn Miller had gone to war. So they hired one of the good second line swing orchestras of the period led by violinist Johnny Long. And they also acquired Ginny Simms one of the best female singers from the Forties to appear with Long.
However first and foremost the film is an Abbott&Costello effort and the boys do come through. They're first free lance photographers who take a picture of gangsters Sheldon Leonard, Marc Lawrence, and Joe Sawyer robbing a bank while Leonard is supposed to be in a hospital. Leonard's set up careful alibi about that even with doctor Patric Knowles and nurse Elyse Knox suspicious. Costello's camera work threatens to blow up some best laid plans.
The whole cast winds up at Sun Valley during the ski season, setting up a most excellent chase sequence with the boys and the crooks going down slope. We're not quite sure who's chasing who, but the loot from the robbery is involved.
Bud and Lou do some very good work. Sad to say that the film was badly edited and there are some plot problems because of it. Towards the end you see the boys in tuxedos waiting for Ginny Simms at a train station with no real explanation as to why they're in the formal wear. Simms also gets to play straight girl for the boys, part of her role is to vamp Costello and she does a good job. All that beauty and an incredible set of pipes.
Hit The Ice is not one of their best efforts, but still better than some of what they did in the Fifties and should please Bud and Lou's strong legion of fans the world over.