23 February 2007 | zsenorsock
Yes, the acting is stiff and the dialog is arch, but this is a fascinating look at a world and a time that doesn't exist anymore, yet was not that long ago.
This was a time when Abbott and Costello reigned at the top of the comedy mountain and as two of the biggest stars in Hollywood, had the money to build and fund the Lou Costello Jr. Foundation to help underprivileged kids. They had the connections to call on Jimmy Stewart, William Bendix and other top stars who did not appear in this short film, but did appear at fund raisers to help raise money for the center. Lou's devotion to the center and memory of his son Lou Jr. aka Butch is touching, as is his ambitious goal of providing centers like this to kids everywhere regardless of color or creed. In listening to Lou and seeing him interact with kids of every color and religion, its clear that as far as equality goes, Lou not only talked the talk, but he also walked the walk. A kid wasn't a black kid or a white kid or an Asian kid to Lou, he was just a kid.
Sadly, Costello had to turn over the center to the city of Los Angeles in the 1950's when he got into tax troubles and no longer had the money to fund the center himself. However, it still exists today, providing opportunities to disadvantaged kids (though no longer as many great opportunities as it did in this film when it was brand new) and is a lasting memorial to Butch and his big hearted father, Lou Costello.