Abbott and Costello Go to Mars Reviews
The comedy duo of Abbott and Costello is my all-time favorite comedic duo. While I haven't seen all of their movies, I've seen most of them. It's very hard to review a film from 1953, least of all a movie that is so similar to other Abbott and Costello movies.
In Abbot and Costello Go to Mars (1953), Lou Costello plays Orville (a fairly typical Lou Costello character name), a 39-year-old orphan who jumps on to to a delivery truck driven by Bud Abbott's Lester. Lester works for a facility called (I'm not kidding) Experimental Lab, which has built a space ship in order to travel to Mars or Venus, because those are the closet planets. They take a vote (not kidding) and decide to go to Mars.
Through a series of misadventures, Orville and Lester end up 'accidentally' getting aboard the space ship and taking off. After flying around a city, the rocket lands in New Orleans during Mardi Gras (of course). Orville and Lester think they're on Mars, and Mardi Gras people think they are simply participating in the celebration. Since everyone is wearing extremely similar costumes with large heads, our duo believe they are still on Mars.
Meanwhile, two escaped convicts find the space ship and the stunning ray guns "like the ones Flash Gordon uses" aboard and decide to put on the space suits and rob a bank and a clothing store. Since they are looking for men in space suits, Orville and Lester are suspected as the criminals.
To make a long story longer, the criminals and our duo end up back on the space ship and launch again (after our duo discover that they are really in New Orleans and not on Mars). They think they're going to Mars, but the scientists from Experimental Lab notice via their television screens that the ship is closer to Venus. Orville ends up turning the tables on the criminals and flipping the switch to go back to Earth. Instead, they land on Venus which is populated entirely by (obviously) beautiful women and ginormous dogs. All the women of Venus want a king and so they end up crowning Orville (who thinks he's back on Earth and in Los Angeles at first), and all of the other men end up getting arrested and making out with the reluctant women captors (I really wish I was kidding at this point).
I'm too saddened at this point to continue the synopsis, so on to the review:
Go to Mars is a later Abbott and Costello movie, having been made in 1953. I'm not as big of fan of Mars as I am of earlier movies, mostly because there is not as much clever wordplay in the back-and-forth between Abbott and Costello and there is a lot more slapstick than I like. The early comedy in the movie is mostly Costello falling all over the place or running in to things. That's not to say that there aren't genuinely funny moments. Lou Costello is enjoyable as always and once the physical comedy is done, the movie gets much better.
This movie almost feels like they are trying to hard, which may be true at this point in their careers. Perhaps this film was made mostly out of demand for them to make a space movie than anything else. As far as Abbott and Costello movies go, this is not even close to the best. But, if you need an example of what a beautiful woman looked like in 1953 - go fr it.