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Buck Privates

(1941 b 84')

En: 6 Ed: 5

Abbott and Costello join the army, undergo training, and are entertained by the Andrews Sisters while a rich man adjusts to military values.

On September 14, 1940 the United States draft begins. Randolph Parker (Lee Bowman) reports for training. Slicker Smith (Bud Abbott) sells Herbie Brown (Lou Costello) ten ties for a dollar, and they flee from the cop Michael Collins (Nat Pendleton) by getting in line they think is for a movie; but they are signed up for the army. Bob Martin (Alan Curtis) gets back at former employer Parker by slugging him. Bob sees Judy Gray (Jane Frazee) is in the army. The Andrews Sisters sing "You're a Lucky Fellow, Mr. Smith." On the train Randolph kisses Judy, who slaps him. Bob warns Parker to keep away from Judy. Slicker teaches Herbie craps but suspects he already knows by the terms he uses.

At camp Slicker and Herbie try to sell ties and find the cop Collins is their sergeant. Parker expects to get out in a week because of his father. Bob is writing a letter, and Judy sings "I Wish You Were Here." Parker gets Judy to show him around. Slicker gets money from Herbie by tricking him. Collins tries to train Herbie. Parker's father arrives and tells his son he is not getting out. The Andrews Sisters sing "I'll Be with You in Apple-blossom Time." Judy tells Parker that the army is a great leveler. Sgt. Collins sends Parker and Bob away so he can ask Judy for a date. Collins tries to drill Herbie. Slicker asks Herbie how long he will have to wait to marry a girl of ten, and Herbie throws water on Collins. Slicker says they bet $500 on the rifle match; but Parker gets out of it to see Judy, who blames him for letting down his company. Parker offers to pay for the lost bets; but Bob fights him. Collins tells Herbie not to play the radio; but Slicker persuades Herbie to play it. Herbie peels potatoes. Herbie says what he would do if he were a captain and what is wrong with the army. Collins make Herbie wash dishes.

Slicker sparks Herbie into volunteering to box. The Andrews Sisters sing "The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy." Herbie's slight opponent is replaced. Herbie is scared but boxes. Soldiers march and participate in a training exercise in combat. Parker helps Bob climb a mountain. Parker distracts opponents so that Bob can blow up the blockhouse by the reservoir. Parker learns he was transferred to Officer Candidate School without his father's help. At a dance Parker is popular now. The Andrews Sisters sing "Box the Brother with a Solid Four." Judy asks Parker to dance. Herbie and Slicker won money betting against the blue army. Bob and Judy tell Parker they are going to OCS also. In the final scene parading soldiers sing "You're a Lucky Fellow, Mr. Smith."

This comedy makes fun of basic training but is designed to soften the blow of the draft by suggesting they all must work together for America.

Copyright © 2002 by Sanderson Beck

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