An overlooked film featuring one of cinema’s iconic comedy duo teams will be shown this upcoming weekend.
Svengoolie Presents Abbott & Costello in “The Time of Their Lives” (1946)
The iconic Chicago-based horror host will show a comedy of ghostly proportions on Me-TV, as he will present the 1946 farce “The Time of Their Lives.” The film features Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, and Marjorie Reynolds.
It was directed by Charles Barton, who also directed Abbott & Costello (as a team) in the 1947 sequel to “Buck Privates,” “Buck Privates Come Home.” One of the other Barton films that the duo appeared in was the 1948 comedy-horror classic, “Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein.”
A slight difference from other Abbott & Costello films
This film is a little different than the typical Abbott and Costello comedy. In “The Time of Their Lives,” the comedic duo portrays individual characters, instead of their usual comedic skit roles as pals.
Set in the mid-1940s, two cursed Revolutionary War-era ghosts, Horatio Prim (Costello) and Melody Allen (Reynolds) haunts the Danbury Manor estate. Psychologist Ralph Greenway (Costello), a descendant of Cuthbert Greenway (the man that convicted Horatio, who was wrongfully sentenced to death for treason 160+years before) is tormented and fooled by the ghosts. A perfect blend of chaos, hilarity and unique visual effects are showcased in this film.
Was not a success during its general theatrical release in 1946
The film did not do well during its general release in 1946, due in part to Abbott and Costello not performing their standard routine, which they returned to in “Buck Privates Come Home.” In later years, the film has been rediscovered and appreciated by fans of vintage comedic cinema.
“The Time of Their Lives,” along with Svengoolie’s skits, is a perfect way to kick off the weekend.
Svengoolie Presents: “The Time of Their Lives” (1946)
Sat., Mar. 18 at 10 p.m. Eastern/9:00 p.m. Central
Me-TV Network (in the Washington, D.C./Frederick, Maryland area on WJLA-TV 7.2/Comcast 204 and in the Baltimore area on WBAL-TV 11.2/Comcast 208).
Rare Nov. 1946 Universal Studios non-theatrical advertisement for “The Time of Their Lives” and other Universal film, newsreel and cartoon releases (via Internet Archive/Lantern Media History Archive)
A Brief “Spring Break” Greeting: To all fellow friends of the Matinee, enjoy your Spring Break (despite recent weather updates predicting that a Nor’easter will be in store in the area for the weekend). Do something exciting, worthwhile and memorable over the break!