“If you could read my mind like I can read yours, you’d know I meant every word of it!”
A bumbling salesman (Lou Costello) suddenly finds himself enormously successful once he believes he has the ability to read minds.
Little Giant is notable in Abbott and Costello’s oeuvre as the first film in which they didn’t play buddies, and were given a more “traditional” story to work with. Costello acquits himself well in the lead role as a likable but hapless aspiring salesman who finds success once he believes in his own powers of persuasion. It’s difficult to watch him beaten down time and again, but we’re fairly convinced that all will work out well for him in the end — and knowing that he has a loyal, pretty fiancee (Elena Verdugo) waiting for him back at home doesn’t hurt things, either. Despite playing two different roles (good and bad “versions” of Costello’s boss), Abbott has much less prominence here — this is really Costello’s show all the way (though the duo have at least one classic interaction together, as they re-enact their “7 times 13 is 28” routine from In the Navy). Not must-see for all-purpose film fanatics, but certainly of interest to diehard Abbott and Costello fans.
A bit of historical trivia: In her attempt to “woo” Benny (Costello), Jacqueline deWit (playing evil Abbott’s secret wife) takes him to the Venice Amusement Pier, which was shut down just months after this film was released.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Lou Costello as Benny
- Jacqueline de Wit as Hazel
- Benny’s first attempt at a “hard sell”
- Benny explaining how 7 goes into 28 thirteen times
No, but it’s worth a look.