Buck Privates (1941)

Buck Privates (1941)

“Congratulations, men — we’re glad to have you in the army!”

A pair of necktie salesmen (Bud Abbott and Lou Costello) accidentally join the Army.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Abbott and Costello Films
  • Comedy
  • Military
  • World War II

Response to Peary’s Review:
As Peary notes, this popular wartime amusement — the biggest box office draw of 1941 — “holds up nicely” and still delivers lots of laughs. Abbott and Costello are at their comedic best, and the Andrews Sisters are simply delightful as they sing their way through several rousing songs, including “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B” and “You’re a Lucky Fellow, Mr. Smith”. Highlights include Costello playing craps for the “first” time”:

… Abbott asking Costello for a $10 “loan”:

… Costello fumbling his way through drill exercises (this scene was used as propaganda by the Japanese to showcase America’s military incompetence!):

… and Costello in the boxing ring:

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • The Andrews Sisters’ “classic hip-shaking performance of ‘Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B'”

Must See?
Yes. Along with The Naughty Nineties (1945), this is one of Abbott and Costello’s best vehicles, and worth watching.


  • Genuine Classic


One thought on “Buck Privates (1941)

  1. First viewing – not must-see.

    What may have been extremely popular years ago (in this case, 1941) is not necessarily something that will have a long shelf-life. Most of the humor here is dated – or, if not, it’s only mildly amusing at best.

    The Andrew Sisters are, indeed, a plus (they have lovely harmonies) but their biggest splash – ‘Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy’ – is a 2.5-minute treat that could most likely be seen on YouTube.

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