Friday, August 7, 2009

On This Day in Abbott and Costello History

Today August 6th "Hold That Ghost" opened in 1941.

Chuck Murray (Bud Abbott) and Ferdie Jones (Lou Costello) work at a gas station, but long to move up to waiting tables at Chez Glamour, a high-class nightclub.

Opportunity comes their way and they find themselves working there. But on their very first night, they cause a disturbance, only to wind up back at the gas station, when a gangster named "Moose" Matson (William Davidson) brings in his car for servicing. Chuck and Ferdie happen to be inside the vehicle when the gangster speeds off to escape police, who are searching for him. During the chase, the gangster is killed, and through a strange clause in his will, Chuck and Ferdie inherit his tavern, 'Forrester's Club'.

The lawyer in charge of the will arranges a private bus (actually just a large car) to take them to the tavern, but the driver abandons them and the other passengers there and takes off with everyone's luggage, a scheme that is known as the "wildcat bus racket". Unbeknownst to everyone, one of the passengers, Charlie Smith (Marc Lawrence) is a member of Moose's gang, and wants to search the tavern for a hidden money stash. (Moose did give one rather cryptic clue as to the money's location, by stating that he always kept his money "in his head").

As the night progresses, strange things begin to happen, and the tavern appears to be haunted. More gangsters arrive to search for the money and unsuccessfully attempt to scare off the guests. Ferdie eventually finds the treasure hidden inside the head of a stuffed moose; he and Chuck use the money to transform the tavern into a health resort. They hire Ted Lewis and His Orchestra, along with The Andrews Sisters, to headline. (synapsis from Wikipedia)

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