It’s another case of mistaken identity that gets our boys (Abbott and Costello) in trouble, this time with a couple of gangsters. I’ve always been an Abbott and Costello fan but somehow missed this 1948 film over the years. It’s possible that because it was one of only a few pictures the duo did outside of Universal it did not enjoy the wide release their other works had. A few gems from the boys’ routines can be found. Look for the “horse eating his fodder” and “I’ll bet you you’re not here”. There is none of the Big Band Era song and dance routine to slow this film’s pace. It will certainly fly by you. If you like the boys, you’ll find this a pretty routine outing.
Abbott and Costello are mistaken as messenger boys. A gangster hires them to pick up $50,000. As you might expect, the boys lose the cash and are given 36 hours to come up with the dough… or else.
This is a 1948 low budget film. If you expect more than a clean Dolby Digital 2.0 audio presentation, you’re dreaming. The good news is that dialogue is always clear.
The Noose Hangs High is presented in a standard 1.33:1 full frame format. We’re talking black and white, although the MGM logo is in color. The print is relatively clean for its age. Of course, there are print artifacts, but I must confess they seem limited. The contrast is fair. The compression is quite impressive. After all, this is only a 77 minute film, and there are no extras.
The film was a nice little find for me. It’s rare that you get to see something from the classical age that you haven’t seen before. This was an amusing hour or so. I won’t say the boys are at their best; in fact there seems to be a little less life here than in most of their films. Probably most of you would rather rent this one. I’m not sure it’s the kind of film you’ll want to see over and over again. If you don’t have the patience for 1940’s slapstick and corn, you should definitely pass this one up. I’d tell you more; however, “The time allotted to me has expired”.