The Noose Hangs High


1h 17m 1948

Brief Synopsis

Two nitwits working for a crooked bookie accidentally lose the boss's winnings.

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Release Date
Apr 17, 1948
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Abbott & Costello Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Eagle-Lion Films, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 17m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,884ft (9 reels)

Synopsis

Ted Higgins and his pal Homer, two window washers in New York City, are mistaken for messengers by a tough gambler named Mike Craig and instructed to pick up fifty-thousand dollars in cash from a Mr. Stewart. After Stewart hands over the money, his thugs follow Ted and Homer, and Homer ducks into a mail room and mails the money to Craig. When they report to Craig, he believes that they stole his money and holds them hostage all night in his office. The next morning, Ted and Homer anxiously await the arrival of the money in the mail, but the envelope contains only a face powder sample. While Homer wasn't looking, the envelope was accidentally switched and became part of a massive promotional mailing for a cosmetics company. Craig then gives Ted and Homer forty-eight hours to come up with the money. While being tailed by Craig's thugs, Ted and Homer hunt down the recipient of their original envelope, and it turns out to be Carol Blair, a personal secretary. Carol explains apologetically that she has spent almost all of the money, and begs Craig to give Ted and Homer more time. Craig, who needs the money to pay back his bookie, J. C. McBride, calls McBride for an extension, and McBride, who by reputation never loses, gives him a 30:1 racing tip on a horse called "Lolly C." Carol, Ted and Homer go with the remaining cash to the racetrack and bet on Lolly C, but McBride changes his bet at the last minute and Lolly C loses. Meanwhile, they meet McBride at the track, but he introduces himself as Julius Caesar, and they do not realize who he is. McBride quickly befriends the trio, and that night, all four dine at an expensive restaurant, where Ted and Homer hope to get arrested for not paying the check in order to avoid Craig's vicious thugs. Craig arrives and hauls them away to a sand and gravel company before Carol realizes that Julius Caesar is McBride. Carol, meanwhile, has won $50,000 from McBride in penny bets at the bar, and they go to settle the debt. Craig is about to have Ted and Homer's feet stuck in cement and thrown into the river when Carol arrives with McBride and saves them. Ted and Homer demand payment from Craig for their original messenger service, then push him and his thugs into the wet cement for prints of their backsides. Carol then kisses Homer.

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Release Date
Apr 17, 1948
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Abbott & Costello Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Eagle-Lion Films, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 17m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,884ft (9 reels)

Articles

The Noose Hangs High


The comedy team of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, who hovered near the top of the list of box-office attractions in the 1940s, chose The Noose Hangs High (1948) as their first independently produced vehicle after a string of hits for Universal. Under a new contract with that studio, the pair were allowed one outside film a year, and this one was shot at Eagle Lion. It's a remake of Universal's For Love or Money (1939) starring Robert Kent and June Lang. Because The Noose Hangs High was not part of the package when Abbott and Costello's Universal releases were syndicated for television, it has been little seen in recent years.

Abbott and Costello play bumbling window washers who find their lives in peril after being hired by a gangster (Joseph Calleia) to collect a $50,000 gambling debt and manage to lose track of the money. The plot is really an excuse to introduce some of the famous Abbott and Costello comedy routines perfected in vaudeville, burlesque houses and on live radio. Among them are "Bet You Ten Dollars," "Getting Arrested," "Hole in the Wall," "Packing and Unpacking" and, most memorably, "Mudder and Fodder." In addition to the credited cast, the movie has a number of unbilled bits by such veteran comic actors as Elvia Allman, James Flavin, Fred Kelsey, Lyle Latell, Murray Leonard, Paul Maxey, Isabel Randolph, Benny Rubin and Herb Vigran.

Abbott (1896-1974) and Costello (1908-1959), both New Jersey natives, first joined forces in 1931. The tall, slender, stoic Abbott played straight man to the short, chubby, excitable Abbott. Their first big film hit, Buck Privates (1941), grossed $10 million and made them household names. After their last movie as a team, Dance With Me Henry (1956), the pair moved into television but within a year had broken up as a team. The split was not amicable; Abbott was suing Costello for $222,000, which he claimed was owed him from the TV series, at the time of Costello's death.

Producers: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello
Director: Charles Barton
Screenplay: John Grant, Howard Harris, from story by Julian Blaustein, Bernard Feins, Daniel Taradash
Set Decoration: Armor Marlowe
Cinematography: Charles Van Enger
Editing: Harry Reynolds
Original Music: Walter Schumann
Principal Cast: Bud Abbott (Ted Higgins), Lou Costello (Homer Hinchcliffe), Joseph Calleia (Nick Craig), Leon Errol (Julius Caesar McBride), Cathy Downs (Carol Scott), Mike Mazurki (Chuck), Fritz Feld (Psychiatrist).
BW-77m.

By Roger Fristoe

The Noose Hangs High

The Noose Hangs High

The comedy team of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, who hovered near the top of the list of box-office attractions in the 1940s, chose The Noose Hangs High (1948) as their first independently produced vehicle after a string of hits for Universal. Under a new contract with that studio, the pair were allowed one outside film a year, and this one was shot at Eagle Lion. It's a remake of Universal's For Love or Money (1939) starring Robert Kent and June Lang. Because The Noose Hangs High was not part of the package when Abbott and Costello's Universal releases were syndicated for television, it has been little seen in recent years. Abbott and Costello play bumbling window washers who find their lives in peril after being hired by a gangster (Joseph Calleia) to collect a $50,000 gambling debt and manage to lose track of the money. The plot is really an excuse to introduce some of the famous Abbott and Costello comedy routines perfected in vaudeville, burlesque houses and on live radio. Among them are "Bet You Ten Dollars," "Getting Arrested," "Hole in the Wall," "Packing and Unpacking" and, most memorably, "Mudder and Fodder." In addition to the credited cast, the movie has a number of unbilled bits by such veteran comic actors as Elvia Allman, James Flavin, Fred Kelsey, Lyle Latell, Murray Leonard, Paul Maxey, Isabel Randolph, Benny Rubin and Herb Vigran. Abbott (1896-1974) and Costello (1908-1959), both New Jersey natives, first joined forces in 1931. The tall, slender, stoic Abbott played straight man to the short, chubby, excitable Abbott. Their first big film hit, Buck Privates (1941), grossed $10 million and made them household names. After their last movie as a team, Dance With Me Henry (1956), the pair moved into television but within a year had broken up as a team. The split was not amicable; Abbott was suing Costello for $222,000, which he claimed was owed him from the TV series, at the time of Costello's death. Producers: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello Director: Charles Barton Screenplay: John Grant, Howard Harris, from story by Julian Blaustein, Bernard Feins, Daniel Taradash Set Decoration: Armor Marlowe Cinematography: Charles Van Enger Editing: Harry Reynolds Original Music: Walter Schumann Principal Cast: Bud Abbott (Ted Higgins), Lou Costello (Homer Hinchcliffe), Joseph Calleia (Nick Craig), Leon Errol (Julius Caesar McBride), Cathy Downs (Carol Scott), Mike Mazurki (Chuck), Fritz Feld (Psychiatrist). BW-77m. By Roger Fristoe

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

According to SAB, the title of Charles Grayson and Arthur T. Horman's original screenplay was For Love or Money. The name for the racehorse "Lolly C" probably was based on the film's associate producer, Lolly Cristillo.