A series of misadventures sees orphan Orville get onto the base for the space rocket launch and be mistaken for an imminent scientist. Lester is having none of it and puts him to work but the two of them manage to get into the rocket and accidentally launch it. They assume they have gone to Mars and the vast array of weird creatures convince them of as much. Of course they are unaware that they have actually landed in New Orleans and fit right in wearing their spacesuits. Coincidentally two escaped criminals see what is happening and understand it better than Lester and Orville and decide to take advantage.
It has been years since I last watched an Abbott & Costello film and I decided recently to record some of the various movie channels and watch them. Years ago my TV options used to be limited to 4 terrestrial channels and as such my film watching was heavily influenced by the matinees that BBC2 used to put on during Saturday afternoons and the old films they used to show during school holidays -' A&C being a regular part of those slots. With access to more (hell, I can even get DVD's posted to my flat) I rarely go back into the archives except for accepted "classics", which one could not really put on many of the A&C films. In hindsight, starting watching them again with this film was maybe not the best idea because it is a pretty weak affair.
The basic plot allows for three or four scenarios, each of which are played out for longer than the basic gags can sustain. Of more concern though is the lack of energy and wit that the film has, it feels tired and basic throughout the whole film (which feels longer than it is). The material is lacking for sure but strong delivery can spice up things in some cases. Shame then that the majority of the cast just seem bored. Abbott and Costello both do their usual shtick but do it like men going through the motions. It perhaps isn't as bad as I make it sound but it is not either of them at their best. The rest of the cast are obvious criminals or lovely, lovely ladies -' that's it. Nobody really gives the guys a lot to play off apart from a nice scene with Dr Orivia and Orville.
Overall this is a basic film without much to recommend it for. Fans will appreciate it the way they do but for the casual viewers it is best left to kids rather than adults. The material is weak but it is the lack of energy in the delivery that caused problems for me, making it feel weaker as a total film. I will continue to watch some more of the A&C films but this is a bad place to start.
Review by bob the moo from the Internet Movie Database.