CineSavant Column

Tuesday December 3, 2019


The key artwork for this Abbott & Costello movie can be opened larger, in a new window. Wow, it isn’t exactly PC any more, or at all acceptable except as an example of uglier times … this poster is for a Spanish language release, but some U.S. campaigns were identical. I hereby risk the cultural firing squads for a good cause: professional film restoration experts are trying to save the movie.

Previous solicitors know I’m not partial to promoting Kickstarter campaigns, but Bob Furmanek has one that I’d like to see happen, with a thoughtful video pitch for his Save Abbott & Costello’s Africa Screams! Fund. Furmanek and the 3-D Archive have funded the restoration of a couple of 3-D pictures this way; this is their first ‘flat’ picture.

Africa Screams! was a TV staple when I was a kid, and I have a big soft spot for A&C’s Jack and the Beanstalk as well. But prints of the jungle movie always looked terrible; I got into its status a bit more when I talked with one of the Nassour brothers around 1983, on the subject of their other oddball ’50s feature fantasy, The Beast of Hollow Mountain. So give Bob’s pitch a listen — !

Tireless researcher Gary Teetzel sends along this film interview with Hammer Films’ producer James Carreras, courtesy of the ‘Huntley Film Archives,’ whose logo is plastered over everything. Hailing, we think, from around 1965, it’s all chopped up with big silent gaps, but the content is great — this is what the man sounded like. “Remember, Hammer Films are there for when there’s no ‘Bridge on the River Kwai’ around!”

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson