Watch Africa Screams
- 1 hr 20 min
Bud Abbott and Lou Costello take the audience on a wild and comedic journey through the African bush in this 1949 film titled "Africa Screams." In the film, Costello plays Stanley Livington, a book salesman with a penchant for tall tales, who is mistaken for the great African explorer, Clyde Beatty, played by himself. Beatty is convinced to lead an expedition to find a hidden diamond mine, but he never shows up at the rendezvous point, leaving the bumbling Stanley to take his place. Abbott plays Buzz Johnson, Stanley's friend, and partner in crime, as they set off for the dark continent.
Upon arriving in Africa, Stanley and Buzz quickly realize they are in over their heads. Their first challenge is getting to the rendezvous point, where they were supposed to meet Beatty's crew. The duo boards a train bound for the jungle, but things quickly go awry when the train is hijacked by a group of thieves. The thieves have heard rumors of a valuable diamond, and they believe that Beatty is in possession of it. Stanley and Buzz manage to escape with the help of the train porter, who they suspect might be Beatty in disguise.
As they trek deeper into the jungle, Stanley and Buzz encounter a series of mishaps, from dodging wild animals to trying to break into the wrong house in search of the diamond mine. They also cross paths with a beautiful but treacherous woman, Diana Emerson, played by Hillary Brooke, who has her own agenda in the search for the diamond mine. Throughout the film, Stanley's propensity for lying gets him and Buzz into trouble, but they always manage to come out ahead with their wits and a bit of luck.
Meanwhile, the real Clyde Beatty and his team, led by Frank Buck and Max Baer, are hot on the trail of the diamond mine, only to be thwarted at every turn by their nemesis, the notorious hunter and poacher, Captain Sam Sabu, played by Joe Besser. Beatty and his team become convinced that Stanley and Buzz are in league with Sabu and are trying to beat them to the diamond mine. The two groups come together in a climactic showdown that involves a stampede of wild animals and a daring rescue.
Abbott and Costello are on top form in "Africa Screams," delivering their signature banter and slapstick humor throughout the film. Their chemistry is undeniable, and their comedic timing is spot on. Clyde Beatty brings authenticity and gravitas to the film, serving as a straight man to Costello's zany antics. The supporting cast, including Hillary Brooke and Joe Besser, add depth and humor to the story.
While "Africa Screams" is certainly a product of its time, with certain cringe-worthy moments that would not be accepted by modern audiences, it is still a hilarious romp through the African bush. The film is notable for being one of Abbott and Costello's few ventures into the adventure genre, and it stands as a testament to their enduring popularity and comedic prowess. Fans of classic comedy and adventure films will find much to enjoy in "Africa Screams."
Africa Screams is a 1949 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 20 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.0.