Abbott and Costello Meet the Keystone Kops (1955)

abbott and costello meet the keystone kops poster 1955 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 7/10

Like the Keystone Kops portion

Wish it incorporated the Keystone Kops more

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Abbott and Costello Meet the Keystone Kops

Studio:  Universal Pictures

Genre(s):  Comedy

Release Date(s):  January 31, 1955

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated


You eat crow…I’ll eat squirrel!

Hollywood and the motion picture business is booming.  When Harry Pierce (Bud Abbott) is convinced by his friend Willie Piper (Lou Costello) to buy a movie studio, they discover they have been swindled by Joe Gorman (Fred Clark) and his girlfriend Leota Van Cleef (Lynn Bari).  Falling into poverty, Harry and Willie strike gold when they are recruited as stuntmen by a studio but unknowingly find themselves the targets of Gorman and Van Cleef who are working in disguise…and the only people who might be able to stop Gorman and Van Cleef could be the Keystone Kops.


We’re back!

Directed by Charles Lamont, Abbott and Costello Meet the Keystone Kops is also referred to as Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet the Keystone Kops.  Following Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in 1953, the film was almost retitled Abbott and Costello in the Stunt Men due to the fading popularity of the Keystone Kops.

Abbott and Costello is an acquired taste.  Their wordplay and slapstick won’t sit well with everyone and the films generally are quite cheap looking.  If you can get past Lou Costello mugging toward the camera, you might enjoy some of Abbott and Costello’s antics.


We’ll get the crooks!

It is interesting when Bud plays the one that screws up, and here that is the case.  Lou Costello is content to his normal life until he’s convinced by Lou to put money into a movie theater…of course, this leads to poverty.  Costello gets into his old antics by the end of the movie by being the buffoon, and Lou in general becomes the straight man again.  To call the movie “Meets the Keystone Kops” is a bit of a stretch since the Keystone Kops only show up in the last few minutes of the film…but the Kops make the most of it.

The cast of the film is quite strong.  Bud Abbott and Lou Costello are in their normal good form with lots of word play and physical gags.  The movie does feature some of the original Keystone Kops in Hank Mann, Heinie Conklin, and Herold Goodwin, plus, the Keystone Kops’ director Mack Sennett.  The beginning of the film also features a cameo by Costello’s daughter Carole Costello as the ticket seller at the movie theater.


Have some pie!

This Abbott and Costello feels a bit bigger due to more locations than some other films (though granted all of them seem to be done with chromachy or on Universal’s back lot.  The fact that the story is based around movies allows for more sets and scenes.  Here, you get planes, trains, automobiles, carriages, and motorcycles…plus, the old Keystone Kops skits still work with them in their truck.

Abbott and Costello Meet the Keystone Kops is a better than average entry in the Abbott and Costello films.  It might not be as popular as some of their comedy-horror entries, but it is worth seeking out.  Abbott and Costello Meet the Keystone Kops was followed by their final Universal Picture Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy also released in 1955.

Preceded By:

Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1953)

Followed By:

Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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