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Keep Em Flying

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Director  Arthur Lubin
Prequel  Hold That Ghost
Country  United States
7/10 IMDb

Genre  Comedy, Music, War
Sequel  Ride Em Cowboy
Language  English
Keep Em Flying movie poster

Writer  True Boardman, Nat Perrin, John Grant
Release date  November 28, 1941 (1941-11-28)
Cast  Lou Costello, Bud Abbott, Martha Raye, Carol Bruce, Dick Foran
Similar movies  Frozen, Pitch Perfect 2, Birdman, Aladdin, Cinderella, Annie

Keep em flying official trailer 1 lou costello movie 1941 hd

Keep 'Em Flying is a 1941 film starring the comedy team of Abbott and Costello. The film was the third service comedy based on the peacetime draft of 1940. The comedy team had appeared in two previous service comedies in 1941, before the United States entered the war: Buck Privates, released in January, and In the Navy, released in May. The film's title is taken from the official motto of the U.S. Army Air Corps, some five months after it had been reformed into the USAAF.


Keep Em Flying movie scenes

Glenn miller his orchestra keep em flying 1941


Keep Em Flying movie scenes

Jinx Roberts (Dick Foran) is a stunt pilot and his assistants are Blackie (Bud Abbott) and Heathcliff (Lou Costello). All three are fired from the carnival and air show that they work for after a disagreement. Jinx decides that he should join the Army Air Corps, so they go to a nightclub to party one last time. While there Jinx falls for the club's singer, Linda Joyce (Carol Bruce). Coincidentally, she becomes a USO hostess at the same Academy that Jinx and her brother Jimmy (Charles Lang) are enrolled at. It turns out that Jinx's instructor, Craig Morrison (William Gargan), was his co-pilot on a commercial airplane years earlier, and the two still hold animosity for each other. Meanwhile, Blackie and Heathcliff join the Air Corps as ground crewman and fall in love with twin USO hostesses (Martha Raye in a dual role).

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Jinx attempts to help Jimmy solo, nearly getting him killed. For his efforts, Jinx is hated by Linda for nearly killing her brother and is dishonorably discharged from the corps, along with his assistants Blackie and Heathcliff (who were discharged for their own mishaps). As they are leaving, Craig gets his parachute caught on the tail end of the plane that he just jumped out of. Jinx confiscates a plane and comes to his rescue. For his heroic actions, he is allowed back into the corps and gets back Linda.


Keep 'Em Flying Keep em Flying Pinup Art Spiderwebart Gallery

  • Bud Abbott as Blackie Benson
  • Lou Costello as Heathcliff
  • Martha Raye as Gloria Phelps / Barbara Phelps
  • Carol Bruce as Linda Joyce
  • William Gargan as Craig Morrison
  • Dick Foran as Jinx Roberts
  • Charles Lang as Jim Joyce
  • William Davidson as Gonigle
  • Truman Bradley as Butch
  • Loring Smith as Maj. Barstow
  • William Forrest as Colonel
  • Freddie Slack as Pianist
  • Production

    Keep 'Em Flying FileKeep em Flying is Our Battle Cry First Class Fighting Men

    Keep 'Em Flying was filmed at the Cal-Aero school in Ontario, California from September 5-October 29, 1941 under the working title Up in the Air. Costello's brother Pat Costello was used as Lou's stunt double.

    Keep 'Em Flying Wings of Freedom Keep Em Flying Sign The Collings Foundation

    Although it was filmed after Ride 'Em Cowboy, it was released first to coincide with the War Department's Keep 'Em Flying Week.


    Reviews from critics were generally not as positive as those for previous Abbott and Costello films. Bosley Crowther of The New York Times found the "routine and sticky" plot overly intrusive on the duo's antics and concluded that "As sustained entertainment ... 'Keep 'Em Flying' doesn't heed its own advice. Too often it hits the ground with a dull, resounding plop." Variety wrote: "'Keep 'Em Flying' is the fourth release starring Abbott and Costello within a 10-month stretch. It indicates that the boys are appearing too often with their burlycue type of roustabout comedy to remain in public popularity for any length of time, unless new material is provided for their screen appearances. Too many of the numerous laugh routines displayed here are only slight variations of previous material, with resultant loss of audience reaction." However, Film Daily reported: "Easily as good as before and maybe funnier, Abbott & Costello score again in another laugh-fest that's primed for top grosses." Harrison's Reports wrote, "Here's another Abbott and Costello picture that will set audiences roaring with laughter." John Mosher of The New Yorker called the film "a bit too usual. Many may even feel that the Costello squeal is getting feebler."

    Academy Award anomaly

    Keep 'Em Flying Military Poster Print Keep em flying US Air Pritzker

    One of the songs from the film, “Pig Foot Pete,” received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Original Song. However, the Academy attributed the song to another Universal Pictures release, Hellzapoppin', even though it was not used in that production.


    Keep 'Em Flying Keep Em Flying US Air Corps postcards Fonts In Use

    It was re-released with Ride 'Em Cowboy in 1949, and with Buck Privates in 1953.

    DVD release

    This film has been released twice on DVD. The first time, on The Best of Abbott and Costello Volume One, on February 10, 2004, and again on October 28, 2008 as part of Abbott and Costello: The Complete Universal Pictures Collection.


    Keep 'Em Flying Wikipedia
    Keep Em Flying IMDbKeep Em Flying