MEMORABLE MOVIE QUOTES: ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN (1948)
Welcome to another edition of MEMORABLE MOVIE QUOTES, that column where we look at great quotes from some really great movies. Today we look at ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN (1948), one of the funniest horror comedies ever made. It’s chock full of classic lines.
It’s actually one of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello’s funniest films. While the monsters— Bela Lugosi as Dracula, Lon Chaney Jr. as the Wolf Man, and Glenn Strange as the Frankenstein monster— play it straight, Bud and Lou tickle your funny bone, and they’ve rarely been funnier.
So let’s check out some of their jokes. Here’s a look at some memorable quotes from ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN, screenplay by Robert Lees, Frederic I. Rinaldo, and John Grant. All three of these writers had a ton of writing credits, including many other Abbott and Costello movies, so it’s no wonder that this film is so funny.
Here we go:
After being pursued by Dracula (Bela Lugosi) and his vampire assistant Sandra (Lenore Aubert), Wilbur (Lou Costello) has had his fill of vampires out to get him. When he asks his buddy Chick (Bud Abbott) a question, Chick replies:
CHICK: I’ll bite.
WILBUR: No, you gotta stand in line.
In addition to being chased by Sandra, Wilbur is also pursued by another woman, Joan (Jane Randolph). In fact, women seem to be falling all over Wilbur in this movie, something that Chick just can’t seem to understand.
CHICK: I don’t get it. Out of all the guys around here that classy dish has to pick out a guy like you.
WILBUR: What’s wrong with that?
CHICK: Go look at yourself in the mirror sometime.
WILBUR: Why should I hurt my own feelings?
Later, when Wilbur has two dates to the costume ball, Chick tries to talk him into sharing one of his dates with him.
CHICK: You know the old saying? Everything comes in threes. Now suppose a third girl should fall in love with you?
WILBUR: What’s her name?
CHICK: We’ll say her name is Mary.
WILBUR: Is she pretty?
WILBUR: Naturally, she’d have to be.
CHICK: Now you have Mary, you have Joan, and you have Sandra. So, to prove to you that I’m your pal, your bosom friend, I’ll take one of the girls off your hands.
WILBUR: Chick, you’re what I call a real pal… you take Mary.
This next exchange comes when Wilbur is arguing with his employer, Mr. McDougal.
WILBUR: Well that’s gonna cost you overtime because I’m a union man and I work only sixteen hours a day.
MCDOUGAL: A union man only works eight hours a day.
WILBUR: I belong to two unions.
Then there’s this conversation when Chick tries to convince the frightened Wilbur that Dracula doesn’t really exist.
WILBUR: (reading): “Count Dracula sleeps in his coffin but rises every night at sunset.” Chick is right. This is awful silly stuff. Dracula— (coffin creaks). Chick! Chick!
CHICK: What’s the matter now?
WILBUR: You know that person you said that there’s no such person?
WILBUR: I think he’s in there. In person. I was reading this sign over here, this one down here, Dracula’s legend. All of a sudden I hear (makes a creaking sound).
CHICK: That’s the wind!
WILBUR: It should get oiled!
CHICK: Listen, stop reading this thing! That’s a lot of phony baloney to fool McDougal’s customers! Now pull up that canvas and get busy. Come on! (Exits)
WILBUR (reading): “Dracula can change himself at will into a vampire bat flying about the countryside.” Flying. (Pretends to fly and sees Dracula attempting to climb out of his coffin). Chick!!! Chick!!!
CHICK (returns): Listen. You’re making enough noise to wake up the dead.
WILBUR: I don’t have to wake him up. He’s up. I saw a hand.
CHICK: You saw a hand? Where?
WILBUR: Right over there. (points to coffin). I saw a hand there!
CHICK: You don’t know what you’re talking about! You’re all excited reading this legend. Now, listen. Listen, Wilbur. I know there’s no such a person as Dracula. You know there’s no such a person as Dracula.
WILBUR: But does Dracula know it?
The monsters get in on the action as well. Here’s one of my favorite lines from the movie, when Larry Talbot (Lon Chaney Jr.) tries to warn Wilbur and Chick about his condition, that he’s a werewolf.
LARRY TALBOT: You don’t understand. Every night when the moon is full, I turn into a wolf.
WILBUR: You and twenty million other guys.
And then there’s this memorable line from Dracula (Bela Lugosi):
DRACULA: Young people making the most of life – while it lasts.
Of course this line is even more effective because Bela Lugosi is saying it. Incidentally, this is the second and last time Lugosi played Dracula in the movies, although he did play a vampire— just not Dracula— in other films.
Okay. That’s it for now. I hope you enjoyed these memorable lines of dialogue from ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN. I’ll see you next time with another edition of MEMORABLE MOVIE QUOTES.