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Jack and the Beanstalk (1952)

3.7 out of 5 stars 132 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

This 1952 musical adaptation of the classic fairy tale stars Lou Costello as Jack and Bud Abbott as Mr. Dinkelpuss, the greedy butcher who trades five magic beans for Jack's cow. Buddy Baer is excellent as the fearsome giant who lives in a castle in the clouds.

Though especially suited for children, Abbott and Costello fans of all ages will enjoy this playful and entertaining story.

Color and B&W

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello
  • Directors: Jean Yarbrough
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Dolby, NTSC
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Vision Video
  • DVD Release Date: March 22, 2007
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000OQDRFK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #335,823 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Scott MacGillivray VINE VOICE on November 18, 2003
Format: DVD
Abbott & Costello made only two color movies and most circulating copies have variable color quality (sometimes so bad that the video is released in black-and-white instead). But this version of "Jack and the Beanstalk" is the best I've seen, and Goodtimes Home Video deserves a round of applause for issuing it on DVD. The original "Super Cinecolor" (less expensive and impressive than Technicolor) is generally very good indeed; I noticed a few instances of Costello's green costume shifting to blue-green, probably owing to different surviving film elements. Goodtimes did a fine job restoring this, and this DVD offers excellent value for the budget price.
The movie itself is a pleasant children's story with music. After a "modern" prologue in monochrome, Bud and Lou adapt their usual sharpie-and-patsy roles to colorful fairytale settings, and Buddy Baer is an excellent foil as the fearsome giant. (Listen for cartoon-voice Mel Blanc playing several roles in the "I Fear Nothing" song.) Makes a nice kiddie matinee, best for small children but older A & C fans will enjoy it, too.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
No need for me to review the movie since you're purchasing this as a collector, right?
So heres the details on the Good Times Home Video Version

Filmed in 1951 (release 1952) using the "Spherical" Cinematographic Process in the Academy Standard Ratio of 1.37:1, this presentation gives us the Full Frame (1.33:1) which is exactly what the director intended us to see.
The original coloring of the film was as so:
** Modern Story:Black and White (Sepiatone);
** Fanasy story: Color (Supercinecolor)

This DVD-5, MPEG2 encoded Movie was about 7 Mbps on Average (with the total disc at 7.16 Mbps)

The audio is a little weak, but definitely clear and intelligible. Dolby Digital 2.0 (Dual Mono) at 192 Kbps.

While the film still appears a bit washed out in comparison to modern presentations, it STELLAR!!! for a 1952 public domain film presentation on DVD. Hence, on a scale of 1-5 (3 being average modern DVD) this would score at 2.85/5) Very good indeed. (Especially in comparison to the "Reel Classic Film" edition of this movie. Just don't buy that version as long as this one is available.)

Pick it up ... its worth the collection!
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Format: VHS Tape
Abbott & Costello films have always been popular with children, so it is not surprising that the boys made a couple of films geared directly for the small fry. "Jack and the Beanstalk" features Lou as Jack and Bud as Dinklepuss. The boys are sent by the Cosman Employment Agency to baby-sit an obnoxious kid (David Stollery) and his baby sister. Jack falls asleep reading "Jack and the Beanstalk" and dreams himself and his friends into the fairy tale, ala "The Wizard of Oz." Sergeant Riley (Buddy Bear) becomes The Giant, while Eloise (Shaye Cogan) and Arthur (James Alexander), Donald's older sister and her date, are transformed into the Princess and Prince. Dinklepuss, of course, becomes the butcher who trades the five magic beans for Jack's cow. "Jack and the Beanstalk" is also the film where Bud Abbott first grew what became his trademark mustache. This 1952 film, directed by Jean Yarbough, faithfully follows the fairy tale, which meant Abbott & Costello could not do their standard routines. Lou, who plays to the camera big time, has a great bit with his song "I Fear Nothing," while Bud gets to take a stab at being a comic villain. The weakest part of the film is that the love interests are not all that interesting. Not Disney, but not half bad, especially for the kiddies.
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Format: DVD
The color spectrum in JACK AND THE BEANSTALK (1952) has never appeared quite right, not even when the movie was touring theaters. This is due to an inferior two-strip process known by various names, but here called Supercinecolor. This film wasn't sensitive to purples and pinks, so faces tend to look orange or red. With an emulsion on both sides of a single celluloid strip, the colors that -are- there fade faster and stock is more susceptible to scratch damage and other types of blemishes.

This was the second and final Cinecolor comedy that Bud and Lou produced independent of UNIVERSAL (the first was ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET CAPTAIN KIDD) and despite the presence of Charles Laughton in the other, "Jack" is the superior work (probably why as of 3/10, A&C Meets Kidd isn't available on DVD).

Here, the opening and closing "modern" stories bookending Jack's fabled climb into the clouds are sepiatoned. In this delighful tale, Costello as the boy cheated out of the family cow by Mr. Dinklepuss (Abbott, who gives him a handful of "magic" beans), sings most gloriously:

I fear nothing when I am in the right!
Who ever pushes me around will find me full of fight!
I fear nothing when I do nothing wrong
And so I toddle on my way and sing a merry song!

I'll be defiant and be obstreperous
If any giant should try and salt-and-pepper us!
And I'll rise up, up to my fullest height
'Cause I fear absolutely nothing when I'm in the right!

A man believes what he believes
And by these principles a man must stand
A time will come for rolled-up sleeves
And it might help to have a fist on hand!
Read more ›
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