Hit the Ice (film)

Hit the Ice

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Charles Lamont
Produced by Alex Gottlieb
Written by True Boardman
Robert Lees
Frederic I. Rinaldo
Starring Bud Abbott
Lou Costello
Ginny Simms
Patric Knowles
Elyse Knox
Sheldon Leonard
Music by Harry Revel
Paul Francis Webster
Edited by Frank Gross
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release dates
  • June 2, 1943 (1943-06-02)
Running time
82 min
Country United States
Language English
Box office $1.8 million (US rentals)[1]

Hit the Ice is a 1943 film starring the comedy team of Abbott and Costello and directed by Charles Lamont, who took over after the original director, Erle C. Kenton, was fired.[2]


Two sidewalk photographers, Tubby McCoy (Lou Costello) and Flash Fulton (Bud Abbott), aspire to work for the local newspaper. Their childhood friend, Dr. Bill Burns (Patric Knowles), invites them to come along on a call to a building fire. While attempting to photograph the inferno, Tubby is injured and brought to Burns' hospital. While they are there, Silky Fellowsby (Sheldon Leonard), a gangster who is admitted as a patient to establish an alibi for a robbery he is planning, mistake Tubby and Flash for two Detroit hitmen. He expects them to guard the bank's entrance while they rob it, while they mistakenly believe that they are hired to take photographs of the gang as they leave the bank. When the bank is robbed, Tubby and Flash are considered the prime suspects.

Fellowsby heads to a ski resort in Sun Valley to "recuperate", hiring Burns and his nurse (Elyse Knox) to care for him. Wanting to clear their names, Tubby and Flash go to the resort, where they are hired as waiters. They attempt to retrieve the stolen cash by blackmailing the gangsters with the bank photographs, which turn out to be worthless as the robbers' faces are not shown. A fight ensues and after a climactic chase down the mountain, the gangsters are caught.


Hit the Ice was filmed from November 23 through December 31, 1942.

After filming ended, Abbott and Costello embarked on a two-month tour of army camps. When they returned on March 3, 1943, Costello was diagnosed with rheumatic fever and was bedridden. The team would not work again until November 4, 1943 when they returned to their NBC radio program. Tragically, on that same day, Costello's son Butch drowned in the family swimming pool. As a result, Costello had a bracelet emblazoned with the name "Butch" permanently welded around his wrist.


It was re-released on a double bill with another Abbott and Costello film. Hold That Ghost, in 1949.

Home media

This film has been released twice on VHS. The first time on VHS and Beta in 1987 and again on VHS in 1991.

This film has been released twice on DVD. The first time, on The Best of Abbott and Costello Volume Two, on May 4, 2004, and again on October 28, 2008 as part of Abbott and Costello: The Complete Universal Pictures Collection.


  1. "Top Grossers of the Season", Variety, 5 January 1944 p 54
  2. Furmanek, Bob and Ron Palumbo (1991). Abbott and Costello in Hollywood. New York: Perigee Books. ISBN 0-399-51605-0

External links

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