Template:Infobox Film Africa Screams is a 1949 film starring the comedy team of Abbott and Costello. The film is notable for having two members of the Three Stooges (Shemp Howard and Joe Besser) working together in a non-Stooge vehicle.
Diana Emerson (Hillary Brooke) is in the book department of Klopper's Department store looking for a copy of the book Dark Safari, written by the famed explorer Cuddleford. Buzz Johnson (Bud Abbott) overhears Diana saying that she will pay $2,500 for a map that is inside that book. He devises a plan to pass off his friend Stanley Livington (Lou Costello) as a great explorer who accompanied Cuddleford on the expedition described in the book. With claims that he can reproduce the map, the two men go to Diana's home that very night. They agree to accompany her on an African expedition, and when Bud overhears that Clyde Beatty has been offered $20,000 to lead the expedition, he feels that the map is worth considerably more than $2,500.
They travel to Africa, along with Diana's team of explorers, including Harry (Joe Besser), 'Boots' Wilson (Buddy Baer), 'Grappler' McCoy (Max Baer) and Gunner (Shemp Howard), a nearsighted gunman. The boys learn that the true expedition is for diamonds rather than exploration, and Buzz plans to renegotiate the deal. Unfortunately Stanley cannot reproduce the map, as he has never seen it, and the two attempt to bluff their way around the jungle. Eventually the entire expeditionary team arrives at a Ubangi tribal village, where the chief offers several diamonds in exchange for Stanley, whose carcass can feed many of his people. They start to chase Stanley all over the place, while Buzz buries the diamonds before the tribespeople are finally frightened away by a large gorilla. Meanwhile, another gorilla has dug up the diamonds that Buzz has hidden.
Some time after returning to the United States, Stanley owns the department store, along with the gorilla, and Buzz works for them as the elevator operator(!).
Africa Screams was filmed from November 10 through December 22, 1948 and is one of the films that Abbott and Costello made independently while they were under contract with Universal. The title of this film is a play on the 1930 documentary, Africa Speaks.
As this film is in the public domain, there have been at least a dozen DVD releases from a variety of companies over the years. The image below is a screenshot from the colorized version released by Legend Films in 2005.
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- A few free to download clips from the movie in WMV and RM formats.