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Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer: Boris Karloff

Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer: Boris Karloff(1949)

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The film's working title was Abbott and Costello Meet the Killers. According to modern sources, Universal changed the title from "Killers" to "Killer" because it feared a lawsuit from the estate of Mark Hellinger, who had authored the popular 1946 film, The Killers . The film's title card actually reads: "Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet the Killer/Boris Karloff." All print sources, including the copyright entry, however, list the title as Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer: Boris Karloff. Portions of the opening credits are animated. The picture was banned in Denmark because censors did not approve of the scene in which Abbott and Costello play bridge with two corpses, according to a November 1949 Hollywood Reporter item.
       Modern sources add the following information about the production: The screen story, which was titled "Easy Does It," was originally written as a vehicle for Bob Hope. Oscar Brodney contributed to the screenplay, and in the final shooting script, Boris Karloff's character was a woman named "Madame Switzer." During filming, Costello suffered a serious relapse of rheumatic fever, which left him bedridden for several months. Mikel Conrad, who plays "Inspector Wellman's" assistant, "Sgt. Stone," in the picture, was himself wanted by police for assault during production. The film, which had a final budget of $744,245, made $1,850,000 at the box office. It was re-released on March 23, 1956.