AFI Catalog of Feature Films
Movie Detail
Name Occurs Before Title Offscreen Credit Print Viewed By AFI
The Naughty Nineties
Director: Jean Yarbrough (Dir)
Release Date:   6 Jul 1945
Premiere Information:   New York opening: 20 Jun 1945
Production Date:   15 Jan--early Mar 1945
Duration (in mins):   76
Duration (in feet):   6,843
Print this page
Display Movie Summary

Cast:   Bud Abbott (Dexter Broadhurst)  
    Lou Costello (Sebastian Dinwiddie)  
    Alan Curtis (Crawford)  
    Rita Johnson (Bonita Farrow)  
    Henry Travers (Captain Sam Jackson)  
    Lois Collier (Caroline Jackson)  
    Joe Sawyer (Bailey)  
    Joe Kirk (Croupier)  
    The Rainbow Four (Specialty)  
    Jack Norton (Drunk)  
    Sam McDaniel (Matt)  
    Billy Green Minstrel    
    Bud Wolfe (Croupier)  
    Henry Russell (Croupier)  
    Ralph Johns (Croupier)  
    Bing Conley (Croupier)  
    Tony Dell (Croupier)  
    John Indrisano (Croupier)  
    Bud O'Connor (Croupier)  
    Charles Phillips (Croupier)  
    Jack Worth (Croupier)  
    Donald Kerr (Croupier)  
    Doug Carter (Croupier)  
    Jack Frack (Croupier)  
    Parker Garvie (Croupier)  
    Jack Coffey (Specialty dancer)  
    Irene Thomas (Specialty dancer)  
    Bill Alcorn (Specialty dancer)  
    Ronald Stanton (Specialty dancer)  
    William W. Larsen (Magician)  
    Dolores Evers (Tight wire act)  
    Lillian Yarbo (Effie)  
    Emmet Vogan (Citizen)  
    John Hamilton (Sheriff)  
    Ed Gargan (Baxter)  
    Bill Ward (Boy)  
    Audley Anderson (Card player)  
    Warren Jackson (Card player)  
    Perc Launders (Card player)  
    Cy Ring (Water gag)  
    Rita Gould (Water gag)  
    Ann Lawrence (Garter gag)  
    Gladys Blake (Garter gag)  
    Jack Chefe (Waiter)  
    Jack Rice (Waiter)  
    Charles McNally (Waiter)  
    Jack Overman (Guard)  
    Shirley Karnes (Hat check girl)  
    Barbara Pepper (Hostess)  
    Arthur Loft (Billy Boy)  
    Carol Hughes (Tessie)  
    Sue Robin (Topsy)  
    Tom Fadden (Gambler)  
    Milt Bronson (Emery)  
    Rex Lease (Sheriff Wright)  
    Sarah Selby (Mrs. Hawkins)  
    Torchy Rand (Singing specialty)  
    Ruth Lee    
    Sidney Fields    

Summary: In the 1890s, The River Queen , a family-oriented showboat owned by Captain Sam Jackson, docks in the small Mississippi town of Ironville, with a new show featuring actor Dexter Broadhurst. Also on board the ship is Dexter's bumbling but good-hearted assistant, Sebastian Dinwiddie. Just as the showboat arrives in town, gamblers Crawford, Bonita Farrow and Bailey are ordered to leave Ironville by the sheriff. Seeing an opportunity to make some real money, the three arrange to meet Captain Sam at the Gilded Cage saloon in St. Louis, and there wine and dine him. Despite the best efforts of Dexter and Sebastian to save the naïve seaman's investment, the three win controlling interest in The River Queen in a dishonest poker game. Crawford, Bonita and Bailey then set up a crooked gambling operation on the ship, agreeing to leave once Captain Sam pays them $15,000. After one of his customers is shot during a gambling dispute, Captain Sam publicly condemns his partners. Although Bonita warns him that another such outburst will land him and his performers ashore, Crawford begins to have pangs of guilt about his friends's treatment of the showboat performers, as well as romantic feelings for Caroline, Captain Sam's beautiful daughter. Meanwhile, Dexter and Sebastian break into Bailey's room whie he is sleeping to search for Captain Sam's promissory notes, but find nothing. Later, after Sebastian exposes a crooked dice game at one port, Bonita offers to play Captain Sam a single game of poker for the full interest in The River Queen . Unknown to Bonita, Crawford has rigged the deck so that the seaman will win, and in the ensuing mêlée, Dexter and Sebastian manage to capture Bailey and all his men. Bonita and Bailey are then arrested, and as his reward, Sebastian is finally given a role in The River Queen's latest production, playing "Little Eva" in Uncle Tom's Cabin

Production Company: Universal Pictures Company, Inc.  
Distribution Company: Universal Pictures Company, Inc.  
Director: Jean Yarbrough (Dir)
  Howard Christie (Asst dir)
Producer: Milton Feld (Exec prod)
  Edmund L. Hartmann (Prod)
  John Grant (Prod)
Writer: Edmund L. Hartmann (Orig scr)
  John Grant (Orig scr)
  Edmund Joseph (Orig scr)
  Hal Fimberg (Orig scr)
  Felix Adler (Addl comedy seq by)
Photography: George Robinson (Dir of photog)
  Edward Colman (2d cam)
Art Direction: John B. Goodman (Art dir)
  Harold H. MacArthur (Art dir)
Film Editor: Arthur Hilton (Film ed)
Set Decoration: Russell A. Gausman (Set dec)
  Leigh Smith (Set dec)
Costumes: Vera West (Gowns)
Music: Edgar Fairchild (Mus dir)
Sound: Bernard B. Brown (Dir of sd)
  Robert Pritchard ([Sd] tech)
  Ronald K. Pierce (Re-rec and eff mixer)
  Paul Neal (Mus mixer)
Dance: John Boyle (Mus numbers staged by)
Make Up: Jack P. Pierce (Makeup dir)
Production Misc: Nanette Grant (Research dir)
  Jean Kenney (Research dir)
Country: United States

Songs: "I Can't Get You Out of My Mind" and "Rolling Down the River," music by Edgar Fairchild, lyrics by Jack Brooks; "I'd Leave My Happy Home for You," music and lyrics by Will A. Heelan and Harry Von Tilzer; "On a Sunday Afternoon," music and lyrics by Andrew B. Sterling and Harry Von Tilzer; "Nora Malone," music and lyrics by Junie McCree and Albert Von Tilzer; "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," music by Albert Von Tilzer, lyrics by Jack Norworth; "My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean," traditional.
Composer: Jack Brooks
  Edgar Fairchild
  Will A. Heelan
  Junie McCree
  Jack Norworth
  Andrew B. Sterling
  Albert Von Tilzer
  Harry Von Tilzer

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Universal Pictures Co., Inc. 27/6/1945 dd/mm/yyyy LP13337

Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: Western Electric Noiseless Recording

Genre: Comedy
Sub-Genre: Historical
  with songs
Subjects (Major): Actors and actresses
  Fathers and daughters
  Musical revues
  River boats
  Sea captains
Subjects (Minor): Bands (Music)
  Gambling houses
  Mississippi River
  Poker (Game)
  Roulette (Game)
  St. Louis (MO)
  Uncle Tom's Cabin (Play)

Note: According to HR , producer Alex Gottlieb was assigned to develop an Abbott and Costello comedy entitled The Naughty Nineties in Jan 1943; it has not been determined, however, if any elements of Gottlieb's project were used in this film. Early HR production charts include Mantan Moreland in the cast, but he did not appear in the released film. Abbott and Costello revised their famous "Who's on First?" comedy routine in The Naughty Nineties , having previously performed it in their 1940 film debut, Universal's One Night in the Tropics (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.3271). 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   30 Jun 1945.   
Daily Variety   20 Jun 45   p. 3.
Film Daily   22 Jun 45   p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter   13 Jan 1943.   
Hollywood Reporter   11 Jan 45   p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter   12 Jan 45   17
Hollywood Reporter   23 Jun 45   p. 10.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   10 Feb 45   p. 2310.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   23 Jun 45   p. 2510.
New York Times   21 Jun 45   p. 16.
Variety   20 Jun 45   p. 11.

Display Movie Summary
The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
Advanced Search
Support our efforts to preserve hisotory of film
Help AFI Preserve Film History

© 2017 American Film Institute.
All rights reserved.
Terms of use.