Jack and the Beanstalk
Comedy / Fantasy
Directed by Jean Yarbrough
Bud Abbott as Mr. Dinkle aka Mr. Dinklepuss
Lou Costello as Jack
Dorothy Ford as Polly
Buddy Baer as Polly's Boyfriend aka The Giant
Shaye Cogan as Eloise Larkin aka The Princess
David Stollery as Donald Larkin
James Alexander as Arthur aka The Prince
Barbara Brown as Mrs. Strong
This film revolves around the original fairy tale, ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’, but in the eyes of Abbott and Costello. Magic beans are given to a young boy for his family. With Abbott and Costello in this remake, it is sure to be a funny one.
Eloise Larkin must find a babysitter for her siblings, a baby sister and eight year old brother, while she and her boyfriend Arthur Royal attend rehearsal at their local community theater. As no sitter will watch her mischievous brother Donald more than once, she calls a babysitting agency and Jack and Mr. Dinkle are sent over to watch the children. Jack reads aloud his favorite story, Jack and the Beanstalk, but stumbles over some of the larger words. Donald takes over the reading, and Jack falls asleep as the eight year old reads. In his dreams, Jack is turned into the little boy in the story.
Now the impoverished young Jack of the fairy tale, he learns of the Giant who lives in a castle in the sky. The Giant has stolen the land’s food and wealth, and for the sake of the kingdom, Prince Eloise must marry Prince Arthur, who is from a neighboring kingdom. Jack also must make sacrifices, as his mother asks him to sell the family cow Henry, their last possession, to the neighborhood butcher for money. On his way to sell the cow, Jack runs into the Prince. As they talk about how he is unimpressed with marrying a princess who will wed for money, they hear the Giant. After the rumbling settles, the Prince is gone, taken up to the castle in the sky with the Giant.
Once in town, Dinkelpuss, a shady butcher, tricks Jack into accepting five magic beans as payment for Henry. However, Henry is then snatched up by the Giant. When Jack gets home, satisfied with what he has returned with, he discovers that the Princess has also been stolen by the Giant. His mother shows disappointment at the beans her son brought home, but Jack remains undiscouraged by his mother’s frustration and eagerly plants the beans, hoping they turn into something the family can eat.
By morning, the beans have sprouted into a giant beanstalk that leads high up in the sky and into the clouds. Jack decides to climb up the beanstalk, wanting to rescue those who have been taken by the Giant, as well as retrieve the golden-egg laying hen Nessie and the Giant’s jewels. Learning of Nessie and the gems, Dinkelpuss chooses to join Jack on his journey to the castle in the sky.
At the top of the stalk, Jack and Dinkelpuss see the castle. However, the Giant catches them and holds them prisoner along with the Prince and Princess, who have been talking. Neither has revealed their royal status, but the Prince has won her heart with his singing. The Giant’s housekeeper, Polly, befriends them all, and devises an escape plan.
The next day, they knock the giant out with a large log. This gives almost everyone enough time to escape through a high window and out to the garden. Jack, unfortunately, is delayed by the Giant’s awakening. He manages to join the others in the garden, but when it is his turn to be catapulted over the garden wall, he messes up and is left behind. Jack climbs the wall, with the Giant on his tail. Meanwhile, the rest of the group descends down the beanstalk. Dinkelpuss accidentally drops Nessie, who lands in Jack’s mother’s arms, and then the jewels, which rain on the poverty stricken townspeople below.
On the ground, the Prince and Princess attend their marriage ceremony. At first they are upset that they deceived each other, but they quickly make up. Jack is then seen climbing down the stalk, the Giant right behind him. When he lands on the ground, he chops down the beanstalk with an ax. The Giant subsequently falls to the earth, all the way to China, and to his death. The villagers cheer and Jack, their hero, gets ready to be crowned by the King.
Before he gets a chance to receive his reward from the King, Jack is abruptly awakened by Donald breaking a vase over his head as Eloise and Arthur return home. Jack greets his counterparts as their characters in the story, and walks off into the night, confused between what is reality and what is fairy tale.