Old Movie Teams

Weren’t they also in that other movie?

Bert Wheeler & Robert Woolsey

Building on their successes as a comedy team in vaudeville and on Broadway, Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey launched their movie careers in 1929 with an adaptation of Rio Rita, a musical comedy for which they had enjoyed a great run on the stage (494 performances). Abbott and Costello, another great comedy team, remade the movie in 1942. Like Abbott and Costello, the Wheeler and Woolsey team generated quite a volume of movies. Unlike Abbott and Costello, they had only eight years in which to do it. In just the eight years that followed Rio Rita, Mr. Wheeler and Mr. Woolsey made 21 feature-length films and at least three shorts. Their schtick consists of mixing slapstick, witty (or sometimes just silly) repartee, loads of double entendre, and clownish costuming. They were wildly popular and prolific throughout the 1930s and may have remained that way had it not been for the untimely death of Robert Woolsey at age 50 in 1938.

The following is a list of their film collaborations.

Feature-length films:
Rio Rita (1929)
Hook Line and Sinker (1930)
Dixiana (1930)
Half Shot at Sunrise (1930)
The Cuckoos (1930)
Cracked Nuts (1931)
Peach-O-Reno (1931)
Caught Plastered (1931)
Girl Crazy (1932)13.
Hold ‘Em Jail (1932)
Diplomaniacs (1933)
So This Is Africa (1933)
Hips, Hips, Hooray! (1934)
Kentucky Kernels (1934)
Cockeyed Cavaliers (1934)
The Nitwits (1935)
The Rainmakers (1935)
Mummy’s Boys (1936)
Silly Billies (1936)
On Again-Off Again (1937)
High Flyers (1937)

Short Films:
The Stolen Jools (1931)
Oh! Oh! Cleopatra (1931)
Signing ‘Em Up (1933)

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