It Ain't Hay
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Erle C. Kenton
Produced by Alex Gottlieb
Written by Damon Runyon
Allen Boretz
John Grant
Starring Bud Abbott
Lou Costello
Grace McDonald
Shemp Howard
Cecil Kellaway
Music by Harry Revel
Editing by Frank Gross
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s) March 10, 1943 (1943-03-10)
Running time 80 min
Country United States
Language English

It Ain't Hay is a 1943 film starring the comedy team of Abbott and Costello.


Wilbur Hoolihan (Lou Costello) accidentally kills a hack horse owned by King O'Hara (Cecil Kellaway) and his daughter, Princess (Patsy O'Connor) by feeding it candy. In the hopes of raising enough money to replace it, he and his friend Grover Mockridge (Bud Abbott) visit a gambling establishment. They are successful in raising the money, but before they can purchase a new horse, a con man swindles them out of it.

They are informed by some unsavory fellows that a horse is available at one of the tracks. They visit the track and mistakenly take the wrong horse, a champion by the name of Tea Biscuit. They take the horse to O'Hara and present it to him as a replacement for his deceased horse.

The horse's real owner, Colonel Brainard (Samuel Hinds) offers a reward for Tea Biscuit. By this time O'Hara has taken a fare up to Saratoga and Wilbur and Grover, realizing that they took the wrong horse, follow him there. Three gangsters trail them hoping to capture the horse and collect the reward. Wilbur and Grover manage to recover the horse and hide him for a while in their hotel room. Once discovered, they head to the race track in time for a big race. Wilbur, riding Tea Biscuit winds up winning the race. They try to return the horse for the reward, but the Colonel decides that he never really was missing and skips out on paying them. In the end it doesn't matter because Grover was the only winning ticket holder and they use their winnings to buy O'Hara a real replacement horse.


It Ain't Hay is based upon the Damon Runyon story, Princess O'Hara, which Universal first made into a film in 1935 with Chester Morris.

Filming of this picture began on September 28, 1942, and lasted until November 11. Lou's brother Pat was used as his stunt-double in the 'headless horseman' sequence.

It was during production, on November 6, that Lou's wife, Anne, gave birth to their son, Lou 'Butch' Costello, Jr.

DVD releaseEdit

It Ain't Hay was released on DVD on October 28, 2008 as part of Abbott and Costello: The Complete Universal Pictures Collection. The film's studio-authorized DVD release had been delayed for many years due to legal issues with the estate of Damon Runyon.


External linksEdit