Double-oxide films (bifilms) have been held responsible for the variability in mechanical properties of aluminum castings. It has been suggested that the air entrapped inside a bifilm can react with the surrounding melt, leading to its consumption, which might improve the mechanical properties of the castings. In this work the effect of holding the melt before solidification on the distribution of mechanical properties, and by implication on entrained double oxide films, was investigated for several different aluminum alloys. The Weibull moduli of plate castings were determined under tensile conditions, and their fracture surfaces were examined for evidence of oxide films. The results suggested the occurrence of two competing mechanisms during the holding treatment: (1) the consumption of air inside the bifilms by reaction with the surrounding molten metal that may lead to improvements in mechanical properties and (2) the accompanying diffusion of hydrogen into the bifilms, which would be expected to have a deleterious effect on properties.