Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, April 17, 2014


Mayor Jones [right] samples some of Cy's corn liquor

DOWN ON THE FARM (1938). Director: Malcolm St. Clair.

When the fire department accidentally makes a mess of their home, the Jones family head off to spend some time with Mayor Jones' sister, Ida (Louise Fazenda of The Old Maid) on the farm she co-owns with her brother. Mayor Jones (Jed Prouty) importunes hired hand and Ida's boyfriend Cy (Eddie Collins) to enter a corn husking contest -- Jones was once a corn-husking champ -- but learns that the town council thinks he's got a good shot at running for senator if he enters it himself. When a political boss (an uncredited Sidney Blackmer of Rosemary's Baby), who's backing someone else, offers Jones a post as state coroner, Grandma Jones (Florence Roberts) and Ida rightly see that it's only a bribe to get him out of the race -- no country bumpkins, they. Roger (George Ernest) has a girl named Emma (Roberta Smith) chasing after him, while Jack (Kenneth Howell) is immediately attracted to her older sister, Tessie (Dorris Bowden). Will John Jones win the corn husking contest and get to go to the senate? This is more amiable fun with a very creditable cast who by now were very much at home in their roles. Granny is a little more grumpy in this than usual, but still lovable.

Verdict: More fun with the Joneses. ***.

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