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            6.7/10
            1,207
            53 user 14 critic

            Li'l Abner (1959)

            As Sadie Hawkins Day approaches, Daisy Mae hopes to win the hand of Li'l Abner by catching him in the traditional race.

            Director:

            Melvin Frank

            Writers:

            Melvin Frank (screenplay), Al Capp (based on the comic strip by) | 1 more credit »
            Reviews
            Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »

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            Cast

            Cast overview, first billed only:
            Peter Palmer Peter Palmer ... Li'l Abner Yokum
            Leslie Parrish ... Daisy Mae Scragg
            Stubby Kaye ... Marryin' Sam
            Howard St. John ... General Bullmoose
            Julie Newmar ... Stupefyin' Jones
            Stella Stevens ... Appassionata Von Climax
            Billie Hayes ... Pansy ('Mammy') Yokum
            Joe E. Marks Joe E. Marks ... Pappy Yokum
            Bern Hoffman Bern Hoffman ... Earthquake McGoon
            Al Nesor Al Nesor ... Evil Eye Fleagle
            Robert Strauss ... Romeo Scragg
            William Lanteau William Lanteau ... Available Jones
            Ted Thurston Ted Thurston ... Senator Jack S. Phogbound
            Carmen álvarez Carmen álvarez ... Moonbeam McSwine (as Carmen Alvarez)
            Alan Carney ... Mayor Daniel D. Dogmeat
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            Storyline

            As Sadie Hawkins Day approaches, Daisy Mae hopes to win the hand of Li'l Abner by catching him in the traditional race. A senator comes to visit to tell the residents of Dogpatch that their town is to be used as an atomic bomb testing ground, unless they can find *something* necessary about the town. Could Mammy Yokum's Yokumberry tonic (which Abner has taken every day since he was a baby) be the key? Written by Anonymous

            Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

            Taglines:

            COMES ALIVE IN TECHNICOLOR! (original print ad - all caps) See more »

            Genres:

            Comedy | Musical | Family

            Certificate:

            See all certifications »
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            Details

            Country:

            USA

            Language:

            English

            Release Date:

            2 June 1960 (UK) See more »

            Also Known As:

            El país de la alegría See more »

            Company Credits

            Show more on IMDbPro »

            Technical Specs

            Runtime:

            Sound Mix:

            Mono (Westrex)

            Color:

            Color (Technicolor)

            Aspect Ratio:

            1.85 : 1
            See full technical specs »
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            Did You Know?

            Trivia

            Several of the Dogpatch wives send their husbands off to Washington then, later, take part in the Sadie Hawkins' Day race and capture bachelors. This is a direct holdover from the stage show where there were a limited number of actors available. See more »

            Goofs

            General Bullmoose says about Abner and Ms. Von Climax, "Then, by community property, half of everything he owns, she owns." Community property doesn't work like that. If Abner owns any part of the Yokumberry entity, it's separate property, acquired before a marriage. And he doesn't own it anyway--his parents do. See more »

            Quotes

            Gen. Bullmoose: Appasionata, you should have been here an hour ago! Why are you so late?
            Appassionata Von Climax: I had to make up.
            Gen. Bullmoose: Your face?
            Appassionata Von Climax: No, with the chauffeur... we had a fight!
            Gen. Bullmoose: [to his cronies] Remind me to fire that chauffeur!
            See more »

            Connections

            Version of Li'l Abner (1940) See more »

            Soundtracks

            It's a Nuisance Having You Around
            Music by Gene de Paul
            Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
            Performed by the orchestra during the "Sadie Hawkins Day Ballet"
            See more »

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            User Reviews

            A fine fun film with a point to make
            2 March 2002 | by EBKSee all my reviews

            Li'l Abner is a fine example of the American musical. After all, it has Stubby Kaye in it, so it must be good. Stubby Kaye is probably the highest profile actor in this musical, although his legacy seems to have been forgotten in the last couple of decades. In Li'l Abner, he plays Marryin' Sam, an itinerant preacher whose route has brought him back to Al Capp's Dogpatch in time for the annual Sadie Hawkin's Day race. Through the first half of the film, he is continually discussing the various grades of weddings he offers; "the four dollar wedding, now with that I start by giving yo' a haircut, clipping yo' toenails, and giving yo' a bath, iff'n yo' needs one. And confidentially, yo' needs one...." Based on Al Capp's weekly comic, writers Norman Panama and Melvin Frank manage to capture something of the cheerful lunacy and social satire that the original strip was famous for. Capp was a true satirist, cheerfully savaging anything that came within his gaze, inverting everything he touched, and sparing nothing and no one. The film can't quite lay the same claim to fame, but does at least try to follow in Capp's footsteps.

            As with any musical, it is the song and dance numbers that either carry the film or let it fall. Here, Gene de Paul gives us big brassy music with memorable melodic hooks. But it is Johnny Mercer's lyrics that really stand out. When Stubby Kaye leads the town in a song celebrating their founder, that "beloved man a'settin' up there on that beloved horse," Jubilation T. Cornpone, Mercer best captures Capp's spirit:

            "They say that General grant was pretty good with a jug Who went drink for drink with him And wound up under the rug? Why it was Jubilation T. Cornpone

            [...]

            When a Northern spy came into town for a night Who was it snuck in her room And lost a glorious fight? Why it was Jubilation T. Cornpone"

            It might be obvious that this is my favourite song in the film, though many of them are eminently hummable-"Put 'Em Back ", Stubby Kaye (again!) leading the assembled in "Dearly Beloved" at the wedding of Daisy Mae and Earthquake McGoon ("Dearly beloved/ we is gathered here today/ to put this unfortunate sinner away..."), and "The Country's In The Very Best Of Hands" (showing that current concerns about big government and globalization were alive and well back in 1959). Leslie Parrish is satisfying as Daisy Mae (showing miles of leg), Peter Palmer is acceptable as Li'l Abner (lots of muscles, a great smile, and a decent voice), Stubby Kaye is, well, Stubby Kaye, and Julie Newmar doesn't get a word, but is the center of every scene she's in as Stupefyin' Jones. Overall, Li'l Abner is something unusual for the American musical; a fine, fun film with a point to make.


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