Li'l Abner (1940)
Directed Albert S. Rogell
Cast: Jeff York, Martha O'Driscoll, Granville Owen and Buster Keaton
Film / Comedy / Adaptation
Set in the mythical town of Dogpatch. Dogpatch has a serious unemployment problem. Men spend their days idling away fishing, and the single women spend time scheming about how to catch their preferred single men come the next Sadie Hawkins Day. Daisy Mae has her sights set on Li'l Abner, but rival, Appasianata, has other plans.
Al Capp's dogpatch comic strip is brought to life. It's about a bunch of wonderfully stereotypical mountain people. The hero is Li'l Abner, a strapping big young man who eats "pork chops for' breakfast, pork chops for' dinner, and for' supper, mo' pork chops." To quote the opening song, "He's the biggest catch in Dog Patch." The entire plot revolves around the impending Sadie Hawkins race where eligible gals chase eligible guys to win husbands. The characters are what make it worth watching - Mammy Yokum, who stands about 4'7" and has a potato shaped nose and rules all with her inexorable will; Pappy Yokum, whose memory is balder than his bald head and who lives his life in happily forgetful delirium, punctuated by moments of terror brought on by his wife; Hairless Joe, who's basically just big and loud and stupid; Lonesome Polecat (brilliantly played by Buster Keaton), and several more. This film holds a unique spot in cinema history, as it is the first attempt to precisely recreate comic illustration, utilizing makeup, costumes and exact phrasing (without interpretation).
Actors: Buster Keaton