Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Tuesday, February 23, 2016


Everybody's second favorite hillbilly (hey, we've got to give props to Abner Yocum, right?) has had enough of dodging revenoorers and decides to take an offer for free clothes, free food, and $21 a month from Uncle Sam.  Things don't work out quite as Snuffy had planned -- his nemesis, Revenue Agent Cooper, has also enlisted and is now Snuffy's sergeant.

One of Snuffy's hillbilly friends has invented a range finder that could be important to the war.  The invention is stolen by enemy agents and hidden in Snuffy's bag.  Hijinks ensue.

The fish-out-of-water scenario has always played well in military comedies (Private Hargrove, Gomer Pyle, and even Ernie Bilko and Quinton M, for example), and plays extremely well in wartime films.  Nothing an audience likes better than seeing someone get the better of the enemy -- especially when that someone is rather a naive innocence.

Snuffy Smith began as a minor character in Billy DeBeck's Barney Google comic strip.  The strip began in 1919 and proved very popular; Snuffy Smith was introduced to the strip in 1934.  By the end of that decade Snuffy Smith shared title credit with Barney Google.  Barney himself slowly faded into the background by 1954, making only occasional "guest" appearances.

In this film, Snuffy is played by Bud Duncan ("Bud" in a zillion silent shorts and "Casper" in a dozen shorts in 1928-9); Duncan went on to play Snuffy Smith in one more wartime comedy.  Smith's nemesis Sergeant Cooper was played by Edgar Kennedy, a popular character actor with 439 credits (in a 38-year career) on IMdB.  (IMdB also tells us that Kennedy, once a boxer, claimed to go 14 rounds against Jack Dempsey.)  Snuffy Smith's wife Lowizie was played by Sarah Padden (who had small supporting roles in a number of movies, including Anna Karenina, Grand Hotel, and Rebecca od Sunnybrook Farm; she played Joe Palooka's mom in that sereis, and even had an uncredited role in my Overlooked Film of two weeks ago, The Screaming Mimi).  Playing Snuffy's friend is Jimmy Dodd, the future head Mouseketeer from the original Mickey Mouse Club.

Enjoy this quaint, funny film.

1 comment:

  1. You're the second person within a week to call my attention to this movie. Walter Satterthwait sent me the link a few days ago. Gotta love Snuffy's nose.