Provincial business proprietors Lum Edwards ( Chester Lauck) and Abner Peabody ( Norris Goff) run the Jot ‘em Down General Store at Pine Ridge, Arkansas. They believe they have come up with a revolutionary formula for synthetic rubber that can change the course of WWII, and decide to take this discovery straight to the top - read Washington D.C. In an ideal world,this would have worked out admirably. However, the nation’s capital reflects how it is beleaguered by wartime shortages all around. The intrepid entrepreneurs wind up living on a park bench.
Two backwoods country bumpkins in Washington D.C. would logically be discouraged by the driven quality of Big City life. As it turns out, however, Lum and Abner have a unique philosophical bend of mind that appeals to the Washington-bound citizenry. As their days at the capital bring them, at various levels, in contact with such individuals as Mr.Marshall ( Alan Mowbray), Mildred Coles ( Jane Nestor) and Roger Clark ( Robert Blevins) Lum and Abner leave a trail of captured hearts and rib-tickling humor.
Born on September 6, 1904 in Los Angeles, California, Ray McCarey belonged to the breed of film directors who started at the bottom of the ladder. He began his career in the mid ’20s as a prop-pusher. Not one to allow circumstances to limit ambition, McCarey absorbed enough talent to qualify him as screenwriter, editor and assistant director. His directorial break came in the ‘30s, when he masterminded the Little Rascals episode Free eats with three-year-old ‘Spanky’ McFarland for Hal Roach studios. This effort brought him instant recognition in the comedy genre, and the Laurel and Hardy film Scram came next, soon to be followed by Pack up Your Troubles. Then came the incredibly successful Three Stooges series, and the rest is Hollywood history. Running Time: 69 Minutes
MPAA Ratings: NR
I grew up listening to the Lum and Abner Show on radio, and am therefore intimately familiar with the characters. So This Is Washington is a brilliantly made film that accurately represents the grassroots comedy/wisdom angle that Lum Edwards ( Chester Lauck) and Abner Peabody ( Norris Goff) portrayed so effectively in the radio shows. One may be tempted tobelieve that this is little more than corn-fed comedy, but it soon becomes evident that there are deep insights hidden in the Sitcomsetting. The theme of a fantastic invention that can help the wareffort is obviously only a vehicle to showcase the talents of this immortal pair over the unique backdrop of the nation’s capital.
Asthe film progresses, we witness a definite emotional impact on thelives that Lum and Abner touch. The message could well be that we, thedriven citizens, tend to make life so complicated that we overlook themost logical solutions to our problems. You will be inspired and entertained by director Ray McCarey’s timelessly engaging vintage movie.
"An absolutely enjoyable vintage feature film. So This Is Washington isin a class of its own because it covers so many fronts - wartime America, boondocks wisdom versus metropolitan mania, indomitablespirit... I am completely satisfied with this purchase, and thanks for the prompt delivery, far ahead of schedule."
Adam Lowell (Providence, Rhode Island)
"If you have recordings of the Lum and Abner radioshow, I would like to purchase them for my kids (please inform my localdrop shipper). This film is so funny and innocent in its approach. How audiences must have lapped it up in grimly war-bound America. This classic feature film from A2ZCDS will never grow stale." Noel Hart (Raleigh, North Carolina)
CAST & CREW:
Edward James - Writing Credits
Harry J. Wild - Cinematography
W. Duncan Mansfield- Editor
Harry J. Wild - Associate Producer
Roger Clark - Robert Blevins, DC Reporter
Sarah Padden - Aunt Charity Speers
Matt McHugh - Stranger in Park renting 'Rooms'
Brooks Benedict - Hotel Desk Clerk (uncredited)
Chester Conklin - Inventor with pocket machine gun (uncredited)
Heinie Conklin - Steve Reynolds, Station Agent (uncredited)
Jimmie Dodd - Elmer, Hick Townsman (uncredited)
Dan Duncan - Melvin Speers, Grandpappy (uncredited)
Ben Erway - Congressman (uncredited)
Leonard Praskins - (screenplay)
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