Li’l Abner (1940)

LI’L ABNER (1940)
Article #1557 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 6-19-2005
Posting Date: 11-16-2005
Directed by Albert S. Rogell
Featuring Jeff York, Martha O’Driscoll, Mona Ray

Li’l Abner is told that he has only twenty-four hours to live, and ends up proposing to both Daisy Mae and Wendy Wildcat in order to make them happy under the belief that he will be dead before the wedding. When he survives, the two women fight over him.

Fantastic aspects: Li’l Abner has super strength. For that matter, so do Earthquake McGoon and Mammy Yokum.

I remember this comic strip running in my Sunday papers when I was a kid, though it was gone before I was really old enough to appreciate the satirical edge I’m told it had. Still, I do remember the looks of the characters, and if there’s anything that this slapsticky version of the comic strip does well, it captures their looks. Outside of that, it’s pretty silly, but fitfully amusing. It’s mostly memorable for the presence of Buster Keaton as Lonesome Polecat, though that doesn’t mean that his talents weren’t wasted here. The movie also features Edgar Kennedy as Cornelius Cornpone.

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