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L’il Abner [comedy musical]

   

Movie review of L’il Abner  — €“ the musical comedy movie, inspired by the Broadway play, that in turn was inspired by Al Capp’s famous comic strip about the inhabitants of Dogpatch

Product Description of Lil Abner (1959)   starring Peter Palmer, Leslie Parrish, Stubby Kaye, Julie Newmar, Stella Stevens

L'il Abner

LI’L ABNER, the beloved cartoon strip from Al Capp, takes place in the hillbilly town of Dogpatch, which is deemed the most useless community in America. When the city is chosen as a test site for A-bombs, its colorful citizens take up the good fight, with lots of fun and merriment.

Trivia for Li’l Abner (1959)

  • Many of the actors and dancers from the 1956 Broadway version were cast in this film.
  • Jerry Lewis‘s cameo was shot with the provision that Paramount would not use his name when marketing the film. This provision was followed but his likeness was used in one of the most prominent marketing stills for the film.

Be sure read the funny movie quotes from Li’l Abner as well.


Editorial review of L’il Abner, courtesy of Amazon.com

Lil Abner Edie Adams Stubby Kaye

This is one movie musical that doesn’t bother adapting its stage presentation for the big screen: Li’l Abner cheerfully uses brightly colored, patently fake backdrops and stage sets for its mythical setting. And why not? A movie musical based on a cartoon strip is about as far from reality as you can get. Al Capp’s legendary comic about the hillbilly denizens of Dogpatch was brought to Broadway by the estimable comedy team Melvin Frank and Norman Panama, who also produced the movie.

Along with sampling Capp’s world (the pursuit of noncommittal Abner by Daisy Mae on Sadie Hawkins Day is a major plot device), the movie is a goofy record of 1950s attitudes and concerns — €“in fact, Dogpatch is threatened with destruction when the government wants to use it as an atomic test site. The actors’ Broadway delivery has a deadening effect after a while, and some of the makeup is downright weird (think the Whos in the live-action Grinch). Gene de Paul’s music is unmemorable, but Johnny Mercer’s lyrics provide considerable fun, and the athletic dances are based on Michael Kidd’s stage choreography. Plus, the movie honors Capp’s eye for impossibly bodacious women by casting Julie Newmar as Stupefyin’ Jones and Stella Stevens (her first movie role) as Appassionata Von Climax. — €”Robert Horton


Songs

  • It’s a Typical Day. Music by Gene de Paul. Lyrics by Johnny Mercer.
  • If I Had My Druthers. Music by Gene de Paul. Lyrics by Johnny Mercer.
  • Jubilation T. Cornpone. Music by Gene de Paul. Lyrics by Johnny Mercer.
  • Don’t That Take the Rag Offen the Bush. Music by Gene de Paul. Lyrics by Johnny Mercer.
  • Room Enuf for Us. Music by Gene de Paul. Lyrics by Johnny Mercer.
  • Namely You. Music by Gene de Paul. Lyrics by Johnny Mercer.
  • What’s Good for General Bullmoose. Music by Gene de Paul. Lyrics by Johnny Mercer.
  • Unnecessary Town. Music by Gene de Paul. Lyrics by Johnny Mercer.
  • The Country’s in the Very Best of Hands. Music by Gene de Paul. Lyrics by Johnny Mercer.
  • It’s a Nuisance Having You Around. Music by Gene de Paul. Lyrics by Johnny Mercer.
  • I’m Past My Prime. Music by Gene de Paul. Lyrics by Johnny Mercer.
  • Oh Happy Day. Music by Gene de Paul. Lyrics by Johnny Mercer.
  • (I Wish It Could Be) Otherwise. Music by Gene de Paul. Lyrics by Johnny Mercer.
  • Put ‘Em Back. Music by Gene de Paul. Lyrics by Johnny Mercer.
  • The Matrimonial Stomp. Music by Gene de Paul. Lyrics by Johnny Mercer.

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