Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

God's Little Acre


FlyBackTransformer
 Share

Recommended Posts

I don't care what anybody says, it's a comedy. Fay Spain as Darlin' Jill is way hotter then Tina Louise's Grizelda. This film is positive proof that the great Robert Ryan could do comedy and very well and I like how they put Rex Ingram in there as Uncle Felix. What ever happened to the prop that was Ty Ty's cross and exactly what county in Georgia is this? Ty Ty's house still there? What's a linthead? :)http://thelinthead.blogspot.com/2010/05/what-is-lint-head.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Although it brightens up much of the darkness of Caldwell's novel, the novel, too, has it's humorous moments.

 

I don't know if I agree that Darlin' Jill was "hotter" than Griselda, but she sure was sluttier.

 

But a comedy? really?

 

I worry that anyone would consider one guy almost spiking his brother with a pitchfork, or the killing of Will Thompson as funny stuff!

 

What was "funny" was the casting of Aldo Ray and Michael Landon.

 

Little Joe as an ALBINO? Now, THAT'S funny stuff!

 

Sepiatone

Link to comment
Share on other sites

*Minor Classic?*

 

Watched this yesterday. I had seen this 1958 adaptation of Erskine Calwell's controversial 1933 novel (he was actually arrested and tried for obscenity) many years ago when I was a young teenager, and not cared for it. Part of my distaste was undoubtedly due to my being a Southerner annoyed by the ****-up Li'l Abner stereotypes.

 

But watching it again after all these years, and in a different frame of mind, it strikes me as almost a minor classic, for all its many flaws. This can be credited to the direction from -- of all people -- Anthony Mann (surely this is the odd-man-out in his filmography) and photography by Ernest Haller. Despite the rural setting, most of the film takes place at night, with key scenes in a deserted cotton mill and on the street outside a ****-tonk beer joint during a trip to the "big city" (Augusta Georgia).

 

This gives the film a noirish look that is superficially at odds with its Beverly Hillbillies characters, and adds to its unique ambiance. Because instead of noir cool we get raucous black comedy and wildly over-the-top caricatures. In fact, GLA is so flamboyantly larger than life that it comes across as a musical that has had all its songs cut.

 

(Idea for you theatrical types. Get the musical rights to GLA. It seems to be crying out for an adaptation).

 

Some of the casting is unsurprising: Jack Lord (in his butch leading man phase) and an already paunchy Aldo Ray as the hunks, Vic Morrow as Lord's loyal puppydog little brother (ironic since Morrow despised Lord -- allegedly they even got into a fistfight on the set).

 

Tina Louise plays the supposed sexpot that the various males fight over. Since Louise never did anything for me (I was always a Mary-Ann man) she not only looks wrong but seems almost schoolmarmish in her repressed manner. Fay Spain is a lot more fun as the nymphomaniacal sister.

 

Buddy Hackett plays a spoof of the fat **** sheriff clich?. Rex Ingram is a friendly black sharecropper, Michael Landon has a small role as an albino (!!) and one Lance Fuller plays the rich brother from Augusta. He's the one cast member who makes no impact at all.

 

The central role, Ty Ty the obsessed farmer, is played by the surprisingly cast Robert Ryan. Ryan is expert as psychos and villains, but he's not the first actor you'd think of for this kind of larger-than-life "fool" role, one that might suit Burt Lancaster or Jimmy Cagney better. However, he's generally quite effective, making up in gravitas what he might lack in esprit.

 

The script by the blacklisted Ben Maddow (although credited to perennial front Phillip Yordan) has some exposition and other problems. One example. The film is more than half over when Ty Ty needs money and decides to borrow it from his son in Augusta -- a son we've never heard mentioned before. His existence should have been worked into dialogue earlier.

 

Maddow's script seems divided in theatrical style scenes, often separated by fades to black. This may have been necessitated by heavy editing (censorship?). Scenes that you expect to see are curiously missing. DLA is essentially two plots fused together: Ty Ty desperately searching for gold on his farm, and Will Thompson (Ray) desperately trying to open the cotton mill that supports the town's workers.

 

This latter, proletarian storyline seems added-on, a leftover from the novel's original publication in 1933. It ensures GLA a place in that group of films (A Place In The Sun, Lonelyhearts, The Film Flam Man, Fitzwilly) that are set in contemporary times but really should take place in the 1930s.

 

Elmer Bernstein's score, full of pastoral horns and strings, is very good, even if it is the most blatant imitation of Aaron Copland I've ever heard. In fact it's so similar Copland fans may want to track it down for comparison purposes. The title song is an interesting gospel pastiche, although the use of an all-too-obviously lily-white chorus blunts its impact.

 

I don't know where the auteurists rank GLA in the Anthony Mann canon, but it definitely deserves a look.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I might mention that in "Mister Roberts" there's a bit about Ensign Pulver having somewhat of an obsession with the book "God's Little Acre" . Robert's states that Pulver has read and reread the book , underlined every erotic passage and even writes in commentary like "well written" in certain places.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

> Buddy Hackett? How can it not be a comedy?

 

If you read my post in the "Fountainhead" thread, I stated I have visual images of a book's characters based on the author's description.

 

Hackett does fit quite well with Caldwell's Pluto.

 

Sepiatone

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This movie is schizophrenic!

 

I always had the impression it was a sexy, hothouse Southern drama. So when I started watching, I was pleasantly surprised - Oh, it's a comedy! - the storyline - all that crazy hole digging, Buddy Hackett and Fay Spain in that funny "Baby Doll" - like bathtub scene, the music, characters etc. i watched to the end of the funny scene of Michael Landon's "encounter" with Fay Spain and stopped watching - friends stopped by.

 

Last night I watched the rest (I DVR'd it) and what happened? This rollicking comedy turned into a turgid melodrama. I wish the second half had continued along the same path. I guess that was Erskine Caldwell's story and that was the way it went.

 

To me the first half worked and the second half did not.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

> Minor Classic?

 

> Watched this yesterday. I had seen this 1958 adaptation of Erskine Calwell's controversial 1933 novel (he was actually arrested and tried for obscenity) many years ago when I was a young teenager, and not cared for it. Part of my distaste was undoubtedly due to my being a Southerner annoyed by the ****-up Li'l Abner stereotypes.

 

> But watching it again after all these years, and in a different frame of mind, it strikes me as almost a minor classic, for all its many flaws. This can be credited to the direction from -- of all people -- Anthony Mann (surely this is the odd-man-out in his filmography) and photography by Ernest Haller. Despite the rural setting, most of the film takes place at night, with key scenes in a deserted cotton mill and on the street outside a ****-tonk beer joint during a trip to the "big city" (Augusta Georgia).

 

> This gives the film a noirish look that is superficially at odds with its Beverly Hillbillies characters, and adds to its unique ambiance. Because instead of noir cool we get raucous black comedy and wildly over-the-top caricatures. In fact, GLA is so flamboyantly larger than life that it comes across as a musical that has had all its songs cut.

 

> (Idea for you theatrical types. Get the musical rights to GLA. It seems to be crying out for an adaptation).

 

> Some of the casting is unsurprising: Jack Lord (in his butch leading man phase) and an already paunchy Aldo Ray as the hunks, Vic Morrow as Lord's loyal puppydog little brother (ironic since Morrow despised Lord -- allegedly they even got into a fistfight on the set).

 

> Tina Louise plays the supposed sexpot that the various males fight over. Since Louise never did anything for me (I was always a Mary-Ann man) she not only looks wrong but seems almost schoolmarmish in her repressed manner. Fay Spain is a lot more fun as the nymphomaniacal sister.

 

> Buddy Hackett plays a spoof of the fat **** sheriff clich?. Rex Ingram is a friendly black sharecropper, Michael Landon has a small role as an albino (!!) and one Lance Fuller plays the rich brother from Augusta. He's the one cast member who makes no impact at all.

 

> The central role, Ty Ty the obsessed farmer, is played by the surprisingly cast Robert Ryan. Ryan is expert as psychos and villains, but he's not the first actor you'd think of for this kind of larger-than-life "fool" role, one that might suit Burt Lancaster or Jimmy Cagney better. However, he's generally quite effective, making up in gravitas what he might lack in esprit.

 

> The script by the blacklisted Ben Maddow (although credited to perennial front Phillip Yordan) has some exposition and other problems. One example. The film is more than half over when Ty Ty needs money and decides to borrow it from his son in Augusta -- a son we've never heard mentioned before. His existence should have been worked into dialogue earlier.

 

> Maddow's script seems divided in theatrical style scenes, often separated by fades to black. This may have been necessitated by heavy editing (censorship?). Scenes that you expect to see are curiously missing. DLA is essentially two plots fused together: Ty Ty desperately searching for gold on his farm, and Will Thompson (Ray) desperately trying to open the cotton mill that supports the town's workers.

 

> This latter, proletarian storyline seems added-on, a leftover from the novel's original publication in 1933. It ensures GLA a place in that group of films (A Place In The Sun, Lonelyhearts, The Film Flam Man, Fitzwilly) that are set in contemporary times but really should take place in the 1930s.

 

A great summation, RichardKimble.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 10 months later...

in an alleged uncut version of this flick, tina louise's character gets raped.

 

any truth to this?

 

Tina Louise plays the supposed sexpot that the various males fight over. Since Louise never did anything for me (I was always a Mary-Ann man) she not only looks wrong but seems almost schoolmarmish in her repressed manner.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

© 2022 Turner Classic Movies Inc. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...