6.1/10
225
12 user 3 critic

Kentucky Kernels (1934)

Approved | | Comedy | 2 November 1934 (USA)
The Great Elmer and Company, two out-of-work magicians, help lovelorn Jerry Bronson adopt Spanky Milford, to distract him. When Bronson makes up and elopes, the pair are stuck with the ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 3 more credits »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $14.99 on Amazon Video

Videos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Nitwits (1935)
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A would-be songwriter and a would-be inventor run a cigar stand and get mixed up in the murder of a song publisher.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Bert Wheeler, Robert Woolsey, Fred Keating
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Two yokels try to crash royal society by posing as the King's physicians.

Director: Mark Sandrich
Stars: Bert Wheeler, Robert Woolsey, Thelma Todd
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Director: Mark Sandrich
Stars: Bert Wheeler, Robert Woolsey, Ruth Etting
Girl Crazy (1932)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

New York playboy Danny Churchill is sent to a small town in Arizona, where being sheriff is very dangerous, to keep away from girls, but he decides to open a dude ranch there. He asks his ... See full summary »

Director: William A. Seiter
Stars: Bert Wheeler, Robert Woolsey, Dorothy Lee
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In the 1810s, an old maid poses as her own niece in order to teach her onetime beau a lesson.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Franchot Tone, Eric Blore
Certificate: M Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Fran walks into a piano bar for pizza. She comes back home with Joe, the piano player. Joe plans on winning $5,000 and leave Las Vegas. Fran waits for something else. Meanwhile, he moves in with her.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Warren Beatty, Charles Braswell
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The stage stars Wheeler and Woolsey play two soldiers who go absent without leave in Paris, during World War I.

Director: Paul Sloane
Stars: Bert Wheeler, Robert Woolsey, Dorothy Lee
Comedy | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Three short stories revolving around the topic of the daily question posed by the roving reporter to the readers of a daily newspaper.

Directors: Leslie Fenton, King Vidor, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Paulette Goddard, James Stewart, Henry Fonda
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

This wacky vaudeville-style romp casts the irreverent comedy team as feuding co-owners of a drug company.

Director: Edward F. Cline
Stars: Bert Wheeler, Robert Woolsey, Marjorie Lord
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Roscoe the Rainmaker is invited to California (with sidekick "Billy") to relieve a terrible dry spell and to save the community from an unscrupulous businessman who stands to profit from ... See full summary »

Director: Fred Guiol
Stars: Bert Wheeler, Robert Woolsey, Dorothy Lee
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Lady Alyce Marshmorton must marry soon, and the staff of Tottney Castle have laid bets on who she'll choose, with young Albert wagering on "Mr. X." After Alyce goes to London to meet a beau... See full summary »

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Fred Astaire, George Burns, Gracie Allen
Bachelor Bait (1934)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A well-meaning but bumbling clerk at the Marriage License Bureau winds up getting fired. He decides to open up his own "matchmaking" business and takes a personal interest in his clients, ... See full summary »

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Stuart Erwin, Rochelle Hudson, Pert Kelton
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Bert Wheeler ...
Robert Woolsey ...
Elmer
...
Gloria
...
Spanky (as 'Spanky' McFarland)
...
Colonel Wakefield
Lucille La Verne ...
Aunt Hannah (as Lucille LaVerne)
Willie Best ...
Buckshot (as Sleep 'n' Eat)
...
Mrs. Baxter
Louis Mason ...
Judge Ezra
Paul Page ...
Jerry Bronson
...
Jeff Wakefield
Richard Alexander ...
Hank Wakefield
William Pawley ...
John Wakefield
Edit

Storyline

The Great Elmer and Company, two out-of-work magicians, help lovelorn Jerry Bronson adopt Spanky Milford, to distract him. When Bronson makes up and elopes, the pair are stuck with the little boy. But Spanky inherits a Kentucky fortune, so they head south to Banesville, where the Milfords and Wakefields are conducting a bitter feud. Written by Diana Hamilton <hamilton@gl.umbc.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When the bullets start to fly, suh...YOU'LL JUST DIE, SUH! See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 November 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dos y medio  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Referenced in The Our Gang Story (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Supper Song
(1934) (uncredited)
Written by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby
Performed by Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey at the supper
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
"The true spirit of brotherly love"
27 June 2011 | by (Ruritania) – See all my reviews

Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey were one of many comedy teams to make it big during the early sound era. But unlike Laurel and Hardy or the Marx Brothers, their fame has not endured and their movies are not widely available today. Kentucky Kernels is a rare chance to see them at their prime.

The story and screenplay are by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby, the same duo who wrote many of the Marx Brothers' early hits, including Animal Crackers and Duck Soup. The fact that Kentucky Kernels features a slightly more conventional brand of humour shows how much of an influence the Marx Brothers had over their appearances. The early Marx Brothers comedies barely had any kind of story at all, because Groucho et al had such wild personalities they overshadowed the logic of plotting. By contrast Wheeler and Woolsey have slightly less exuberant comic personas and are able to work inside someone else's story. This is not a condemnation of the pair, simply an explanation of their difference in style.

Comparisons can be drawn however with other comedians of the era. Robert Woolsey has a little of Groucho in his wisecracking delivery, but also a touch of dour character actor Ned Sparks. Woolsey makes much play of his spectacles and his ever-present cigar, working these props into his aloof, confident comedy creation. Wheeler is more of the straight man, with some of the incompetent and effeminate qualities of Stan Laurel. However he is outwardly normal enough to take the part of a romantic lead in Kentucky Kernels. They are not a bad pairing, although they don't have quite the same dynamic as many of the more famous double acts.

The director for Kentucky Kernels was George Stevens, a graduate from the Hal Roach studios who would later make some very fine pictures. From the rather arty opening shots, it's clear Sevens had a burning desire to be a dramatic director. Stevens, a former cinematographer, had also worked informally as gag-man for Roach and there's no doubt he was a very funny man, but he was never actually that great a comedy director. As he always would, he doesn't stick to wide shots where you can see everything going on, and works a lot in close-up. It's a style that would work very well for him later on, but it doesn't lend itself very well to movies of this sort, as the comedy business becomes too disjointed.

The reason for Wheeler and Woolsey's lack of contemporary fame has been blamed on a number of things, a commonly cited example being their pictures not being reprised on TV in the 50s. However, it seems they weren't exactly phenomenally popular in the first place. Pictures like Kentucky Kernels would do a healthy trade, but they wouldn't get queues round the block. But all comparisons aside, this is still a fairly funny little movie. Our Gang member "Spanky" MacFarland pulls a number of cute and amusing poses. Noah Beery, a hammy version of his brother Wallace, is great fun here. Whether it comes from the writers Ruby and Kalmar, the ideas of cast members or the director, there is a cartoonishness to the humour that keeps things suitably silly. And, even though they may have been a somewhat second-rate pairing, Wheeler and Woolsey are able to provide us with a good many laughs.


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
What..no love for this great duo and their finest film? sirstiffie
Discuss Kentucky Kernels (1934) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?