IMDb > Kentucky Kernels (1934)
Kentucky Kernels
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Kentucky Kernels (1934) More at IMDbPro »

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Kentucky Kernels -- Out-of-work vaudevillians Willie and Elmer somehow become the guardians of Spanky McFarland and think they've come into a fortune when Spanky inherits a farm in Kentucky.


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6.1/10   229 votes »
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Down 8% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Bert Kalmar (screen play) &
Harry Ruby (screen play) ...
View company contact information for Kentucky Kernels on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
2 November 1934 (USA) See more »
They lapped Kentucky juleps and loved Kentucky girls...but the gay gagging goofs from Up North who posed as members of the Milford clan got too much of Kentucky when they had to lead a family feud! See more »
The Great Elmer and Company, two out-of-work magicians, help lovelorn Jerry Bronson adopt Spanky Milford... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Interesting Time Capsule of a Film With a Little Rascal See more (12 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Bert Wheeler ... Willie
Robert Woolsey ... Elmer

Mary Carlisle ... Gloria

George 'Spanky' McFarland ... Spanky (as 'Spanky' McFarland)

Noah Beery ... Colonel Wakefield

Lucille La Verne ... Aunt Hannah (as Lucille LaVerne)
Willie Best ... Buckshot (as Sleep 'n' Eat)

Margaret Dumont ... Mrs. Baxter
Louis Mason ... Judge Ezra
Paul Page ... Jerry Bronson

Frank McGlynn Jr. ... Jeff Wakefield

Richard Alexander ... Hank Wakefield
William Pawley ... John Wakefield
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Harry Bernard ... Destitute Man (uncredited)
Edgar Dearing ... Policeman (uncredited)
Jack A. Goodrich ... Double (uncredited)

William Gould ... One of the Milfords (uncredited)

Dorothy Granger ... Ethel - Baxter's Secretary (uncredited)

Frances Grant ... Kentucky Belle (uncredited)
Roger Gray ... The Moonshiner (uncredited)
Harrison Greene ... Lawyer Aloysius T. Guilfoyle (uncredited)
Harriette Haddon ... Kentucky Belle (uncredited)
Charlie Hall ... Cigarette Stand Owner (uncredited)

Otto Hoffman ... Henry - Banesville Station Agent (uncredited)
Donald Kerr ... Bronson's Chauffeur (uncredited)
John Larkin ... Jackson - Wakefield's Servant (uncredited)

Frank O'Connor ... Police Officer (uncredited)
Hank Potts ... Double (uncredited)
Ruth Riley ... Kentucky Belle (uncredited)
Marion Sheldon ... Kentucky Belle (uncredited)
Valerie Traxler ... Kentucky Belle (uncredited)
Clarence Wilson ... Lawyer Peck (uncredited)

Directed by
George Stevens 
Writing credits
Bert Kalmar (screen play) &
Harry Ruby (screen play) and
Fred Guiol (screen play)

Bert Kalmar (story) and
Harry Ruby (story)

Sid Silvers  contributor to dialogue (uncredited)

Produced by
Lee S. Marcus .... producer (as Lee Marcus)
H.N. Swanson .... associate producer
Merian C. Cooper .... executive producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Harry Ruby 
Roy Webb (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Edward Cronjager (photographed by)
Film Editing by
James B. Morley (edited by) (as James Morley)
Casting by
Rufus Le Maire (uncredited)
Art Direction by
Perry Ferguson 
Van Nest Polglase 
Set Decoration by
Darrell Silvera (uncredited)
Costume Design by
Walter Plunkett (costumes by)
Makeup Department
Mel Berns .... makeup department head (uncredited)
Lillian Lashin .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Fred T. Walker .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Charles Stallings .... unit manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Bill Cody .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Jean Yarbrough .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Nathan Barragar .... props (uncredited)
Harold Barry .... construction coordinator (uncredited)
Hilyard M. Brown .... assistant art director (uncredited)
H.G. Cunningham .... shop foreman (uncredited)
A. Roland Fields .... set dresser (uncredited)
Sydney M. Fogel .... property master (uncredited)
Thomas Grady .... props (uncredited)
Larry Haddock .... assistant property master (uncredited)
Maxwell O. Henry .... props (uncredited)
James Lane .... props (uncredited)
Holt D. Lindslay .... paint foreman (uncredited)
Thomas Little .... leadman (uncredited)
Kenneth J. Marstella .... props (uncredited)
Charles Ohmann .... production illustrator (uncredited)
Tom Peer .... drapes (uncredited)
Gene Rossi .... props (uncredited)
F.T. Thompson .... propmaker foreman (uncredited)
W.A. Wilde .... production buyer (uncredited)
D.E. Wise .... greensman (uncredited)
J.B. Zokovich .... plasterer (uncredited)
Sound Department
Philip Faulkner Jr. .... recordist (as P.J. Faulkner)
John Aalberg .... sound supervisor (uncredited)
Walter Elliott .... sound effects editor (uncredited)
Eddie Harman .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Stanford Houghton .... looping editor (uncredited)
Dan Kellerber .... mix facility coordinator (uncredited)
Jack Mark .... assistant looping editor (uncredited)
George Marsh .... supervising sound editor (uncredited)
Gordon McLean .... sound effects editorial staff (uncredited)
Eric Meisel .... sound effects editorial staff (uncredited)
Clem Portman .... sound re-recordist (uncredited)
Frank Ray .... boom operator (uncredited)
Arthur C. Robbins .... sound effects editorial staff (uncredited)
Fred Rodgers .... foley editor (uncredited)
Cecil Shephard .... foley editor (uncredited)
Fred Stall .... cable person (uncredited)
James G. Stewart .... sound re-recordist (uncredited)
Kenneth C. Wesson .... sound effects editorial staff (uncredited)
Special Effects by
W. Kimpton .... special effects (uncredited)
D. Kohler .... special effects (uncredited)
Kenny Koontz .... special effects foreman (uncredited)
Harry Redmond Jr. .... special effects technician (uncredited)
Harry Redmond Sr. .... special effects supervisor (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Byron L. Crabbe .... matte painter (uncredited)
Linwood G. Dunn .... optical effects (uncredited)
Henri Hillinck .... matte painter (uncredited)
Mario Larrinaga .... matte painter (uncredited)
Vernon L. Walker .... visual effects supervisor (uncredited)
Frank D. Williams .... director of matte painting staff (uncredited)
Jack A. Goodrich .... stunts (uncredited)
Hank Potts .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
L. Armstrong .... best boy (uncredited)
Paul Bristow .... gaffer (uncredited)
Henry Cronjager Jr. .... assistant camera (uncredited)
E.T. Harris .... grip (uncredited)
Albert Wetzel .... camera operator (uncredited)
Ralph Wildman .... grip (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Tommy Clark .... wardrobe: men (uncredited)
Frances Winters .... wardrobe: women (uncredited)
Music Department
Bert Kalmar .... music and lyrics by
Harry Ruby .... music and lyrics by
Roy Webb .... musical director
George C. Emick .... music editor (uncredited)
Aubrey C. Lind .... music editor (uncredited)
Max Steiner .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Other crew
Ann Coleman .... script supervisor (uncredited)
Zoe Porter .... assistant: Mr. Cooper (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
75 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Victor System)
USA:Approved (PCA #326)

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Our Gang Story (1994) (V)See more »
Supper SongSee more »


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12 out of 15 people found the following review useful.
Interesting Time Capsule of a Film With a Little Rascal, 22 April 2005
Author: Craig Hamrick from New York City

If you only know the little bruiser Spanky McFarland from his Litlte Rascals, this movie casts some light on why he was considered one of the best child actors of his generation. As an adorable little tyke with a penchant for breaking glass, he drives the movie's Kentucky feud storyline. He even signs a love song "One Little Kiss," to his best pal -- a cute dog, and one of the male leads sings a few lines to a donkey (It's that kind of movie).

Kentucky Kernels is notable for showing what was considered funny -- and in some cases, socially acceptable -- in 1934. An actor credited as "Sleep n Eat" (actually Willie Best) shuffles his way through the film as a stereotypical wide-eyed, scared-of-his-shadow servant. And a gay subtext between the two male leads is watered down by some forced and unconvincing romance with a typical blonde Southern belle, but lots of the movie's humor is derived from the male/male "romance." In their first scene, for example, Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey are the picture of domestic bliss -- bickering as one sits at the dinner table while the other does dishes and complains about his dishpan hands. Though they mince their ways through the rest of the movie, even holding hands at times, the characters are presented as heterosexual. At another point, they're shown sleeping in the same bed -- in a plantation mansion that surely had plenty of bedrooms.

The plot, with the boys finding themselves in the middle of a Hatfileds and McCoys-style Kentucy feud, is a bit contrived. Lines like "You dance exactly like a heifer -- I mean a zephyr!" seem lifted from the Marx Brothers, and in fact one of the supporting players is best known for her appearances as the straight woman in some Marx classics. Margaret Dumont plays the manager of an adoption agency that places young Spanky, indirectly, in the care of the vaudeville performers played by Wheeler and Woolsey. It's a shame Dumont wasn't given a more substantial part; she would have been terrific as a befuddled Southern matriarch later in the film.

The paper-thin plot won't really hold your attention, but viewed as a "film history" lesson, it's worth watching. Director George Stevens went on to much bigger and better things (including the enormous classic, Giant, also set in the South), so it's interesting to see how he handled this dull script.

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