The Bumsteads decide to spend a safe and sane 4th of July at Aunt Hannah's ranch. After missing their station, they hitch a ride with a young couple who are getting ready to elope. The young man, Charlie, sprains his ankle, so Dagwood is enlisted to carry the girl off for him. Dagwood climbs into her father's window by mistake, and just as the old man is about to explode with rage, Baby Dumpling explodes a firecracker which turns out to be a stick of dynamite. As the action reaches its peak, a gusher of oil suddenly springs up in the yard. Written by
Fiona Kelleghan <email@example.com>
One of the better films of the series--plus you get a double-dose of grouchiness!
In the 1940s, 50s and 60s, Charles Lane and Will Wright made a specialty out of playing grouchy supporting characters in movies and television. I loved seeing them as they added a lot of wonderful grouchy color to whatever they were in--no matter how insignificant. Here is one of the few times I can recall BOTH of these men in the same production--too bad they didn't get to act together--though I am not sure if the audience could have stood so much of their acerbic personas--but I loved them.
The film begins with Blondie lecturing Dagwood and Baby Dumpling NOT to use fireworks for the upcoming 4th of July. However, Dagwood is certifiably insane (or stupid) and sees no problem giving a 4 year-old explosives!! So, to get these two away from temptation, Blondie decides they should go visit her aunt and uncle in the country. However, the trip turns out to be anything but exciting, as they blunder into the middle of a feud. Two young people (one is a very young Glenn Ford before he became famous) want to get married but her insanely grumpy father is ready to shoot Ford or anyone who gets in his way. Can the Bumsteads manage to avoid blowing off any limbs as well as help this nice young couple? Despite the use of a silly runaway car sequence near the end, this is a very endearing episode of the series of 28 films Columbia made for the cartoon strip. The best part was Daisy, as her stunts were wonderful. So, as usual the dog is THE star--with Baby Dumpling a close second. Lots of fun...and grouchiness. Oh, and if you are looking for Lane, he's the befuddled conductor on the train. Amazingly, he died only a couple years ago--at 102 years of age!
By the way, if you watch this film you might easily get the impression that it's really cool to let very young children play with firecrackers, dynamite and drive. Oh, those wacky Bumsteads.
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