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The Weaver Brothers and Elviry

Author: boblipton from New York City
3 March 2013

Republic Pictures specialized in the shrinking but still important rural market. This meant they produced a lot of westerns and when country music began its rise in the early 1940s (by 1945 Western Swing was the best-selling musical genre on records) they knew how to take advantage: not only with singing cowboys and Judy Canova, but with the Weaver Brothers and Elviry, a musical novelty act. They appeared in about fifteen movies from 1938 until 1942. This looks to be pretty typical.

The Weavers play poor sharecroppers who, tired of working hard all year for a net return of $18, head off to talk to the people who own the land and company store in the person of Thurston Hall -- and he signs everything over to them. If it isn't always to my taste, it's done surprisingly well, with underrated director Frank MacDonald keeping things moving along briskly, particularly in the sight gag department. Cinematographer Ernest Miller does his usual impeccable job. In short, if you have a taste for this sort of movie, this is a very good example of the genre.

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