IMDb > Tobacco Road (1941)
Tobacco Road
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Tobacco Road (1941) More at IMDbPro »

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User Rating:
6.7/10   1,611 votes »
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Up 64% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Erskine Caldwell (based on the novel by)
Jack Kirkland (stage play)
View company contact information for Tobacco Road on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
7 March 1941 (USA) See more »
Hillbilly family life in 1941 rural Georgia. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
The Beverly Hillbillies as directed by America's greatest poet See more (30 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Charley Grapewin ... Jeeter

Marjorie Rambeau ... Sister Bessie

Gene Tierney ... Ellie May

William Tracy ... Dude Lester

Elizabeth Patterson ... Ada Lester

Dana Andrews ... Captain Tim

Slim Summerville ... Peabody

Ward Bond ... Lov

Grant Mitchell ... George Payne

Zeffie Tilbury ... Grandma

Russell Simpson ... Chief of Police
Spencer Charters ... County Clerk

Irving Bacon ... Teller

Harry Tyler ... Auto Dealer

Charles Halton ... Mayor

George Chandler ... Clerk
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Charles Trowbridge ... Rector (scenes deleted)
Charles Waldron ... Mr. Lester (scenes deleted)

Dorothy Adams ... Payne's Secretary (uncredited)

Erville Alderson ... Driver of Car Almost Hit by Dude Lester (uncredited)

Luke Cosgrave ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)

Francis Ford ... Vagabond on Road (uncredited)

David Hughes ... Coroner (uncredited)

Mae Marsh ... County Clerk's Assistant (uncredited)
John 'Skins' Miller ... Auto Dealer's Mechanic (uncredited)
Jack Pennick ... Deputy Sheriff (uncredited)

Robert Shaw ... Hillbilly (uncredited)

Directed by
John Ford 
Writing credits
Erskine Caldwell (based on the novel by)

Jack Kirkland (stage play)

Nunnally Johnson (screenplay)

Produced by
Darryl F. Zanuck .... producer
Original Music by
David Buttolph 
Cinematography by
Arthur C. Miller (director of photography) (as Arthur Miller)
Film Editing by
Barbara McLean (film editor)
Art Direction by
James Basevi 
Richard Day 
Set Decoration by
Thomas Little (set decorations)
Makeup Department
Carrie O'Neill .... hair stylist: Gene Tierney (uncredited)
Production Management
Ed Ebele .... production manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Gene Bryant .... assistant director (uncredited)
Edward O'Fearna .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
Eugene Grossman .... sound
Roger Heman Sr. .... sound (as Roger Heman)
Robert Parrish .... sound effects editor (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Fred Etcheverry .... special effects technician (uncredited)
Harvey Parry .... stunt driver (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Paul Garnett .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Joseph LaShelle .... camera operator (uncredited)
Paul Lockwood .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Harry Kernell .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Location Management
Ray C. Moore .... location manager (uncredited)
Music Department
Alfred Newman .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Edward B. Powell .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Other crew
Jack Kirkland .... producer: stage play
Harry H. Oshrin .... producer: stage play
Harry Brand .... publicity director (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
84 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Did You Know?

The movie was banned in Australia for unspecified reasons, but generally had few censorship problems.See more »
Continuity: The morning following a torrential rain storm, dirt roads are absolutely dry.See more »
Clerk:Look here, son, what do you mean to marry a woman that old? You ought marry a girl your own age.
Sister Bessie:You're trying talk him out of it and I'll start a service right here now.
Dude Lester:Dunno, Sister Bessie there, she sweet-talked me into it.
Clerk:How's that boy gonna support you?
Sister Bessie:The Lord will provide.
Clerk:I'm afraid that ain't gonna be soon, because he ain't gonna get married through this office!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Lady Is Willing (1942)See more »
Shall We Gather at the River?See more »


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34 out of 48 people found the following review useful.
The Beverly Hillbillies as directed by America's greatest poet, 28 August 2003
Author: zetes from Saint Paul, MN

The back side of the same coin whose front is The Grapes of Wrath. It's a Depression piece about a family of Georgia dirt farmers who are about to be driven from their home. Here John Ford stays much in his comedy mode, so most of his detractors will certainly want to stay clear of it. And even I admit that at times it can be obnoxious. Dude Lester, the youngest of the 16 (or 17) children Jeeter and Ada Lester had, and one of only two who still live on the farm, is particularly hard to bear. One wonders whether Jeeter and Ada had the same parents. Dude runs around screeching and imitating his car's horn. He can be funny, but he's certainly the most grating element of the movie. Luckily, he gets his comeuppance, which makes it well worth putting up with him. The other child, a 23 year old girl, Ellie May (Gene Tierney, in a very early appearance and gorgeous as the earthy farmer's daughter – Ford really fetishizes her, to tell you the truth), is in love with her brother-in-law, Lov (Ward Bond, whom I didn't even recognize). He chose Ellie May's younger sister because he wanted a young wife – 23 is too old and he feared he'd be the laughing stock of Tobacco Road. Most of the movie focuses on Jeeter (Charley Grapewin), who is trying to remain on his land. It's quite amazing. These characters are so stereotypical, and they can certainly be construed as highly offensive. The Beverly Hillbillies probably contains less offensive material about hicks. With any other artist at the helm, it would be completely reprehensible. Yet, in Ford's hands, Jeeter Lester exhibits as much humanity as Tom Joad. We laugh at his ridiculousness, but we care for him very much. His wife (played by Marjorie Rambeau) doesn't get a lot of screen time, but when she does, she reminds me much of Jane Darwell's heartbreaking role as Ma Joad. After Dude tears into his parents about being at death's door, the two have a solemn conversation about their numerous, departed children. `I thought at least one of them would write,' Ada sighs. The film also boasts the greatest number of occurrences of Ford's favorite hymn, `Shall We Gather at the River'. It even serves as the base of the film's score. If the wackiness doesn't put the detractors off, that song very well might! I love it myself. As funny as Tobacco Road is, and it is quite funny almost all of the time, it contains dozens of moments of the greatest American poetry. 9/10.

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