Two Weeks to Live (1943) Poster

User Reviews

Add a Review
11 ReviewsOrdered By: Helpfulness
7/10
A Delight to Hear, If Not to See
spankymac15 February 2007
Production values on this bit of nostalgia aren't terribly high, and many of the supporting characters aren't very believable, but this little movie is a joy to listen to. Lum and Abner are just as funny as they are on the radio.

It's very clear that later shows owed a debt to these two great comedians; where would the Beverly Hillbillies and Andy Griffith been without them? Lum and Abner did a lot to bring rural America into focus, and to pioneer the "country-bumpkin-does-well-despite-himself" genre.

This is one of several movies starring the denizens of Pine Ridge, Ark. I haven't seen the others yet, but I'll be looking for them.
9 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
7/10
sweet, comical movie about hayseeds taking risks to make back money for people who trusted them
FieCrier24 May 2005
Cute film. I wasn't familiar with the characters of Lum & Abner from radio or film, and my grandmother didn't really remember them, but we had a good time watching this.

Two elderly small-town men from Arkansas are playing checkers at a country store when they learn that one of them has inherited a railroad from his deceased uncle. Before they even go talk to the lawyer, they sell $10,000 dollars worth of shares in it to the people in town, in order to raise the money to purchase land for a right-of-way for a spur line into their town.

When they go to the city, they find the railroad is not quite what they thought, and Abner slips down a flight of stairs in the lawyer's skyscraper. After a visit to a doctor, and a mix-up of records, they believe Abner has just two weeks to live, and they must also find a way to pay back the townspeople. A helpful rhyming window-washer with an invisible dog suggests various ways to get money for doing high-risk tasks. Most of the time, they don't complete the task, or decide against it. They also unwittingly miss a couple opportunities to get all the money they need for things they've already done.

In one scene, the movie oddly echoes Alfred Hitchcock's Sabotage (1936). In that film, one infamous scene involves a boy who's unknowingly carrying a time bomb, and the boy is taking longer to get to his destination than he's supposed to take. There's a particularly tense scene on a bus. In this movie, a character unwittingly carries a time bomb, takes longer than he's supposed to to get where he's going, and along the way temporarily hands the disguised bomb to a young boy, and to a young girl on a bus. I wonder if this was coincidental or not.

Anyway, my grandmother and I enjoyed watching this.
9 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
7/10
Amusing minor effort
RDenial27 March 2005
I got this out of the 88 cent bin at Wal-Mart. As Lum and Abner peaked in popularity about 15 years before I was born, I didn't know much about them. I wasn't expecting much but this was an amusing B movie. Lum and Abner are a couple of country bumpkins who go to the big city. We have all seen this type of thing many times before, and they do some humor based on a hick's unfamiliarity with the big city, but it never regresses to Beverly Hillbillies type humor. There was no big laughs but I did get some chuckles. I am sure some jokes passed me by that those familiar with the characters would have caught. The movie does have some interesting characters like the window washer and his invisible dog, the guy who invents a Jekyll and Hyde type formula and the always amusing Franklin Pangborn. It is a zany comedy that feels just a bit restrained from making it an anarchy type comedy like the Marxes. If you like old comedy and see this in the 88 cent bin at Wal-Mart, it is worth picking up.
6 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
6/10
Lum and Abner Return For More
Mike-76415 March 2002
The movie has Abner inheriting a railroad from his uncle in Chicago and Lum having the idea that they should buy the rightaway from local areas so the train can run through Pine Ridge, using the money from local citizens. When the two reach Chicago, they find out the train is something to be better used for scrap. Abner then slips down the lawyers stairs, and is taken to the doctor. The results of Abner's diagnosis are mixed and then mistakenly learns he has two weeks to live. Abner then takes on a series of dangerous stunts in order to pay back the money to the Pine Ridge citizens. The movie has its moments and interesting characters, but strictly this is an OK B picture used to capitalize on the radio series. Worth watching if you like the show. Rating, 6 out of 10.
7 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
6/10
Pine Ridge Values
bkoganbing29 January 2010
Chester Lauck and Norris Goff made the characters of Lum&Abner household names, in their time they were as famous on radio as Amos&Andy. Both men were fortunate in that they looked like the characters they played on radio so making films was a smooth transition for them. During the height of their popularity in the Forties before television they made a few films and Two Weeks To Live is one of them.

These two gentle rustics, proprietors of the local grocery store in Pine Ridge Arkansas find out that Abner has inherited a railroad and they start dreaming big. Turns out it's just a Hooterville Cannonball type line that carried ore from a gold mine that Abner's uncle owned back in the day that's long played out. In fact when probate and taxes are done they owe money. And they've sold right of ways to the various farmers back in Pine Ridge and they're in some deep debt now.

To pay it off they engage in various schemes as the plot moves from one crazy situation to another. Abner even gets a diagnosis mixed up with a man with Two Weeks To Live hence the title. Lum starts using Abner the way Crosby used Hope in those various Road pictures. They also get involved with saboteurs, a crazy mad scientist who wants to send one of the boys to Mars in a rocket, and a window washer with an invisible dog.

The production values aren't much, the film looks like it was shot with a brownie camera, still it's quite amusing. Lum&Abner were the predecessor for the Beverly Hillbillies, Andy Griffith and all sorts of television with a rural red state setting. Their naive and gentle humor is still amusing.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
This is a good classic movie!
Franklin McAlister III6 September 2006
This is the first one of the Lum and Abner movies i have ever seen. I have heard a few audio tapes of the old radio show over the last 6 years and I have to say that from the time this movie started playing on my DVD player until the end of it I was laughing so much I feel this live movie is even more funny than the old radio show. It is so wild what old Abner has to get into after he and Lum are fooled into thinking that he has only two weeks to live. It is also so funny at the end when Lum is put in that rocket ship and crashes near that sign in Iowa thinking that he is just nine miles from the Planet Mars when the sign says "9 Miles to Mars Iowa" and it is such a funny movie with what those two get into! I would recommend anyone who likes comedies to watch this movie!
7 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
Very, Very Funny
VooDoo_Cat30 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of my new favorite movies, for many reasons. One is Abners mispronunciation of words and all around silliness. Another one is Lums some-what know-it-all attitude, and the window washer Mr. Pinkeys "inavisible" dog 'Rover'. It all starts when Abners uncle dies and leave him a railroad, then Lum and Abner, thinking they could build a line right there in Piney Woods, Arkansas, ask everyone to invest in there company. After a trip to Chicago to claim the railroad they discover that it is totally dilapidated. Along the way Abner is incorrectly diagnosed as having "Two weeks to live". The boys lose all there money paying Abners uncle's debt's and get themselves stuck in Chicago. They try lots of things to get enough money to get back home and pay every one back.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
6/10
Lum & Abner move to the big screen
ksf-22 February 2015
Two Weeks to Live... Starring old time radio guys Chester Lauck and Norris Goff, moved to the movie screen. And of course, Frank Pangborn as Mr. Pinkney. They inherit a railroad, and decide that being conductor is more fun than being president of the company. Then they are off to the big city for the wheeling and dealing of running the railroad. Lots of fun puns and quick one and two liners! The sound and picture quality are pretty rough, but these disks were probably copied after the copyright ran out (?). Lots of adventures, gags, fun characters that come and go. There IS a pretty good (if silly) plot line here, but it really doesn't matter... we're just along for the gags, jokes, punchlines. A fun watch, even if you never heard their radio shows back in the old days. Lots of outdoor location shots, and downtown LA. Too bad that as of today, none are listed in Locations on IMDb. Also liberal use of backdrops. Very Beverly Hillbillie-ish, but still a lot of fun. This is interesting, even just for historical reasons. If you haven't heard of them before, check them out at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lum_and_Abner . This is just one of a bunch of films they made in the 1940s.

Directed by Malcolm St. Clair, who worked with ALL the biggies - Mack Sennett, Laurel & Hardy, Joan Crawford, Clara Bow.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
6/10
Rubes' big city comic adventure
howardeisman16 November 2017
When I was quite young, Lum and Abner came on the radio for a 15 minute program every day-or so it seemed. The program was usually a dialogue between the two of them. There was not that much that was funny for a little kid, but their voices and speech were a treat.

This movie is a pleasant easy-going version of their radio humor. A situation is set up for them to meet strange characters and get into comic situations. All of this had been done a lot before this; the oddball characters, the gags, the situations would all have been familiar to 1943 audiences. But the Lum and Abner characters with their distinctive "country" speech and their strange misunderstandings of the big city and the people in it , freshen things up quite a bit.

This movies segues from one comic situation to another smoothly enough. If you don't find one funny, the next one will be along shortly, and it is likely to get a laugh out of you. Absolutely low pressure, easy-going humor.

Try watching it when you're stressed out. This film will calm you down.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
5/10
OK for a Grade B
arfdawg-13 April 2014
Abner is mistakenly diagnosed as having only two weeks to live.

His partner gets the idea that they can make a ton of money by having Abner perform all kinds of dangerous stunts.

Very believable plot, right?

This is a throwback to a different time and place.

If you are a fan of two-reelers for the 40s, you're apt to recognize a few characters who pop up here and there.

Overall it's a silly and dumb movie that is OK for a rainy day but won't mesmerize you in any way.

The characters are so strange.

I guess they worked on the radio but didn't translate so well on film.
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
4/10
Amusing, but episodic comedy of no real linear plot.
mark.waltz19 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Lum and Abner head to Chicago to get the deed on the railroad line Abner has inherited, and for some reason, Abner is mistakenly identified as dying. This leads to encounters with a lot of wacky folks, most notably a window washer accompanied by the ghost of his dog. More like a series of vignettes or a compilation of shorts rolled together into a feature, "Two Weeks to Live" has a lot of funny moments but no real purpose. Franklin Pangborn adds his usual touch to the film as a building manager scared of being sued by Abner for falling down his stairs. But overall, the film seems like some second rate script that Laurel and Hardy would have turned down.
0 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews