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So This Is Washington (1943)

Approved | | Comedy | August 1943 (USA)
Lum and Abner go to Washington to aid in the war effort by giving the government what they think is a good substitute for rubber--Abner's homemade licorice.


(as Raymond McCarey)


(story), (story) | 2 more credits »

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Free at Internet Archive

Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Chester Lauck ...
Lum Edwards (as Lum)
Abner Peabody (as Abner)
Chester W. Marshall
Jane Nestor - Marshall's Secretary
Roger Clark ...
Robert Blevins
Aunt Charity Speers
Matt McHugh ...
Stranger in Park Renting 'Rooms'


Lum and Abner go to Washington to aid in the war effort by giving the government what they think is a good substitute for rubber--Abner's homemade licorice.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A HAY-MAKER of LAUGHTER... with our corn-fed cronies cuttin' up in the Capital!




Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

August 1943 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Follows Dreaming Out Loud (1940) See more »


Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean
(1843) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by David T. Shaw
Arranged by Thomas A. Beckett
In the score as Lum and Abner admire the U.S. Capitol Building
See more »

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User Reviews

Gentle Rustics
21 February 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Norris Goff and Chester Lauck were a pair of vaudevillians who when that medium died went into radio were their hillbilly act and characters of Lum and Abner. The two of them came from a small town, Waters, Arkansas and were lifetime friends as well as partners. Like Amos and Andy their voices created all the characters used on the radio show. Starting out locally, they eventually appeared on all of the radio networks from 1932 to 1954. As you can imagine, there appeal was to what we would now call red state America.

They did a lot better than Amos and Andy for posterity's sake. They were from the culture that they spoofed so no offense was taken then or now. Lum and Abner operated the Jot Em Down General Store in Pine Ridge Arkansas and got into many adventures with the various town characters whose voices Goff and Lauck did. They were a pair of gentle rustics who an unseen providential hand got out of trouble every week.

Goff and Lauck did several films with their Lum and Abner characters. In this one, So This Is Washington, they're ready to help in the war effort. Especially after one of FDR's dollar a year men broadcasts from the capital asking the common man to contribute whatever new ideas he can for the war effort.

That man is Alan Mowbray who then is deluged with crackpots of all kinds with cockamamie inventions to help beat the Axis. Abner himself thinks he has something with his homemade licorice which both think could be used as synthetic rubber. They travel to Washington to peddle the idea.

There's no real plot to So This Is Washington. The film is just 64 minutes of cracker barrel philosophy and homespun humor. A lot of the jokes are terribly dated about war time rationing, women taking the place of men in the work force, and the very real need which was solved for synthetic rubber because the Japanese were sitting on most of the world's real supply. That need was solved, but not with homemade licorice.

At one point the two men, take a load off their feet in Jackson Park where they give some Pine Ridge type common sense advice to passing legislators and bureaucrats. In doing so they become minor celebrities. Today's audience wouldn't get the whole gist of the joke if they were not familiar with Bernard Baruch who was an elder statesmen and financier from before World War I who was known for dispensing his wisdom from a Central Park Bench in New York City. A whole lot of the humor in So This Is Washington is similarly dated.

Yet there is a certain sweetness in the sincerity of the gentle homespun humor that is Lum and Abner. Goff and Lauck's hometown of Waters, Arkansas changed its name to Pine Ridge in honor of them. Talk about life imitating art.

Though the film is more historical than hysterical, today's audiences might get a few laughs from it though a history the times nearby might help.

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