Jane Colwell, an associate professor at an agricultural college, thinks that a trained mule she has been working with needs a rest and takes him to her farm. There she finds a film company ...
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Jane Colwell, an associate professor at an agricultural college, thinks that a trained mule she has been working with needs a rest and takes him to her farm. There she finds a film company shooting on location. After many complications, the mule is featured in the film, and Jane wins the heart of Mike Burton, the film's producer. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
1946's "Down Missouri Way" was one of the final productions for poverty row outfit PRC, soon to be absorbed into another poverty row outfit, Eagle-Lion Films Inc. (where Abbott and Costello shot 1948's "The Noose Hangs High"). PRC had some success with a 'B' musical called "I'm from Arkansas," and did this follow up one year later, proving that hillbilly comedies did good business even BEFORE Ma and Pa Kettle. Second billed John Carradine effortlessly steals this film as movie director Thorndyke P. Dunning, on location in Missouri (where the actor actually filmed "Jesse James" in late 1938), searching for an intelligent mule to star in his latest picture; enter top billed Martha O'Driscoll as the owner of scientifically trained mule 'Shirley.' This proved to be something of a swan song for O'Driscoll, female lead in Universal's "House of Dracula" and Abbott and Costello's "Here Come the Co-eds," while perky blonde Mabel Todd would also retire from the screen (she was in Universal's "Mystery of the White Room"). Playing the temperamental star is Renee Godfrey, from Universal's "Terror by Night," a latter Sherlock Holmes adventure, getting most of the barbs from Carradine, who worked right up until her untimely death in 1964. Just about everyone gets to sing, and while the music may be an acquired taste, the comedy is first rate. No doubt still mourning his late friend John Barrymore, Carradine does a magnificent impression, from his dialogue delivery to his mannerisms, even snorting in hilarious fashion. His first appearance is hard to beat, discussing the starring role with Renee Godfrey, whom he wishes had "the divine madness!" Recently plucked out of obscurity by frequent showings on Encore's Western channel.
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