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Edwin L. Marin
Texas cattleman Opie Bedloe comes to Maine to visit his son Joe, a college instructor, and his wife Connie in the hopes of persuading Joe to give up his teaching career and come back to Texas and take over the ranch. When Opie finds out that Connie, who is expecting a baby, can not afford the steaks she yearns for on Joe's salary, Opie, who believes that pregnant women gotta have meat, arranges for the local butcher, Spangenberg to cut his prices in half (with Opie paying the difference) so that Connie can have the meat she desires. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Joe's father owns a cattle ranch in West Texas. But when Joe and Connie visit the ranch, you can see arid mountain ridges in the near distance as they drive up. West Texas in fact has a very flat terrain - no such mountains are found there. See more »
This is a comedy that is hilariously nutso bad. Van Johnson is Joe Bedloe, a teacher in a small New England college. He's perfectly happy instilling a new generation of American students with an appreciation for the writing of William Shakespeare. His wife Connie, portrayed by Janet Leigh, is expecting their first child and they live in a cute little two-story house. But being a professional intellectual doesn't provide enough money to keep the family table filled with plates of meat. "Haven't seen a rib roast since 1948." The town butcher Emil Spangenberg, played by Walter Slezak, prescribes a dietary regimen for the mother-to-be: "Meat. So I'd have a strong, healthy baby." In this town of meat hungry carnivores, populated by meat junkies, the butcher's role is tantamount to the one provided today by dispensers of medical marijuana.
De-toxing from the red meat craving by going cold turkey is to be avoided at all costs. That's where Joe's father Opie Bedloe comes into the picture. He's of all things a prosperous Texas cattle baron! When he comes to visit the couple he is horrified to learn that his son is such a poor family provider. It's not that this husband can't provide his wife with jewels and furs and lavish vacations. His beef is that Professor Joe can't shower the woman with beef!
Cultural satire when well done can be a great comedic look at society. When done in this movie it is a ham handed misfire, a plate of baloney adulterated by coy whimsy and artificial ingredients.
I give this a 2 in recognition of what I interpret as scriptwriter's Max Shulman's mockery of the American mindset of entitlement to all the consumer bounties of life. Hip, hip, hooray! It's the American Way!
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