|Index||6 reviews in total|
Fifth in the Ma and Pa Kettle series, following their introduction to audiences in THE EGG AND I, this entry reunites the Kettles (Percy Kilbride and Marjorie Main) with their new snobbish in-laws, the Parkers (Ray Collins and Barbara Brown) from MA AND PA KETTLE BACK ON THE FARM, for an adventure set in Paris. The quality of the supporting cast is all that might be asked from Universal Studios, but the screenplay falls well below the comedic norm set by better examples from the Kettle canon. The Parkers have discarded their airs and have asked Ma and Pa to be their traveling companions to France after friends cancelled. During the flight to Paris, a mysterious seat mate of Pa Kettle gives him an envelope to keep for him, asking for Pa's promise to return it at the Louis Quatorze Hotel, where all primary parties in the plot will be staying. An espionage angle is soon introduced, with a pair of "Secret Service" men being assigned by the U.S. Embassy to guard the Kettles, Pa now holding a bogus replacement envelope as lure to foreign spies who are also tailing the farmer duo. In addition to these cloak and dagger shenanigans, the couples visit a nightclub where they see (and interfere with) a floor show and, at the hotel, Pa attempts to purchase "French postcards" at the request of Indian friends who are taking care of the Kettle farm during their Parisian junket. Charles Lamont effectively directed the first two Kettle amusements, but this time a weak scenario provides little with which he can lead, and the sight gags that Kilbride pulls off when he is at his best are simply tiresome (after the first scene) as the film declines too often into slapstick. There are bright notes: good supporting turns from Sig Ruman, Jay Novello and Ivan Triesault; burnished cinematography from George Robinson; and astonishing dresses created for Main by Rosemary O'Dell that bring a chuckle.
I wish someone would do something for me like Ray Collins and Barbara
Brown did for Ma and Pa Kettle. Collins and Brown are the parents whose
daughter married their oldest son in a previous Kettle film. They send
Ma and Pa tickets first to New York and then Paris. So off are Percy
Kilbride and Marjorie Main to the City of Lights in Ma And Pa Kettle on
Things start to happen on the plane over as Pa strikes up a conversation with Peter Brocco who seeing Pa's simple and trusting nature entrusts him with a letter to deliver it to him at the hotel both are staying at. But Brocco is killed by some other spies Bodil Miller and Sig Ruman. After that the fun starts.
Despite the ever present danger that the Kettles are blissfully unaware of Ma and Pa bring a bit of Ozark etiquette and humor to enliven those Parisian hearts. Funniest moment is when Marjorie Main crowns some poor Apache dancer. Reminded me of the time when I was a kid when some wrestling fan jumped in the ring, so carried away was he by the performance.
Eventually the Kettles do find out and our government enlists them in the apprehension of the spy ring. Percy Kilbride is nothing if not a patriot.
An enjoyable time with the Kettles.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Parkers have discarded their airs and have asked Ma and Pa to be
their traveling companions to France after friends cancelled. During
the flight to Paris, a mysterious seat mate of Pa Kettle gives him an
envelope to keep for him, asking for Pa's promise to return it at the
Louis Quatorze Hotel, where all primary parties in the plot will be
staying. An espionage angle is soon introduced, with a pair of "Secret
Service" men being assigned by the U.S. Embassy to guard the Kettles,
Pa now holding a bogus replacement envelope as lure to foreign spies
who are also tailing the farmer duo. In addition to these cloak and
dagger shenanigans, the couples visit a nightclub where they see (and
interfere with) a floor show and, at the hotel, Pa attempts to purchase
"French postcards" at the request of Indian friends who are taking care
of the Kettle farm during their Parisian junket.
Funny-made movie on the series of Ma and Pa Kettle. Never a boring moment. If you don't like Ma and Pa Kettle, get a life because this movie hits the top.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Just like when Ma and Pa went to town (New York that is), they attract trouble, and instead of being bank robbers, they are spies. I should have known better to have trusted a woman with black hair and blonde roots, Ma declares after realizing the predicament she's in. Ma also has trouble with the cities most famous attraction, referring to it as the Eefel Tower. And when she's not trying to bust up a spy ring, its an Apache Dance act. Ray Collins and Barbara Brown return as the Kettles' upper- crust in-laws. While there are certainly a ton of laughs, its obvious that, like Pa said about being chosen for the army, they were scraping the bottom of the barrel in coming up with fresh ideas. Its easy to see why with plots like this that the later long-running T.V. series "The Beverly Hillbillies" was often accused of ripping it off.
The Ma & Pa Kettle films were about a very backward but nice country
family*. Early on in the series, the family wins a contest--a fully
equipped modern home. Up until then, they'd been living in a
tumble-down shack on a farm. They certainly were coming up in the
world. However, with "Ma and Pa Kettle on Vacation", they jumped to a
whole new level. Now they are world travelers--invited on a posh
vacation in Paris. Talk about straying further and further from the
This film begins with Ma and Pa being invited to go with Mr. and Mrs. Parker to Paris--and it's all paid for by the Parkers. If you don't remember, in an earlier installment of the series, the Kettle's oldest son married the Parker's daughter. The Parkers and Kettles are complete opposites but the Parkers, inexplicably, seem to like them! During the trip across, Pa gets to talking to a man on the airplane. This guy asks Pa to hold on to a letter for him--and dumb 'ol Pa agrees! However, the man never returns for the letter...because he's dead! It seems that they've stumbled into a nest of spies!
This is a VERY contrived movie and ample evidence that the series had jumped the shark. In other words, they had strayed so far that the series would all be downhill from now on. Despite this, it's a decent and modestly entertaining movie. If you like the series, it's well worth seeing. If not, then try the older ones first--they are much better.
*In their first incarnation, the Kettles were homicidal maniacs!!! Talk about inconsistent! However, this persona was soon abandoned and they soon became very neighborly!
Ma and Pa Kettle on Vaction is not a remake of Ma and Pa Kettle Go to
Town, but there are similarities. In this outing the Parkers return to
the series as they offer Ma and Pa a trip to Paris. The situation of
country folk in the big city sets up the jokes. Pa being tricked into
smuggling stolen documents sets up the plot.
While maintaining a a level of comedy on par with the previous movie, the Ma and Pa characters are being stretched a bit. Once again, Pa is chased by crooks through a big city. In this case, Pa is given stolen documents for safekeeping while he is on the plane to Paris. The leader of the spy ring in need of the documents is played by Sig Ruman. Ruman was capable of playing a character as outlandish as Ma and Pa, but he held back just enough to not overshadow them. It is his performance that makes me like this movie a little more than Go to Town.
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