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A poor farmer is obsessed with finding gold on his land supposedly buried by his grandfather. To find it he conveniently moves a marker out of his way that designates the land on which it rests as as God's Little Acre, where anything that comes from the ground will go to God's work. Eventually he abducts an albino to help him find the gold. Meanwhile, his daughter-in-law is suspected of fooling around with a labor activist out of work since the mill closed, and a local political hopeful actively seeks his daughter's hand in marriage. Written by
Ed Sutton <email@example.com>
A 1967 re-release attempted to appeal to the new generation by playing up the sex in the advertisements. The '67 poster featured the drawing of a topless woman underneath a bare-chested man on a bed, as well as a topless (but chaste) photo of co-star Fay Spain that was definitely not in the picture itself! For this re-release, Tina Louise was given top-billing and Michael Landon went from tenth billing in 1958 to second billing this time. See more »
Although the plot revolves around hillbilly family who has spent years digging dozens of holes around property looking for gold, all of the dirt surrounding holes appears moist and freshly excavated, not dried out and dusty as it would actually be if it been dug out with shovels and exposed to sun for years. See more »
Ty Ty Walden:
[In response to his son wanting a raincoat]
Son, if it starts to rain, you just peel off your clothes and let your skin take care of the rest. God never made a finer raincoat than a man's skin, anyhow.
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Never mind that the front yard has more holes than no-man's land after a WWI artillery barrage. Or that Pluto's up-and-down pump appears to drive Darlin' Jill into censored delight. Or that the rotund Pluto appears to be running for sheriff of Disneyland. No, this is not the deep South of Rhett and Scarlett; it's the cartoon South of Dog Patch and Lil' Abner. Take drop-dead sexy Griselda who delivers water to sweating boys in a see-through dress. Or, patriarch Ty-Ty, God's very own real estate agent. And, of course, mustn't forget Darlin' Jill with her own ideas about how to integrate the South. Don't get me wrongthis first half is mildly amusing with its exaggerated characters and heavy breathing, much like an R-rated cartoon.
And, had the screenplay followed through with this comedic style, a mildly memorable movie could have resulted. But it's like someone suddenly decided the movie needed to really "serious up". So, we get a second half that's more like over-heated Tennessee Williams than Al Capp's riotous Dog Patch. I don't know if all that contrived staging around the cotton mill is supposed to deliver a "message", but it's sure as heck heavy-handed and out of sync with the first half. Plus, there's that typical 50's ending that ties up every loose end in unbelievably happy fashion. I don't know which of the many versions (thanks to censors of the time) I saw, but I doubt any combination of this bi-polar disorder could work. Too bad, since it's a rare stab at departure for that strait-jacketed decade.
(In passingI do like how Ty-Ty's manic mining for his father's gold gets resolved. We discover that despite appearances, he knows there's no buried gold. Instead, he keeps digging in order to "keep the family together" and the memory of his dad alive. He's not crazy he just has a wacky way of expressing his "family values". Still, I don't think I'd hire him to do my gardening.)
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