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I only wish there was more of it!
Sylviastel20 July 2005
I liked this film version of the television show because it makes me laugh on a rainy day or when I am having a bad day. The casting is excellent. I feel that Jim Varney plays an excellent Jed Clampett. I wish there was a sequel when he was still alive. Sadly, he's gone. I think we saw him apart from his Ernest character a lot more in Jed. He seem to feel right at home in this character. Cloris Leachman is a hoot as Granny and I really felt that she enjoyed the role. Erika Leniak does an actually good job as Elly May Clampett. She seems to fit at right home with the role. I liked Diedrich Bader as both Jethro and his twin sister Jethrine. Bader is really an excellent comedic actor. I thought Lily Tomlin played Ms. Jane Hathaway in her own updated style. I felt this Jane had more gusto than Nancy Culp did in the series. Dabney Coleman is always fun to see and in this one as Drysdale. I liked him and Tomlin together. I liked Penny Fuller as Mrs. Drysdale and Kevin O'Connell who plays their son, Morgan. I felt Morgan and Elly could have gotten together. I liked Linda Carlson as Jethro's mother. I wished she was on more. Rob Schneider and Lea Thompson really do a good job as con-artists after the Clampetts. But I really enjoyed watching this film to see the stars like Zsa Zsa Gabor, Miguel Ferrer, Buddy Ebsen as Rockford, Dolly Parton, etc. Their cameos made it worth while to see them. It's nice to see Zsa Zsa poke fun at herself on screen in anything.
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A Movie As Lovable As The Series Which Spawned It.
FiendishDramaturgy3 September 2004
Warning: Spoilers
In the spirit of the original series, this beloved production possesses one attribute no other movie can claim: a believable, serious, and endearing dramatic performance delivered by Jim Varney.

Having lived in the southern US for years, I learned rather quickly that there is a stark distinction between the hillbilly and the American redneck. Hillbillies are more family oriented, while rednecks seem to care more about the toys they

have and keeping up with Bubba (the southern American version of Keeping Up With the Joneses). Bubba has a rad gun collection; a shiny new truck complete with roll bar, wench and lift kits, mud-flaps and tires large enough to get you out of the mud bog with a truck bed laden with deer carcasses.

Frankly, I was amazed at the quality of performance contributed by Mr. Varney. I (as was most of the world) was under the mistaken impression that Ernest was the best this actor had to give. What a grievous error! It is, indeed, unfortunate that Mr. Varney was not to be with us much longer after this attempt. I have missed the Ernest movies, to be honest, but I was also looking forward to another dramatic beneficence from him.

This attempt was done with love, executed with a witty tongue-in-cheek delivery, and presented to those who held the series in regard with a more than capable star-studded cast. While the wit was at the expense of a group of people who should be respected for their deep country philosophical ideals and witticisms, so was the series. Frankly, if you didn't like the series, I see no reason to watch and then dog this movie.

Cloris Leachman was a joy as Granny. She gave us the same sort of tenacity and spirit as did Irene Ryan. Her performance was delightful in spite of the somewhat small stature of her character.

Diedrich Bader's Jethro was cleverly drawn from instinct and heart. Rather than one dumb crack after another, he relied greatly on facial expression as well as physical comedy to entertain his audience; a very wise decision on Bader's behalf considering he is not moron. And as this is his first screen attempt, you will see a strong pattern of characters throughout his career to this point which demonstrates his commitment to perfecting this type of role.

Erika Eleniak as Elly May (Playboy model-cum-actress) was the only thing which disappointed me with this production. I believe that she tried and gave her best, but she just wasn't Elly May. I expected to feel that way about Jed or Granny, but not Elly May. Her work here was a bit stiff, in my opinion. I remember that her performance as a Playboy bunny in Under Siege was a little stiff, too. I do not know if her talents as an actress have progressed since this attempt as I've never cared to watch anything else in which she's been featured.

Lily Tomlin and Lea Thompson were both dead on their characters. Although Tomlin's character was preconceived and Thompson's was a one-time plot element, they both contributed above-par performances in this work.

And, true to the series, there's always some shifty character trying to take the Clampett billion away from Drysdale; enter Rob Schneider. Some critics have stated they did not understand his character's presence in this endeavor, but it fit right in with the theme of the television series. He was entertaining, delivered a good performance, and more importantly...he was funny.

Dabney Coleman is Milburn Drysdale in every way, shape and form. He could have been the original participant in the series, as far as I'm concerned. He turned in an impeccable performance here.

Although the story line was good, I felt it could have had a little more depth. However, the touching moments between Jed and Elly May appeared to be heart felt and honest, lending a very endearing quality to this production.

The most important point I could make here is simply that Jim Varney was (and is) the best thing about this movie. Even if you aren't a fan of his Ernest franchise, you will still enjoy his performance in this movie. This was far superior to his previous performances in any other work.

It rates a 6.8/10 from...

the Fiend :.
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TV fans will get a good laugh.
SanDiego6 April 2000
Making a film from a book or play, regardless of how many times it was previously made is different than recasting an old TV sitcom and turning into a feature film. The difference is that in the first instance the films are based on characters as written down on paper from the mind of it's creator. No matter how many times A STREET CAR NAMED DESIRE is remade it always goes back to the characters, not the actors who portrayed them. Audiences will keep going back to the same play or film each time it is recast to see the subtle difference the recasting will change the role. That is why film versions of hit Broadway plays can be so successful. Remaking a TV sitcom is different. The new cast is not portraying the characters as originally written, they are portraying the actors' characterizations. So in films like THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES we are treated to what is essentially a Saturday Night Live style parody. Of course, some of the best SNL skits are parody and it is fun to watch when done well (impressions done well, and of course a good sense of poking fun at a beloved show). THE BRADY BUNCH MOVIE was perhaps the best example of this. THE ADDAMS FAMILY was a remake, opting to go back to the original characters as created by Charles Addams in his comic strip. BATMAN and SUPERMAN also went back to their roots in the comic books and skipped most references to the TV show. In THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES, the characters of Jed Clampett, Granny and the rest of the clan were created by Buddy Ebsen, Irene Ryan, etc...and I really doubt any of the new cast searched out notes of the characters so much as they just reviewed the old shows. This is all right and in good fun and we have to keep in mind that Jim Varney is not so much playing Jed Clampett as he is playing Buddy Ebsen's Jed Clampett. Recently, someone went ahead and remade Laurel and Hardy (in which the characters and the actors were one and the same). It flopped because it wasn't a parody and the film treated the characters as if the original Stan and Ollie were merely players. THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES does not make this mistake, opting to literally morph the new cast out of our memories of the old cast. This movie has a cast that is hip, fun, and funny (you got to love a film that boasts a perfect, if not quite obvious casting of Jim Varney, Erika Eleniak, and Lily Tomlin--all giving great comedic performances). Is it better than the original? No, and I don't think it was suppose to be. It was just suppose to be a way to laugh at our past, and perhaps give fans a feeling that they are not alone with their adoration of one of the great TV shows of all time.
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Another Childhood Favorite!!!
Pumpkin_Man20 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Ever since I was a kid, I've loved this movie Everybody did an awesome job, and was a great tribute to the classic series! When Jed Clampett is hunting, he accidentally finds oil, and is given 2 billion dollars. He takes Elly May, Granny, and Jethro to Bevery Hills to live the sweet life. When arriving at their mansion, Miss Hathaway thinks they are criminals, because of the way they dress. After everything is sorted out, Jed wants to get married. He falls in love with a beautiful con artist named Laura Jackson, who is only after his money. Soon, it's up to Granny and Miss Hathaway to stop the wedding. I highly recommend THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES!!!

Yall come back now, ya hear?
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Wonderful movie
PWNYCNY22 July 2007
What a wonderful, silly, entertaining movie! Diedrich Bader is especially hilarious as Jethro/Jethrine, but everyone in this movie is funny. The Clampetts are great. They are the kind of people that one should have as friends. Not only are they nice, they will treat you as a friend. Jim Varney was perfect as Jed and we cannot forget mentioning Dabney Coleman whose performance as usual added to the humor. This is an unpretentious, humorous, entertaining movie and the kind of movie that is not only watchable but provokes nonstop laughter. This special movie compares favorably with the sitcom. Both are humorous without being nasty and both show that nice people can actually finish first. If you enjoy nonstop laughs then this movie is for you.
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New hillbillies for a new generation
jwhale938215 April 2005
I admit, I was never a serious fan of the TV show, at least not until after I saw this movie. But in my opinion, this movie may have helped reintroduce the story of the Beverly Hillbillies to a new audience. I loved it.

Plot: It all starts when Jed Clampett discovers oil on his property. Then Aunt Pearl convinces him to move to Beverly Hills. What am I saying? Y'all know the story. It's the same story as the TV show. That's one of the best things about this movie; that it stays true to the TV show. In addition, Jed has decided to come to Beverly Hills mainly to "get hitched." Now this sounds like a funny story.

Cast: The actors were probably one of the biggest aspects of the movie. The cast was funny, but also believable. The late Jim Varney (Jed) was great in one of his best "non-Ernest" roles. Dabney Coleman (Mr. Drysdale) was convincing in his role. He probably got the experience from doing "9 to 5," which also starred his co-star Lily Tomlin. Lea Thompson and Rob Schneider (Laura and Tyler) play two cons who are trying to steal the Clampett fortune. They should've known better than going up against the Clampetts. There were many other great and hilarious performances from stars like Cloris Leachman, Erika Eleniak, and Diedrich Bader.

Humor: There was the prefect balance of humor and seriousness in this movie. And the crude humor was low. If there was too much stupid or crude humor, it would've brought down the whole movie. But there was just the right amount of humor, so the movie was good.

This one may be a bit too much for the younger viewer, unless it's been edited for a few bad jokes. I recommend this one for anybody who just wants to see a funny movie.
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Funny and Underrated
candy_kiss25 June 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I was surprised to see that this movie had such a low rating. It was hilarious with many memorable scenes. This was a childhood favorite that I still love to this day. Now that it's finally out on DVD I can watch it whenever I want ;p The Scene where Jed's family is on the plane is easily enough reason to shell out the $5.50 to buy this movie. NOw that it's becoming a trend in Hollywood to remake the movies you should take a chance to see one of the first movies to do this. By the way this one is genius compared to some of the newer remakes of classic t.v. Heck, personally, I think it's genius compared to a lot of today's comedy. Take a chance and see this movie. You wont' be disappointed ;)
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Great movie!
acriser1516 September 2007
I watched this movie from beginning to end and it was great! Seeing it in 2007 really brought back the memories from seeing it when it was released in 1993. For the most part it was funny and it had some great actors in it and was enjoyable to watch. It was a good remake of the original Beverly Hillbillies TV show. Most parts of this movie I liked and it had some good stuff in it. The music was good and I thought it really brought the movie to life and what the film is about. However, I don't understand why this film is rated so low? I know that it wasn't a big picture but it should be given some credit for being a good movie and I highly recommend it. Very watchable!

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Liked the movie( Jim Varney Fan)
Inceptor59 December 2004
I thought this was just another example of how good Jim Varney was. The movie was funny and held to the nature of the original show. If you like Jim Varney and want to see a very funny show I recommend it. I couldn't wait for this movie to be released on DVD. I only wished now the one Jim Varney made called Earnest P. Worrel's Family Album would be released. I liked the Earnest Movies for example: Goes to camp, Saves Christmas etc... But this movie I feel like is much better.

If you liked the old TV series this Movie will bring back memories, I didn't think they could find another as good as Buddie Epson for Jed Clampet but see for your self Jim Varney did a wonderful job. I will have to rate this one high on account of good clean FAMILY movie.
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Cinematic adaptation from known TV series with minimal story but some moment is entertaining
ma-cortes2 November 2007
This film based on successful TV series by Paul Henning. It begins when mountaineer Jed accidentally discovers a surprise in his property because he has struck oil during a shooting, gotten million of dollars, and turning instantly billionaire . Then he packs his backwoods family and heads to Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California.They change into a lush mansion , but still live like Hillbillies because they still dress tattered ragged suits and rustics costumes .The hillbillies clan are Jed(Jim Varney in the role of Buddy Ebsen), a good-hearted and kind father looking new spouse, his daughter Elly May(Erika Elinak, role of Donna Douglas),an extraordinary gorgeous but incredibly ingenious and pursued by a suitor(Kevin Connolly), the Granny(Cloris Leachman), a senile, paranoid and obstinate old woman and Jethro(Dietrich Vader, role of Max Baer) , he's idiot though strong, he's actually only acting like an authentic stupid and doesn't even realize it. Besides, the ambitious banker(Dabney Coleman) and his botcher helper(Lily Tomlin) who will make anything of keep the Camplett family money in his bank. Meanwhile, they are duped by a mean pair(Lea Thompson and Rob Schneider).

Everyone casting does rightly their impersonations from television characters with special mention of Jim Varney as the sensible and good father looking for wife and particularly, Dietrich as a double role as the dumb Jethro and his sister, furthermore a likable Granny, well incarnated by Cloris Leachman. Appear special cameos, Zsa Zsa Gabor as a delinquent, Dolly Parton singing country music and Buddy Ebsen, the original Jed , reprises another of his television acting, Barnaby Jones.The film contains a stunning music score with ballads by Scoggins like the original series, songs by Dolly Parton and Hank Williams and soundtrack by Lalo Schifrin. The motion picture is regularly directed by Penelope Scpheeris. Rating: Average but amusing. The film will like to nostalgics and hardcore series fans.
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A pretty entertaining movie based on the old TV series, I rate it "6" of 10.
TxMike28 May 2001
You shouldn't go into watching this movie thinking you'll get something great or novel. After all, it IS based on the silly old TV series, which I thoroughly enjoyed back then. Erika Eleniak, former Playboy model, who plays Ellie May, is strikingly beautiful and does a fine job in this role. The late Jim Varney is also very good as Jed Clampett, Lily Tomlin is good in her role. Lea Thompson (first of Back To The Future fame) shows her acting range in a role as the scheming "French teacher" out to get Jed's money. I didn't particularly care for Rob Schneider's role, but wat the heck. Still, anyone who enjoyed the TV series should have fun watching this film.
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A New Beginning And Ending Would Have Really Helped
ccthemovieman-121 February 2007
I enjoyed the bulk of the film - the middle part. It was just the first 20 minutes and the last 20 minutes that I thought were incredibly too stupid to enjoy.

In that middle segment, Diedrich Baker's and Lily Tomlin's facial expressions were the highlight. I didn't mind staring at Erica Eleniak and Lea Thompson, either! It is an entertaining cast, I'll give it that, with Jim Varney, Cloris Leachman, Dabney Coleman and Rob Schneider among others. There also is some very good country music in the soundtrack, too.

Otherwise, there isn't a whole lot of positive things to say because, really, much of the humor is Dumb, yes - with a capital "D."
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Top-notch, Entertaining, Enjoyable Classic
MountainMan18 January 2003
Well was I surprised when I saw the overall rating for this movie. What in the world were the voters thinking to rate it so low? I laughed and laughed and laughed. What does it take to make a good movie, anyway. If it can make you laugh and lose yourself in the comedy, if the acting is superb, the screenplay A-1, and the directing superb, doesn't it deserve AT LEAST A 7? I, for one rate it an easy 8 and consider it a classic. The late Jim Varney did a masterpiece here, all the rest of the cast were superb. PLEASE WATCH THIS MOVIE.
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A great antidote for the blues -- hilarious!
missy_baxter6 July 2001
This is satire at its funniest. When I first saw this movie in 1994, I was really depressed and it cheered me right up. So, the following year, I was feeling blue again and saw this for sale for $10 and bought it, and it cheered me again.

There is no rocket science here (except of course, for Jethro), just enough flat-out absurdist satire to make me laugh and laugh and laugh. Extremely true to the spirit of the original, this is very well-performed and totally irreverent. Cloris Leachman, Lily Tomlin, and Elena Ereniak are standouts as Granny, Miss Jane, and Elly Mae, actually improving slightly on the originals which I didn't think possible. Buddy Ebsen is marvelous in a cameo as Barnaby Jones, and Linda Carlson makes a terrific Cousin Pearl. Junior Drysdale is also enjoyable. {Penny Fuller was very bad as Mrs. Drysdale, but it's a minor role.} Dietrich Bader is a great Jethrine, and a fair-to-middling Jethro.

But, the real revelation is the late Jim Varney (incredible to think that he is dead for five years while Buddy Ebsen is still with us).

I HATE the Ernest movies, and was expecting the worst. But Varney, actually captured the soul and spirit of Jed Clampett even better than Ebsen if possible. He is magnificent in the role. What a pity he died so young!

But, every time I watch this gem of unreality-TV (to steal Nick at Nite's brilliant catch-phrase), which I have done 10 times so far, Varney's best performance ever lives on in my heart.
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The Beverly Hillbillies Movie: Comedy From 1993
FloatingOpera714 October 2007
Warning: Spoilers
The Beverly Hillbillies (1993): Jim Varney, Cloris Leachman, Lily Tomlin, Diedrich Bader, Erika Eleniak, Lea Thompson, Rob Schneider, Dabney Coleman, Dolly Parton, Buddy Ebsen, Kevin Connolly, Penny Fuller, Lyman Ward, Linda Carlson, Leann Hunley, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Eric Edwards, Robert Easton, Don McNatt, James Schmid, Charlie Heath, James O'Sullivan, Stan Mazin, Anushka Jones, Lisa Montgomery, Micahel B. Moynahan, Mike Norris....Director Penelope Spheeris, Screenplay Paul Henning, Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal, Jim Staahl, Jim Fisher.

Released in 1993 from Director Penelope Spheeris, a female director at a time when there weren't many of them, this was the Beverly Hillbillies movie, based upon the classic 60's comedy. Because more than one writer worked on the script, and because the cast was a pretty talented group of comic actors - Jim Varney (He was the "Hey, Vern!" guy, Ernest in various comedy films in the 80's) Diedrich Bader (he would be a regular on Drew Carey), Cloris Leachman needs no introduction and neither does Lily Tomlin. Plus, there are cameos by Dolly Parton, Buddy Ebsen, the original Jed Clampett and Zsa Zsa Gabor. The premise is the same, except this time the setting is in the early 90's. Jed Clampett (Varney) discovers oil in his Arkansas mountain home and becomes a millionaire over night. He moves his family - daughter Ellie May (Erika Eleniak), cousin Jethro (Diedrich Bader) and his elderly grandmother (Cloris Leachman) to Beverly Hills, at a time when it was still hip and elitist, the zip code to billionaires. The Clampetts put their money in the bank of Milburn Drysdale (Dabney Coleman) who becomes their financial planner. Jane Hathaway (Tomlin) becomes their accountant. But another couple - Laura and Woodrow (Leah Thompson and Rob Schneider)have set their sights on taking the Clampett fortune. Laura poses as a French teacher to Ellie May and wins Jed's heart, making him propose marriage. With one click of a computer, she can get his money to her Swiss bank account. Will the Clampetts end up on top ? This movie is entertaining and one of those comedies that require good acting and plot and it's not just visual jokes or tawdry jokes. Few comedies are made like this nowadays but still, Beverly Hillbillies was one of the many good comedy films of the early 90's which saw films like "Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead" "Encino Man" and the Ace Ventura Pet Detective films. The film does not contain adult content and the language is not offensive, so it's entertaining for the whole family, but it got a PG-13 rating because some of the jokes go over the heads of smaller children who wouldn't understand.
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S10 Reviews: The Beverly Hillbillies (1993)
suspiria108 August 2005
Jed Clampett Jim Varney – Ernest) is out hunting jackrabbit one day on his property when he stumbles onto the largest privately owned oil deposit in the world. Next thing widower Jed knew he was a billionaire with more money than any of us would ever see. But simple-minded Jed wants nothing more out of life than a wife to tame his young tomboy daughter Elly May (Erika Eleniak – Playboy). So he packs up his kinfolk including Granny (Cloris Leachman) and Jethro (Diedrich Bader) and heads for Beverly Hills to get his daughter some refinement. But these simple folk soon become the target on unscrupulous city folk who want nothing lea than all their money.

This sweeping southern epic that lays "Gone with the Wind" to shame….Oh who am I kidding. I couldn't say that with a straight face if I tried. "The Beverly Hillbillies" is a fun in a "throw your brain out the window and pass the popcorn" sort of way. The TV show (far from a classic, but well loved) gets a modern reworking that would suit the fans (yeah you in the back) just fine. Gawlee that there Elly May is sure pretty Uh huh!
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The Brief Cameo By Buddy Ebsen Is The Biggest Highlight
sddavis632 March 2013
Hollywood has produced uncountable numbers of remakes of old TV shows from the 1960's and 70's. I can't even begin to count them or make a list. I've seen some of them. A few have worked; most have been dreadful. This 1993 movie based on the 60's series of the same name falls somewhere in between those two categories, probably leaning a bit toward the dreadful side, but not dreadful in and of itself. The basic plot follows the TV story. Hillbilly Jed Clampett (played here by Jim Varney) strikes it rich one day when he was "shootin' at some food, and up from the ground come a-bubblin' crude. Oil that is. Black gold. Texas tea." (Couldn't resist!) Suddenly rich after he's paid $1 billion for his land, his family tells him that "Californy is the place you ought to be, so they loaded up the truck and they moved to Beverly. Hills that is. Swimming pools. Movie stars." (Couldn't resist again!)

So, once more Jed, Granny (Cloris Leachman), Ellie May (Erike Eleniak) and cousin Jethro (Diedrich Bader) are left to the task of settling into their new life with the help of Mr. Drysdale (Dabney Coleman) and Miss Hathaway (Lily Tomlin) and along for the ride we get a couple of villains played by Rob Schneider and Lea Thompson, who set out to get Jed's money for themselves.

This lacked the fun of the TV series. There were parts of it that were amusing. The Clampetts driving along the highway thinking that the middle finger was a California greeting springs to mind, for example. Overall, though, it really wasn't that funny. The cast was so-so. Varney and Leachman were all right. Eleniak, to me, didn't really capture Ellie May's sweet innocence, and Bader as Jethro didn't work for me. Jethro in the TV series was a dumb character, yes, but Bader's Jethro was both too dumb and too underplayed. Bader seemed to think he just had to look and sound stupid and that would be enough. He missed the mark completely. I don't think the Beverly Hillbillies work that well as a movie, either. As a TV series it was fine. You got it in half hour chunks (less counting commercials) and that was enough. Trying to keep it going for over an hour and a half without a break became tiresome after a while.

Dolly Parton was included as herself as, I guess, an entertainer the Clampetts (with their country background) would be familiar with. Aside from being recognizable, though, that didn't really do much for me, since I'm not a big Dolly fan. One appearance that did work, though, was from Buddy Ebsen. He, of course, was the original Jed Clampett on the TV series. It was a rather ingenious thought to bring him back for this movie, this time as the other well known character he played on television - private detective Barnaby Jones from the 1970's, whom Miss Hathaway hires to investigate the plot to get Jed's money. When the Barnaby Jones theme started to play I smiled, because right away I knew what (and who) was coming. Ebsen played it perfectly straight, when everyone else often seemed to be trying too hard for laughs. As a result, he was perfect.

It's not the worst remake of a TV series. Not by far actually. But it can't honestly be called good either, and with the TV series being just perfect at a half hour per episode, this started to get tired even before the one hour mark had hit. There just isn't really enough meat to the Clampetts to make a movie about them. (5/10)
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Weeeeeeeeeeell doggies! Jim Varney could actually ACT!
mlevans29 May 2002
This was one I put off seeing for some time, unable to face the prospect of a new cast portraying the Beverly Hillbillies, who had been made immortal by Buddy Ebsen, Irene Ryan and Company in the 1960's. When I finally saw it – about two years after it came out, I was pleasantly surprised.

Since then I have been surprised to hear the movie slammed many times and have been even MORE surprised to realize there are people who dislike the original TV series! The movie DOES have two potential strikes against it. On one hand, classic TV aficionados like myself have trouble accepting new actors in the familiar and well-loved roles as the Hillbillies and their neighbors. On the other hand, some simply did not like the classic TV show – including a few people I USED to consider friends! (lol)

Director Penelope Spheeris, seemingly not the most likely choice to bring the legendary Hillbillies to the big screen, manages to pull off the feat. No, this is not the same cast that we grew up with and, yes, the characters are interpreted slightly different by each actor. Yet, if one can let go of the `That's not Buddy!' syndrome, one can find this a quite amusing and enjoyable film.

I have to admit that I did not look closely at the back of the box when renting it. I remembered that Lily Tomlin was in, but had forgotten that Cloris Leachman and Jim Varney were also in it. I kept thinking `I've seen the guy playing Jed somewhere!' It wasn't until the outtakes at the end, when Varney flubbs a line and gives his patented `Hey Vern' looks that I realized it was him! Let it be said that the late Jim Varney – despite the quality of some of his `Ernest' movies – could ACT! Varney proves to be a very human and very believable Jed Clampett. I wish he had received more praise for it.

The entire cast is wonderful. The only question I had when first viewing it – and one I have to re-answer each time I see it – is `Was Diedrich Bader an over-the-top dud, or did he do exactly what he set out to do – play someone with the IQ of a hamhock?' I keep coming to the conclusion that Bader succeeded in giving Spheeris what she wanted from the role. It isn't easy playing a total moron. Max Baer, Jr. had his own style as Jethro and was believable and fun to watch. Bader tends to grate on my nerves a bit; maybe he reminds me a tad too much of Jerry Lewis. He was actually funnier as Jethro's twin sister, Jethrine, further supporting my belief that he found the range he wanted for Jethro.

Everyone else was outstanding. Dabney Coleman was born to play Milburne Drysdale and fits the role at LEAST as well as Raymond Bailey. Leachman and Tomlin, meanwhile, bring their own styles to the roles of Granny and `Miss Jane' Hathaway. Both are old pros and great comediannes. Leachman has plenty of energy for the Granny role and pulls if off well. Tomlin, meanwhile, turns in one of her best performances as Miss Jane. Rather than trying to mimic the late Nancy Culp, who was a one-of-a-kind, she takes the role and runs with it. This includes some body language and character perks that make Jane Hathaway all her own.

Rounding out the cast are Erika Eleniak as Elly May, Rob Schneider as creepy bank employee Woodrow Tyler, Lea Thompson as his scheming girlfriend, Laura Jackson, and Penny Fuller as Mrs. Drysdale, along with Kevin Connolly as the Drysdale's wimpy son, Morgan. Eleniak combines Nordic good looks and athleticism to pull off a role that is probably less natural for her than it was for Donna Douglas. Schneider and Thompson get a large amount of screen time and are very good as the scheming couple. Fuller is quite good as Mrs. Drysdale, while Connolly turns in very good work as Morgan. His stunned reaction when he meets Ellie Mae (having been coerced into befriending the Clampetts' daughter, whom he assumes will be `a real bow wow') is hilarious.

One interesting aside – one of the really funny little gags when the film came out, now dates it. When a fight breaks out in the gym at the wealthy prep school Ellie Mae is attending, several girls are primping in the girls' restroom. A cell phone beeps and some dozen or so girls all grab phones, answering `Hello?' We forget how fast the cordless phone phenomenon has grown! Ten years ago it was still a sign of status and/or wealth to carry one around. That ALL the girls had their own phones (no doubt nixed nowadays in most schools' student handbooks) was a cute way of showing just how affluent and spoiled these kids were!

One highlight is the surprise guest appearance of Buddy Ebsen, the original Jed, appearing in his other major TV role, Barnaby Jones. This was an inspired idea. Dolly Pardon also has an appearance, as well as Zsa Zsa Gabor, in a hilarious cameo early-on.

Overall, I would have to say that Spheeris and her cast capture the essence of the classic sit-com and do justice to the Hillbillies. So go out and rent the movie and have yoreself a heapin' helpin' of their hospitalitee! Hillbilly style!
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A gallant attempt that falls sadly short
yenlo20 May 1999
The Beverly Hillbillies is one of the greatest TV sitcoms of all time. However this remake sadly falls way short. It may even be one of the worst films ever made. The film following it's opening sequence with Jed striking oil and then the familiar ballad goes nowhere after that. Although Jim Varney does do an admirable job as Jed Clampett. It appeared at times that every entire episode of the classic TV series was trying to be compressed into this film. The famous cast of characters from the TV series simply can not be played by any one other than the original actors and actresses i.e. No one other than Max Baer can play Jethro Bodine. Do yourself a favor and pass on this one and find the original TV series on a channel featuring reruns and enjoy those instead.
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mje2k8 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
There is a trend these days to take a simple thirty minute TV show, toss it up onto the big screen and fill it full of modern references and phrases and situations. Bewitched is a fine example of a great original TV series that went horribly wrong on the big screen. The Beverly Hillbillies was another such series that got ruined on the big screen.

The Beverly Hillbillies on TV was a sweet little comedy, with funny characters in a fish out of water situation. Even when the show went downhill later on, there was an innocence about it.

In the big screen version of The Beverly Hillbies we see such treasures as: The Clampetts are in the truck and while driving by a tree, Granny in the rocking chair, gets knocked off the truck onto the road.

The Clampetts on a Los Angeles Freeway flipping people off.

Granny gets placed in an insane asylum and stoned on God knows what, only to be rescued by Miss Hathaway, in the end we see them crashing Jed's wedding in the Clampett family truck that has somehow been rigged to look like the show vehicle, Bigfoot. Truly awful.

The Clampetts kith and kin fly to Californy and there is a rather disgusting scene where the whole family is spitting. Classy.

While the original Hillbillies was not Shakespeare by any means, the actors who created these memorable character deserve better that this piece of swill.

For some reason I actually paid for a movie ticket to see this schlock fest when it came out in movie theaters. I was appalled that the people around me were laughing their fool heads off. I felt dirty and needed a bath.
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There are some good parts in the film, but it's not worth sitting through the rest of the movie to see them.
MovieAddict20166 April 2003
"The Beverly Hillbilles" is a disappointment for two reasons: (a), it comes from Penelope Spheeris, who brought us the funny "Wayne's World," and (b), it fails miserably at catching the charm of the television show. Yet with all the negative points of the film, it still manages to come of silly in its own way; it's a bad movie, but not a particularly harmful one, on the other hand.

The late Jim Varney plays Jed Clampett, who--as all we all know--discovers some oil out in Arkansas, becomes a millionaire, and moves his family out to Beverly Hills, California. This is the excuse for some half-brained and ultimately stupid gags that sometimes become so bad it's hard to watch, yet make up for themselves when the film starts to make fun of itself.

Jim Varney fits Jed pretty well, but too many of the actors and actresses seem forced and the dialogue is reminiscent of a straight-to-television flick written by authors with Writer's Block.

Too much of the film borrows from other films we've seen before--and the gags have been done in those films about ten times better. The cast is top-o'-the-notch, co-starring the likes of Lea Thompson, Cloris Leachmen, Dolly Parton, Rob Schneider, Dabney Coleman, and even the real Buddy Ebson in a cameo.

But a cameo by Buddy Ebson cannot save a badly written film.

There really is no excuse for why this film was so bad. It had a good director, an overall good cast, a good script-writer, some good cameos, and good potential for some parody. But instead it comes off dull, recycled and misused, and ultimately a rehash of everything we've seen before, done in a childish and cartoonish way.

So, yes, there are some good parts in the film, but it's not worth sitting through the rest of the film to see them.

1.5/5 stars -

John Ulmer
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A great remake of the television classic.
buppy8 November 1998
Jim Varney, Cloris Leachman, Lea Thompson, Dabney Coleman, Lily Tomlin, Erika Eleniak, Deidrich Bader, and Rob Schneider star in this absolutely great movie. Every single moment in this movie is hilarious. Jim Varney is great as Jed Clampett who becomes a billionaire once he strikes oil and then decides to move his family to Beverly Hills. Soon Jed finds that people are trying to steal his money. This movie is really funny and features cameos by Dolly Parton, Buddy Ebsen, and Zsa Zsa Gabor. You'll laugh really hard.
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Not as bad as some make it out to be.
Andy B-812 September 1999
Derided by almost all critics I have read citing it as a truly awful film - but I thought it was reasonably funny with quite good casting.

I thought Diedrich Bader as the very dumb Jethro (and Jethrine) was the best.

Yes, it could have been alot better, but some scenes and dialogue were good enough to raise a smile.
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Stick with the TV show
soranno28 October 2002
This film adaptation of the popular TV series of the same name is just another example of why some stuff plays better on the small screen. The antics of the Clampett clan just do not gel or click with contemporary society and this overdue film version just ranks as a waste of time.
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You All Come Back Now, You Hear
aesgaard4121 February 2001
There's a lot of bad-mouthing that turning TV shows into movies is a bad idea. There has been some bad ones, Mod Squad,Avengers and Charlie's Angels to name a few, but The Beverly Hillbillies is one of the most enjoyable. Mildly typecast, Jim Varney does a great job emoting Jed Clampett while not copying Buddy Ebsen and Cloris Leachman looks so much like Irene Ryan that it's downright uncanny. Under-appreciated Erika Eleniak is one of the few actresses that could bring Elly Mae to life while Diedrech Bader (The Drew Carey Show) pulls off a fair Jethro while not exactly looking the part established by Max Baer Jr. of the big over-sized giant. Lily Tomlin and Dabney Coleman reunite from "Nine to Five" as My. Drysdale and Mrs. Hathaway. Even their old friend Dolly Parton joins them looking better than ever. Lea Thompson and Rob Scheider drag down the script as two would-be con artists, but even with them, the movie is one enjoyable ride through nostalgia as they cross paths with Buddy Ebsen as Barnaby Jones. I guess Baer and Donna Douglas were unable to do cameos or ended up on the floor in editing. Even still, the movie's a worth-see.
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