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The Beverly Hillbillies (1962)
I remember The Beverly Hillbillies from when I was a little kid, and then when I was 12 years old we had cable TV for the first time and I was able to catch it three times a day! That's when one of the stations decided to run all the episodes in their original sequence, starting from the first episode. Now Walmart has been selling Beverly Hillbillies' DVD's of 16 episodes at a time for around $10. It's a great deal, but the only drawback is that whoever puts out these DVD's didn't get the rights to use any of the opening and closing theme songs. There's plenty of good banjo playing, but no narration by Jerry Scoggins and no closing tune. Still the episodes are extremely enjoyable.
Of course some of it is cornball and dated, but this sitcom beats the pants off any current shows I've seen. Contrary to what some reviewers here have said, the Clampetts always seem to come out on top of every situation by simply being themselves. If that means they're stupid and backwards, then I'd rather be that than something else. By being themselves, decent and simple, they unintentionally expose everyone else's agenda's, phoniness, and crookedness, whether it's Mr. Drysdale's love affair with Clampett money or just some interloper trying to seduce Elly Mae, or whatever. I also find their unabashed Southern pride to be refreshing in today's stifled and overly-militant PC world. Again, they're simply being themselves. Maybe it helped that Irene Ryan was from Texas, Donna Douglas was from Louisiana, and Buddy Ebsen was from rural Illinois. I guess Max Baer was just a natural as Jethro, and he later dwelt on mainly Southern themes in his post-Jethro life as a film producer. PC or not, the show is funny!!
Jack Palance seems made for this role. As the mild mannered Henry Jekyll, Palance is subdued, allowing none of his usual acting intensity to mar the characterization. As Hyde, Palance comes alive as he does in many films, relishing his own evil (Dracula, Barrabas, Scrooge). This film's focus is not on the horrifying transformation from Jekyll to Hyde that you expect to see. In fact, you don't see the first one, and Jekyll only learns about it by people telling him what happened the night before when Hyde appeared.
The makeup for Hyde is not drastically different from Palance's own appearance; he is ugly but not hideous. In fact, he looks, dresses, and behaves like a womanizing Cary Grant on a drunken rampage. He has fun drinking and whoring and giving everyone something to talk about later, but then he begins to take over Jekyll's personality. Denholm Elliot is Devlin, Jekyll's friend and "savior".
I've only seen the Barrymore version in comparison. Barrymore is a much more monstrous Hyde, but both versions are excellent.
Palance takes the cake
The story is already told by those before me, but it is Anthony Quinn in one of his better, less full-blooded performances, to put it nicely. The real powerhouse performance in this film, however, is Jack Palance as Torvald, the gladiator from Hell. I saw this film when I was 12 years old and had never heard of Jack Palance. Well, I never forgot him after this. He scared the hell out of me. A similar thing happened that same year when I saw Lee Marvin for the first time in "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance". The scene where he viciously whips Jimmy Stewart for being a nice guy was too much. How can you even think about whipping Jimmy Stewart?