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  • I remember Judy Canova on radio and the silver screen and she came across on the radio much better than she did on the screen. Her radio programs had more comedy situations in a thirty minute program than in an hour and a half movie. In longer movies the comedy aspect in her character seems to wane. The singing is always the greatest, and in this movie, I wish she had sung more of her popular numbers of the 1940s. "You Are My Sunshine" would have been great in this movie.

    Her Western movies were much better than this example of a movie with a misleading title that can be confused with a former Shreveport, LA, country music program that competed for awhile with the Grand Ole Opry.

    Nevertheless, Judy was a comedian with perfect timing, although totally country in the movie 'Louisiana Hayride,' which has its ups and downs with some questionable movie producers who are trying to make a fast buck on bumpkin Judy who has been given some lease money on her land that is producing oil. The 'Hollywood Studio' is simply a pawn shop where the shysters often take their loot, and is not a producing movie studio.

    The plot for this movie is almost a dead-ringer for the TV series 'The Beverly Hilbillies: backwoods people with oil money go to Hollywood to make the big time and be taken advantage of. The only character missing is that of Jed Clampett. Judy's mother could have been Granny, Judy might have been Ellie Mae, and Judy's brother could be Jethro. I wonder if the writers for 'The Beverly Hillbillies' saw 'Louisiana Hayride' and got the idea for a TV series from it.

    All in all, it was fun to catch Judy Canova on the screen again, but there are better performances out there that should be given some air time.

    The voting tally for this movie was a mere six before the movie was shown recently, but has now jumped to seventeen, so there are a few old-timers out there that cared enough to see Judy again. TCM, just give us more, please. Judy is an interesting diversion.
  • Naming the film after the well-known tune and yet neglecting to include it in the movie is one of several missteps perpetrated in this weak entry in the corn fed Judy Canova oeuvre. In this precursor to any number of episodes from "The Beverly Hillbillies," "Gomer Pyle," "Petticoat Junction," or "Green Acres," Judy Canova plays an oil rich hillbilly targeted by a couple of big-city grifters who convince her that they are a pair Hollywood producers eager to make her into a star. Thinking she is investing in her own career, the trusting bumpkin willingly finances the entire endeavor out of her millions and high-tails it to La-La Land with family in tow.

    What follows next stumbles down a familiar path that is as predictable as it is unfunny. The only surprise evident is in discovering how many opportunities are lost for comic Hollywood satire and fish-out-of-water mix-ups. Still, Canova is, as ever, a charming and energetic performer who is always better than her material. Though there are few laughs to be had, Canova does get to sing (rather nicely) several undistinguished original songs along with a few recognizable standards.

    Canova is seen to better advantage in many other films (my favorite, 1941's "Sis Hopkins") and her stock hillbilly character seems to have been the inspiration for Carol Burnett's "Ozark Annie" from the TV series "Get Smart." Folks who think Judy Canova was perhaps a one-trick pony should seek out the "Party Line" episode of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" where she shines in an unsympathetic dramatic role.
  • Louisiana Hayride finds Judy Canova and her hillbilly family being taken advantage of by a pair of sharpies, Richard Lane and George McKay. They convince the hillbilly thrush they're a pair of movie producers who are in love with their talent. But in fact they're in love with the new wealth that this hillbilly family has when they are paid for drilling rights. Sounds like another hillbilly family that made a fortune in oil.

    The problem for the conmen is that they have to keep up an expensive front with this particular game, especially when they arrive in Hollywood. Bellboy and future producer himself Ross Hunter recognizes these two grifters for what they are persuades a friend, Lloyd Bridges, to in turn fleece them. Seems like Ross is sweet on that little hillbilly gal.

    I was hoping to hear the Arthur Schwartz-Howard Dietz classic from which this film takes its title. I thought it would have been perfect for Canova and her style. Instead Kim Gannon and Walter Kent wrote two songs for Judy to sing, nothing in their that's Academy Award material.

    Minerva Urecal as Judy's mom and Matt Willis as her shotgun totin' brother are also on the scene. And Hobart Cavanaugh who Minerva gets a little sweet on, proves to be the savior for her family.

    Louisiana Hayride despite not having the song used is a pleasant enough film and typical of the roles Judy Canova played. She was a big star in red state America of the day.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Five years before that other Judy (Garland) sang a barbershop choir version of "Put Your Arms Around Me, Honey" in "In the Good Old Summertime", that other singin' Judy yodeled it in this Columbia B musical in a way that is just as memorable as Garland's. She also yodels "Shortnin' Bread" in a manner that Ethel Mae Potter would envy. The film itself is enjoyable fluff, another variation of "The Butter and Egg Man" which had multiple versions at Warner Brothers. Those expecting the song that Nanette Fabray sang in "The Band Wagon", will be disappointed.

    Canova is a motor lodge owner who is conned into turning over $3000 to two fast talking shysters (Richard Lane and Matt Willis) whom she follows to Hollywood in an effort to break into the movies, leading them to rent out offices on poverty row. But utilizing an ambitious bellboy (a very young Ross Hunter in his pre-producing days) puts a con on the con-men, as does the presence of a supposed Broadway investor who begins courting Canova's Marjorie Main like mother (Minerva Urecal). Hobart Cavanaugh, as Judy's brother, has a few corny moments doing animal sounds. It's an entertaining, if somewhat corny, light-hearted musical comedy with a few unresolved issues but plenty of laughs, some great musical numbers (including one Canova sings on a train) and a terrific cast.