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  • lotsafun9 November 2005
    I recently watched The Kettles In The Ozarks with my family and we had a wonderful time! This was the ninth movie in the Kettle series and I went in to it wondering how they were going to come up with anything novel in the ninth film of the series. Fortunately there are indeed some funny moments in this one and it's pretty darn good for a part nine. It certainly made us smile. The Kettles in the Ozarks is really an enjoyable little movie with plenty of cute, charming, and funny moments. I laughed out loud quite a few times. Pa's brother is a hoot and the inebriated animals made me almost bust a gut! No it's not an artistic masterpiece, but it is darn fun!
  • bkoganbing19 April 2014
    After Percy Kilbride retired Universal Pictures tried to keep the Ma and Pa Kettle series going with just Marjorie Main. Here she teamed up with Arthur Hunnicutt, another actor known for playing rustics. Hunnicutt plays Uncle Sedge who is Kilbride's brother as Ma takes the kids to help out Hunnicutt in The Kettles In The Ozarks.

    Hunnicutt has certainly got the Kettle work ethic down completely. He even has a couple of Indians to help on the farm just like Percy does. And he also does supervision from a hammock as Percy does. What he hasn't is a wife and 15 kids. But he does have Una Merkel who has an engagement to him longer than Adelaide had with Nathan Detroit.

    Ted DeCorsia and Sid Tomack and associates want to rent Hunnicutt's barn and he's not above some easy money. Kind of a preposterous plot takes shape here. These are city slicker gangsters who want to make moonshine so they go to the Ozarks to do it. As they're horning in on the local illegal trade it gets a bit sticky for them and I do mean literally.

    The film is more silly than funny at times though it has some good laughs. Those inebriated animals who get into the mash are a hoot. Hunnicutt and Main work well together, but the Kettle public just would not accept a substitute for Percy Kilbride.

    Still Kettle fans will like it now.
  • Universal Studios chose to make two Ma and Pa Kettle films even after Pa (Percy Kilbride) retired and refused to make any more. This is a testament both to the popularity of this genial series as well as an indicator of just how stupid some studio execs can be!! Frankly, after I watched the previous Kettle film, "Ma and Pa Kettle in Waikiki", I think Kilbride was smart to get out. The series had obviously jumped the shark and was trying really strange plots that indicated it had seen better days.

    Considering there is no Pa, this film is about as good as you can expect. Instead of Pa, Ma and the kids go to the Ozarks to spent time with Pa's brother, Sedge. Now if you think about it, however, why wouldn't Pa go with the kids to see his brother and leave Ma at home to watch the farm?

    When Ma and her brood arrive, they find a heap of problems. First, Sedge is about ready to lose the farm. After all, he's super-lazy just like Pa. Second, when he comes up with a scheme to make money, it blows up in his face because the folks paying him for his corn crop and to use his barn want to do this because they are gangsters making moonshine! Third, after dating for 20 years, Sedge's girlfriend is about ready to walk! Can Ma held lazy old Sedge to straighten out all these messes?

    Sedge and his lady friend were fine characters and would have been welcome IF they would have been introduced in addition to keeping Pa. But again and again, I was annoyed to hear characters say "Wow, Sedge....you're just like Pa"...as if they were trying to convince the audience that he was an adequate replacement. Additionally, the problem with the crooks and how it got worked out with taffy was a bit dopey. Still, harmless and entertaining.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Where Percy Kilbride was for this outing I'll never know (does somebody know?). The humour is at best forced. I suppose as they were nearing the end of the series, ideas were running low.

    Here's a bit of a *spoiler*, but why the heck would there be bootleggers in 1956 making illegal sourmash corn whiskey when real whiskey most likely was selling for almost the same price as kool-aid back then?

    Maybe I'm just picky, but the choice of bad guys and their money making scheme seems a little thin. I realise it is a comedy, but the Three Stooges or Abbott and Costello, at their worst, were far more entertaining than this poor excuse for a comedy! Certainly, this picture is not up to par with some of their more humorous, earlier pictures. A four out of ten at best!
  • "Ozarks" opens with the Kettle family making a scene in the train station... and the slapstick comedy and antics continue when they finally get on the train. The Kettles, minus Pa, are on their way to visit Pa's brother in the Ozarks. This was the second-to-last episode in the collection. Keep an eye out for big stars Richard Deacon (was Mel Cooley on D.V.Dyke Show) as Big Trout, the Indian, and Una Merkel, (old time movie star) is Bedelia Baines. A twelve year old Bonnie Franklin (the Mom on One Day at a Time) is even in here as Betty ! About halfway through, we are introduced to the "bad guys", who are planning some sort of caper. Things move a little more slowly in this adventure... it was getting a little tired by this time. Ma Kettle yells "Come and Get it !" every few minutes, scaring the daylights out of everyone around. It's a pleasant mix of pratfalls and jokes. Fun running gag of a boot-wearing goose. Also a funny scene where all the farm animals get drunk...they probably wouldn't be allowed to make that scene today. This was the first one without Pa (Percy Kilbride), but Ma reads letters from him a couple times. Directed by Charles Lamont, who had directed about half of the "Kettle " films. He also worked with the Three Stooges, as well as Abbott and Costello, so he certainly worked with the Pros!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This isn't the first time I've seen a group of drunken farm animals on screen getting frisky or acting whacked out. That's because, in this case, they've gotten into the hooch kept hidden in Uncle Kettle's barn by bootleggers (post-prohibition!) who don't realize what they are up against when Ma Kettle and 13 of her 16 kids show up in the hills to help Pa's brother (Parker Fennelly) pay off his mortgage and get together with his lady love (Una Merkel). Pa is missing in this one, Percy Kilbride having retired. But Ma (Marjorie Main) is still as full of vinegar as always, reuniting her brother-in-law with the locals whom he mistakenly feels are snubbing him, then dealing with the city folk who think that mountain folk are fools. There are lots of funny gags (such as Ma's ordeal in a train station because of their cat-chasing pooch, and the aforementioned drunken animals), but I swear I've seen many of them in previous installments. (This was my first viewing of this entry.) But these flaws are minor; The film is fast moving and filled with irony (Fennelly being almost identical to Pa in every mannerism, including the Native American pals), but it is obvious that the writers were beginning to stretch their ideas rather thin.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Copyright 1955 by Universal Pictures Co., Inc. A Universal-International picture. No New York opening. U.S. release: April 1956. U.K. release through J. Arthur Rank Film Distributors: November 1955. Australian release: 9 March 1956. 7,253 feet. 81 minutes. Cut to 71 minutes in Australia so that it could easily fit on the lower half of a double bill.

    SYNOPSIS: Ma Kettle and thirteen of her sixteen children visit her lazy brother-in-law's rundown farm in the Ozarks.

    NOTES: Ninth of Universal's ten-picture Ma and Pa Kettle series. Percy Kilbride by this time was heartily sick of playing Pa. Minor injuries received in an auto accident gave him a good excuse to bow out of the series. He retired permanently from the screen and even refused $1 million to appear in a TV version of the Kettles. Ironically he was killed in December 1964 when struck by a car whilst crossing the street.

    COMMENT: This attempt to get by without Pa is not overly successful. Not only is Kilbride sadly missed, but the scriptwriter injudiciously calls our attention to his absence on no less than three occasions including two long letters which Ma Main reads. As might be expected, Miss Main carries the whole burden of this entry. Hunnicutt has no personality and is even outclassed by a goose wearing galoshes. Exaggerated slapstick abounds. But the movie signally lacks wit and charm. Heavy-handed direction and meat-axe film editing don't help.

    Miss Main was determined to continue the series without Kilbride. "I'd stand on my head to make people laugh," she said at the time. "That's all I have to live for. I don't want to retire." Unfortunately, the popularity of the series was now on the wane. Never highly regarded by the critics who found the cornball slapstick tedious and the lack of production values irritating, the Kettle movies were now upstaged by a host of TV imitators such as The Real McCoys, The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres and Petticoat Junction.

    OTHER VIEWS: About the only claim to fame this entry can muster is the presence of that personable stuntman Dave O'Brien (the perennial fall-guy of Pete Smith Specialties) as a Kettle-kids-harassed train conductor. These sequences occur quite early in the film. If you think this railroad slapstick embarrassingly inept, be warned it's all downhill from there. And to think that producer Richard Wilson, a long-time associate of Orson Welles, was assistant director on Citizen Kane and an associate producer of The Lady from Shanghai.