A feature adaptation of the classic television show, when nice guy redneck Jed Clampett strikes it rich when he finds black oil, and moves him and his kin to posh Beverly Hills.A feature adaptation of the classic television show, when nice guy redneck Jed Clampett strikes it rich when he finds black oil, and moves him and his kin to posh Beverly Hills.A feature adaptation of the classic television show, when nice guy redneck Jed Clampett strikes it rich when he finds black oil, and moves him and his kin to posh Beverly Hills.
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)
- Mar 2, 2013