AFI Catalog of Feature Films
Movie Detail
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Goin' to Town
Director: Leslie Goodwins (Dir)
Release Date:   1944
Premiere Information:   New York opening: Sep 1944
Production Date:   began 28 Apr 1944
Duration (in mins):   69-70
Duration (in feet):   6,180
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Cast:   Lum (Lum Edwards)  
    Abner (Abner Peabody)  
    Barbara Hale (Sally)  
    Florence Lake (Abigail)  
    Grady Sutton (Cedric)  
    Dick Elliott (Squire)  
    N. T. G. (Themselves) and his Hollywood Beauties
    Herbert Rawlinson (Wentworth)  
    Dick Baldwin (Jimmy Benton)  
    Ernie Adams (Zeke)  
    Jack Rice (Clarke)  
    Sam Flint (Dr. Crane)  
    Andrew Tombes (M. A. Parker)  
    George Chandler (Jameson)  
    Ruth Lee (Mrs. Wentworth)  
    Danny Duncan (Grandpappy Spears)  
    Marietta Canty (Camelia)  

Summary: While stranded in the small town of Pine Ridge, M. A. Parker, who purports to be an oil tycoon, visits the general store owned by Lum Edwards and Abner Peabody, and offers them $20,000 in cash for their property. Though Parker stirs the town's interest by using a fake divining rod to prove that there is oil in Pine Ridge, Lum believes that Parker is trying to underbid them, and sends a warning to Pine Ridge land owners not to sell to him. Among those taking heed of Lum's warning is Abigail, who has been in love with Lum for many years and wants to marry him. Leading the effort to exploit the town's supposed oil reserves, Lum organizes the Pine Ridge Oil and Development Co. and holds a town meeting to persuade the residents to begin drilling the oil themselves. Lum succeeds in getting the townspeople to pool their property and mortgage it for money to build the first oil well, and a ceremony is held to commemorate its opening. Attired in raincoats to guard against spewing oil, the entire town anxiously awaits the explosion that promises to bring the oil gush. The explosion, however, results in nothing more than disappointment, as it is quickly determined that there is no oil to be found below the surface. The development company digs deeper and deeper for oil, and eventually goes broke. Hoping to get an investment from the man who started the Pine Ridge oil craze, Lum and Abner go to Chicago to meet with Parker. At Parker's office, Jimmy Benton, an employee of Parker's chief competitor, overhears Lum and Abner discuss the oil at Park Ridge. Intent on beating Parker to the oil boom, Jimmy rushes to get in on the Park Ridge deal. Jimmy makes the Pine Ridge storekeepers a lucrative offer for their land, but his offer is bettered by Mr. Clarke, Parker's partner, who is not aware that the Park Ridge oil boom is a hoax. Returning to Park Ridge with more money than the town invested in the oil scheme, Lum and Abner pay back the residents, and Parker is left holding the deed to worthless land. 

Production Company: Jack Wm. Votion Productions, Inc.  
Production Text: A Jack Wm. Votion Production
Distribution Company: RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.  
Director: Leslie Goodwins (Dir)
  John E. Burch (Asst dir)
Producer: Martin Eisenberg (Prod exec)
  Frank Melford (Prod)
Writer: Charles E. Roberts (Orig scr)
  Charles R. Marion (Orig scr)
Photography: Robert Pittack (Dir of photog)
Art Direction: Alfred C. Ybarra (Art dir)
Film Editor: Pete Fritch (Film ed)
Music: Lud Gluskin (Mus dir)
Sound: Percy Townsend (Sd rec)
Dance: Paul Oscard (Dance dir)
Country: United States

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Jack Wm. Votion Productions, Inc. 30/9/1944 dd/mm/yyyy LP12913

PCA NO: 10177
Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: RCA Sound System

 
Genre: Comedy
Sub-Genre: Rural
 
Subjects (Major): Fraud
  Land rights
  Oil tycoons
  Small town life
  Storekeepers
 
Subjects (Minor): Bankruptcy
  Business competition
  Chicago (IL)
  City-country contrast
  Dancers
  Explosions
  Foreclosure
  Maids
  Mortgages
  Nightclubs
  Oil
  Partnership
  Romance

Note: In onscreen credits, Chester Lauck, who plays "Lum Edwards," and Norris Goff, who plays "Abner Peabody" are listed only as their fictional radio characters "Lum" and "Abner." Although the character played by Barbara Hale is listed as "Betty" in Var , the film's cutting continuity lists her as "Sally." An Apr 1944 HR news item places actor Vic Potel in the cast, but his appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   30 Sep 1944.   
Daily Variety   20 Sep 44   p. 4.
Film Daily   29 Sep 44   p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter   28 Apr 44   p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter   20 Sep 44   p. 8.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   23 Sep 44   p. 2111.
Variety   17 Sep 44   p. 14.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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