AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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I'm from Arkansas
Director: Lew Landers (Dir)
Release Date:   31 Oct 1944
Production Date:   19 Jul--early Aug 1944
Duration (in mins):   67
Duration (in feet):   6,049
Duration (in reels):   7
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Cast:   Slim Summerville (Juniper Jenkins)  
    El Brendel (Oly)  
    Iris Adrian (Doris)  
    Bruce Bennett (Bob Hamline)  
    Maude Eburne (Matilda Alden)  
    Cliff Nazarro (Willy Childs)  
    Al "Fuzzy" St. John    
    Carolina Cotton (Abby Alden)  
    Danny Jackson    
    Paul "Tiny" Newlan    
    Harry Harvey    
    Arthur Q. Bryan    
    John Hamilton    
    Douglas Wood    
    Walter Baldwin    
    Flo Bert    
  also The Pied Pipers    
    Sunshine Girls    
    Milo Twins    
  and Jimmy Wakely    

Summary: In the rural municipality of Pitchfork, Arkansas, the denizens of the town gather to acclaim Esmeralda, a sow, who has just given birth to eighteen piglets. Esmeralda's feat makes national headlines, and when theatrical promoter Willy Childs reads about it, he decides to take his troupe of showgirls to Pitchfork to capitalize on the town's notoriety. When Harry Cashin, the vice-president of the Sunshine Packing Company, sees the headlines, he dispatches his minions to discover the secret of Esmeralda's fertility. Also traveling to Pitchfork is radio star Bob Hamline and his orchestra, who have just concluded their final broadcast and are returning home for a vacation. Upon arriving in town, Willy and his girls take up residence in Matilda Alden's boardinghouse and soon learn that the town has no theater in which they can perform. Doris and the other showgirls regard the locals with contempt, and when Doris meets Bob, she assumes that he is a hillbilly. Deciding to play a practical joke on Doris, Bob instructs the other band members to dress up and pose as yokels. Soon after, the representatives of the packing company arrive in town to question Matilda, Esmeralda's owner, about the sow's habits. Suspecting the secret of her fertility lies in the mud below Matilda's land, they send samples to the lab for analysis. Although the tests reveal that the area is rich in mineral springs, Cashin's only concern is in producing pigs for profit, so he sends his representatives to buy Matilda's property for a pig farm. When the commissioner from the State Department of Agriculture comes to town to award Esmeralda a ribbon, a formal ceremony is planned and the commissioner asks Bob and his boys to entertain, much to Doris' dismay. After it is discovered that Esmeralda is missing, Matilda asks Juniper Jenkins, a champion hog caller, to summon the sow, and he agrees on condition that Matilda marry him. Matilda consents to his terms, and after Juniper starts grunting, Esmeralda comes running home. At Matilda and Juniper's wedding, Bob apologizes to Doris for deceiving her, but she refuses to forgive him and leaves the party with the packing company representatives to drink in their hotel room. After becoming inebriated, the representatives blurt out the news about the health benefits of Matilda's land, and Doris hurries to alert Bob. Matilda, meanwhile, has gone to finalize the sale of her property with Cashin's attorneys. Upon reading the deed to the land, however, the attorneys discover that because Matilda has remarried, the land reverts to her daughter Abby. At that moment, Bob and Doris burst into the office and inform Matilda about the mineral springs on her property. When the governor learns about the springs, he approaches the state legislature about turning Pitchfork into a state-sponsored health resort. To focus attention on Pitchfork, Bob decides to broadcast a show from the town. At the end of his performance, word comes that the state has decided to make Pitchfork the new spa of America, and all ends happily as Doris finally forgives Bob. 

Production Company: Kleinhert-Vershel Productions  
Distribution Company: Producers Releasing Corp.  
Director: Lew Landers (Dir)
  Raoul Pagel (Asst dir)
Producer: E. H. Kleinert (Prod)
  Irving Vershel (Prod)
Writer: Marcy Klauber (Scr)
  Joseph Carole (Scr)
  Marcy Klauber (Orig story)
Photography: Robert Pittack (Dir of photog)
  Benjamin Kline (Dir of photog)
Art Direction: F. Paul Sylos (Art dir)
Film Editor: John Link (Film ed)
Set Decoration: Glenn P. Thompson (Set dresser)
  George Bahr (Master of properties)
Music: Eddie Paul (Mus dir)
Sound: Howard J. Fogetti (Sd eng)
Production Misc: Raoul E. Pagel (Prod mgr)
Country: United States
Language: English

Music:
Songs: "I Love to Yodel," words and music by Helen Hagstrom; "You're the Hit of the Season," words and music by Lewis Bellin and Ed Dorien; "Pass the Biscuits, Mirandy," words and music by Del Porter and Carl Hoefle; "Don't Turn Me Down Little Darlin'," words and music by Harry Tobias, Zeke Canova, Judy Canova and Eddie Dean; "You Are My Sunshine" words and music by Jimmie Davis and Charles Mitchell; "Stay Away from My Heart," words and music by Johnny Marvin; "Whistlin' Down the Lane," "Yodel Mountain," "If You Can't Go Right Don't Go Wrong" and "Pitchfork Polka," composers undetermined.
Composer: Del Porter
  Lewis Bellin
  Judy Canova
  Zeke Canova
  Jimmie Davis
  Eddie Dean
  Ed Dorien
  Helen Hagstrom
  Carl Hoefle
  Johnny Marvin
  Charles Mitchell
  Harry Tobias
Source Text:

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
PRC Pictures, Inc. 15/12/1944 dd/mm/yyyy LP13010

PCA NO: 10401
Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording

 
Genre: Comedy
  Comedy
Sub-Genre: Rural
  with songs
 
Subjects (Major): Hillbillies
  Hog farmers
  Impersonation and imposture
  Pigs
  Radio performers
  Rural life
 
Subjects (Minor): Arkansas
  Deeds
  Drunkenness
  Governors
  Health resorts
  Land sales
  Lawyers
  Meatpackers and meatpacking
  Show girls
  Theatrical producers
  Vacations
  Weddings

Note: Although a HR production chart lists Ray Holbeck and His Orchestra in the cast, their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. A HR production chart credits Benjamin Kline, not Robert Pittack, as director of photography. I'm From Arkansas marked the first and only production of musical director E. H. Kleinert and theatrical producer Irving Vershel. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   28 Oct 1944.   
Daily Variety   29 Sep 44   p. 3.
The Exhibitor   18-Oct-44   
Film Daily   6 Oct 44   p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter   19 Jul 44   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   21 Jul 44   p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter   28 Jul 44   p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter   29 Sep 44   p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   7 Oct 44   p. 2130.

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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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