Aaron Slick from Punkin Crick (1952)

95 mins | Musical comedy | April 1952

Full page view
HISTORY

According to the Var review, Walter Benjamin Hare's play Aaron Slick from Punkin Crick was one of the most frequently performed plays in the history of American theater, but was staged primarily by amateur groups and stock companies. No official "opening date" has been found for the play. According to a Nov 1950 Var news item, Paramount executive Y. Frank Freeman wanted to purchase the play for the studio as early as 1938, but could not interest anyone in it. Opera star Robert Merrill (1919--2004) made his feature film debut in the picture, which also marked the last major role of singer-actress Dinah Shore. Shore made cameo appearances in two films in the 1970s. In Nov 1951, she began her successful television career, with the NBC network program The Dinah Shore Show .
       Frank W. Bering and James A. Hart, who appear in the picture as hotel clerks, were the owners of the Sherman and Ambassador hotel chain. HR news items add Bobby Lee and Frank Chalfant to the cast, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. According to a May 1951 HR news item, Larry Adler was signed to provide harmonica background music for the film, but his contribution to the final film, if any, cannot be confirmed. The song "Marshmallow Moon" became a hit prior to the film's ... More Less

According to the Var review, Walter Benjamin Hare's play Aaron Slick from Punkin Crick was one of the most frequently performed plays in the history of American theater, but was staged primarily by amateur groups and stock companies. No official "opening date" has been found for the play. According to a Nov 1950 Var news item, Paramount executive Y. Frank Freeman wanted to purchase the play for the studio as early as 1938, but could not interest anyone in it. Opera star Robert Merrill (1919--2004) made his feature film debut in the picture, which also marked the last major role of singer-actress Dinah Shore. Shore made cameo appearances in two films in the 1970s. In Nov 1951, she began her successful television career, with the NBC network program The Dinah Shore Show .
       Frank W. Bering and James A. Hart, who appear in the picture as hotel clerks, were the owners of the Sherman and Ambassador hotel chain. HR news items add Bobby Lee and Frank Chalfant to the cast, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. According to a May 1951 HR news item, Larry Adler was signed to provide harmonica background music for the film, but his contribution to the final film, if any, cannot be confirmed. The song "Marshmallow Moon" became a hit prior to the film's release. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
23 Feb 1952.
---
Daily Variety
19 Feb 52
p. 3.
Film Daily
28 Feb 52
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Apr 51
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Apr 51
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Apr 51
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Apr 51
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Apr 51
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
16 May 51
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Jun 51
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Jun 51
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Feb 52
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
23 Feb 52
pp. 1245-46.
New York Times
18 Apr 52
p. 21.
New York Times
19 Apr 52
p. 18.
Time
28 Apr 1952.
---
Variety
1 Nov 1950.
---
Variety
20 Feb 52
p. 6.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Bob Kortman
Arlyn E. Loynd
Mike P. Donovan
F. Patrick Henry
James Dundee
Craig Morland
Herbert Vigran
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2d unit dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
2d unit photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
Vocal arr
Spec orch arr
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
DANCE
Mus numbers staged by
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
PRODUCTION MISC
Asst to the prod
Dial dir
STAND INS
Double
Double
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Aaron Slick from Punkin Crick by Walter Benjamin Hare (published 1919).
SONGS
"Chores," "Why Should I Believe in Love?" "Still Water," "Step Right Up," "Soda Shop," "The General Store," "My Beloved," "Life Is a Beautiful Thing," "Saturday Night in Punkin Crick," "Marshmallow Moon," "I'd Like to Baby You," "Purt Nigh but Not Plumb" and "Will You Be Home in Heaven," music and lyrics by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans.
DETAILS
Release Date:
April 1952
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 12 April 1952
New York opening: 18 April 1952
Production Date:
mid April--mid June 1951
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
18 February 1952
Copyright Number:
LP1652
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
95
Length(in reels):
11
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
15407
SYNOPSIS

At the turn of the century, Josie Berry agrees to put up two stranded entertainers on her Midwestern farm and thrills at the prospect of meeting sophisticated city folk. Unlike her devoted but meek suitor, neighbor Aaron Slick, Josie dreams of selling her farm and seeing the world. Consequently, when one of her guests, William Merridew, expresses pleasure at being in the country, Josie tries to interest him in buying her farm. Unknown to Josie and Aaron, Merridew and his partner Gladys, whom he calls "cousin," are confidence artists and are laying low after swindling $20,000 in a land sale scheme in Chicago. Josie insists on showing Merridew and Gladys around the farm, and the "slickers" are chased into a tree by a bull. Later, Josie and Aaron head for town for their weekly night out, and Aaron leaves Josie alone in order to play his tuba in the local band. After being chastised by friends for abandoning Josie and not acting like a man, Aaron drinks some medicine show elixir to boost his nerve. He then finds Josie and, while driving her home in his buggy, kisses her. Josie is ecstatic about Aaron's romancing and starts dreaming about their wedding. Merridew and Gladys, meanwhile, have discovered oil slicks on Josie's land and, seeing their opportunity, offer to buy the farm for a modest sum. Josie is now conflicted about selling and insists on talking to Aaron and her neighbors about it. As hoped, Merridew impresses the town by singing at church, and Josie decides to sell without discussing the matter with Aaron. When Aaron learns of her plan, he becomes upset, especially after ... +


At the turn of the century, Josie Berry agrees to put up two stranded entertainers on her Midwestern farm and thrills at the prospect of meeting sophisticated city folk. Unlike her devoted but meek suitor, neighbor Aaron Slick, Josie dreams of selling her farm and seeing the world. Consequently, when one of her guests, William Merridew, expresses pleasure at being in the country, Josie tries to interest him in buying her farm. Unknown to Josie and Aaron, Merridew and his partner Gladys, whom he calls "cousin," are confidence artists and are laying low after swindling $20,000 in a land sale scheme in Chicago. Josie insists on showing Merridew and Gladys around the farm, and the "slickers" are chased into a tree by a bull. Later, Josie and Aaron head for town for their weekly night out, and Aaron leaves Josie alone in order to play his tuba in the local band. After being chastised by friends for abandoning Josie and not acting like a man, Aaron drinks some medicine show elixir to boost his nerve. He then finds Josie and, while driving her home in his buggy, kisses her. Josie is ecstatic about Aaron's romancing and starts dreaming about their wedding. Merridew and Gladys, meanwhile, have discovered oil slicks on Josie's land and, seeing their opportunity, offer to buy the farm for a modest sum. Josie is now conflicted about selling and insists on talking to Aaron and her neighbors about it. As hoped, Merridew impresses the town by singing at church, and Josie decides to sell without discussing the matter with Aaron. When Aaron learns of her plan, he becomes upset, especially after she says that she is going to use some of the sale money to finance a honeymoon in Chicago. Sure that she will not want to return to Punkin Crick once she gets a taste of Chicago, Aaron accuses Josie of plotting ways to force him to move. Outraged, Josie throws Aaron out of her house and ends their relationship. Josie's friend Mrs. Peabody chases after Aaron, and while they are walking across Josie's field, Aaron notices the oil patches and deduces Merridew's scheme. Aaron informs Mrs. Peabody that the oil came from a barrel he dropped, not the ground, and decides to help Josie by demanding more money from Merridew. Aaron bursts into Josie's house as she is about to sign a bill of sale for $2,500, and after tussling with Josie and Merridew, gets the sales price up to $20,000. That night, with Merridew's cash in hand, Josie and Mrs. Peabody leave for Chicago and check in to an expensive hotel, intending to live it up. Later, in Punkin Crick, Aaron stops by Josie's farm and glibly tells Merridew and Gladys, who have invested in an oil drill, the truth about the oil. Merridew acts nonchalant with Aaron but hops the next train to Chicago. There, Merridew meets Josie and invites her to a cabaret, hoping to retrieve some of the $20,000. Claiming to be concerned about her financial future, Merridew tries to talk Josie into investing her money with him, but she is too distracted by thoughts of Aaron to agree. Gladys then shows up at the hotel and tells Merridew that Aaron is headed for Chicago and is wise to his plans. Aaron, meanwhile, wanders into a Chicago police station and, while describing Josie to the desk sergeant, mentions Merridew. After the sergeant informs Aaron that Merridew and Gladys are wanted for fraud, Aaron goes from hotel to hotel searching for Josie and ends up in the restaurant of Josie's hotel. There, a seductive confidence woman dances with Aaron and asks him to hold her purse, then loudly accuses him of stealing $408 from her. When the hotel management discovers exactly $408 on Aaron, they threaten to call police unless he "returns" the money. Aaron does so, but immediately steals the woman's purse back and takes off. Josie, meanwhile, is confronted in her room by Merridew and Gladys, who accuse her of tricking them into buying her worthless land. Just as Josie is about to hand over the remaining $16,000, Aaron, who is being chased by hotel detectives, stumbles into the room. Aaron exposes Merridew and Gladys as crooks, but offers to let them go free if Merridew switches coats with him. Unsuspecting, Merridew agrees and after Aaron shoves the thief's empty purse into his hand, he and Gladys step into the hall, where Merridew is mistaken for Aaron and pursued. Later, Josie and Mrs. Peabody return to Punkin Crick, but Aaron does not feel comfortable around the "fancy" Josie. Desperate to convince him she has not changed, Josie imbibes a bottle of elixir from Merridew and Gladys' new medicine show and gives the startled Aaron a big kiss. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

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.