So This Is Washington (1943)

64 mins | Comedy | 1943

Director:

Ray McCarey

Producer:

Ben Hersh

Cinematographer:

Harry Wild

Production Designer:

Hans Peters

Production Company:

Jack Wm. Votion Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Dollar a Year Man . The names of Chester Lauck and Norris Goff do not appear on the screen. They are credited instead as "Lum and Abner." Although a HR production chart places Jimmy Dodd in the cast, his appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. This picture was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Sound Recording. According to a memo from the War Department Office of Censorship, contained in NARS, the War Department forbade RKO to export this film because it ridiculed rationing, disparaged national legislators and made fun of a high-ranking Army doctor. For additional information on the "Lum and Abner" series, please consult the Series Index and see the entry for Dreaming Out Loud in the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; ... More Less

The working title of this film was Dollar a Year Man . The names of Chester Lauck and Norris Goff do not appear on the screen. They are credited instead as "Lum and Abner." Although a HR production chart places Jimmy Dodd in the cast, his appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. This picture was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Sound Recording. According to a memo from the War Department Office of Censorship, contained in NARS, the War Department forbade RKO to export this film because it ridiculed rationing, disparaged national legislators and made fun of a high-ranking Army doctor. For additional information on the "Lum and Abner" series, please consult the Series Index and see the entry for Dreaming Out Loud in the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.1128. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
28 Aug 1943.
---
Daily Variety
17 Aug 43
p. 3.
Film Daily
20 Aug 43
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Jun 43
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Jun 43
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Jun 43
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Aug 43
p. 4.
Motion Picture Herald
21 Aug 1943.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
21 Aug 43
p. 1495.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
25 Sep 43
p. 1558.
Variety
18 Aug 43
p. 26.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Dial dir
PRODUCER
Prod
WRITERS
Orig story
Orig story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Set dressing
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
DETAILS
Series:
Alternate Title:
Dollar a Year Man
Production Date:
16 June--late June 1943
Copyright Claimant:
Jack Wm. Votion Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
8 September 1943
Copyright Number:
LP12321
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
64
Length(in feet):
5,763
Country:
United States
PCA No:
9512
SYNOPSIS

When Abner Peabody, the proprietor of the Jot 'Em Down general store in Pine Ridge, Arkansas, hears a radio appeal by Chester Marshall, the head of the Civilian Aid in War Effort Board, asking for the "common man" to develop new ideas and inventions, Abner sets up a chemistry lab in the store's basement and begins to experiment. When Abner discovers a formula for synthetic rubber, his partner, Lum Edwards, suggests that they travel to Washington, D.C., to personally present the compound to Marshall. Upon arriving in the nation's capital, Lum and Abner find that the city is plagued by an acute housing shortage, and consequently, when a stranger in the park offers to rent them a room for the night, they readily accept. The man guides them to their lodgings in the dark, and upon awakening the next morning, they discover that they are sleeping in the bedroom display of a department store window. After being ushered out of the window and into the store by the irate manager, Lum and Abner meet their old friend, newspaper columnist Robert Blevine, who is shopping at the store. Robert invites the two to stay at his house, and escorts them to Marshall's office, where thousands of citizens have come in answer to the appeal. At the office, Marshall's secretary, Jane Nestor, chides Robert for criticizing her boss in his column and refuses his dinner invitation. While waiting for an appointment to see Marshall, Lum and Abner tour the national monuments. Tired after a day of sight seeing, the pair rest on a bench in the park. When Lum overhears a senator ... +


When Abner Peabody, the proprietor of the Jot 'Em Down general store in Pine Ridge, Arkansas, hears a radio appeal by Chester Marshall, the head of the Civilian Aid in War Effort Board, asking for the "common man" to develop new ideas and inventions, Abner sets up a chemistry lab in the store's basement and begins to experiment. When Abner discovers a formula for synthetic rubber, his partner, Lum Edwards, suggests that they travel to Washington, D.C., to personally present the compound to Marshall. Upon arriving in the nation's capital, Lum and Abner find that the city is plagued by an acute housing shortage, and consequently, when a stranger in the park offers to rent them a room for the night, they readily accept. The man guides them to their lodgings in the dark, and upon awakening the next morning, they discover that they are sleeping in the bedroom display of a department store window. After being ushered out of the window and into the store by the irate manager, Lum and Abner meet their old friend, newspaper columnist Robert Blevine, who is shopping at the store. Robert invites the two to stay at his house, and escorts them to Marshall's office, where thousands of citizens have come in answer to the appeal. At the office, Marshall's secretary, Jane Nestor, chides Robert for criticizing her boss in his column and refuses his dinner invitation. While waiting for an appointment to see Marshall, Lum and Abner tour the national monuments. Tired after a day of sight seeing, the pair rest on a bench in the park. When Lum overhears a senator discussing the problem of drought in his state, he suggests using worms to enrich the soil. Next, Lum advises a congressman about how to keep the small-town population of his district from migrating to the city. Word of Lum and Abner's homespun wisdom sweeps through Washington, and soon the city is flocking to the park bench to consult with the country sages. When Marshall appears at their park bench, Lum and Abner show him their synthetic rubber invention, and he calls a press conference to announce the discovery. At the conference, Abner is in the process of reproducing his compound when a statue topples and hits him over the head, inducing amnesia. When Abner forgets his formula and thinks that he is a "hep cat," the press ridicules Marshall. After the government tells Marshall that he must produce the formula in seven days or resign his post, he joins Lum and Abner as they return to Pine Ridge. On the final day of the government's ultimatum, Abner's memory is restored when he bumps his head on a shelf. Soon after, Jane arrives from Washington with news that government scientists have determined that Abner's formula is a compound for synthetic asphalt, not rubber. For their valuable contribution to the war effort, Lum and Abner are then appointed to head an advisory committee on farm problems, vindicating Marshall's faith in the common man. +

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

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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.