Film Review of Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay!: A Flirtatious Farmgirl, a Hard-working Hunk, and Two Magnificent Mules in Rural Southern New Jersey
A farmboy endures absent parents and present stepfamilies. But he finds his stepbrother his rival for a farmer’s daughter and goodwill. Happy outcomes may depend upon how fast he gets two stubborn mules trained in the movie “Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay!”
Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! is a Cinderella/comedy film by writer/director Frederick Hugh Herbert and producer Walter Morosco. Responsibility for cinematography, editing, and music is by Ernest Palmer, J. Watson Webb Jr., and Cyril J. Mockridge. The production studio is the distributor, 20th Century Fox, with Technicolor.
The film is based upon the same-named novel by George Agnew Chamberlain (1879-1966). It lasts 95 minutes. It premiered on March 11, 1948 in Sedalia, Kansas. It was released on April 14, 1948.
The film begins with the break-up of the Dominys. Milt (Henry Hull) escapes second wife Judith (Anne Revere) and son Stretch (Robert Karnes) by going to sea. First, he has neighbors Robert “Roarer” McGill (Tom Tully) and Tony Maule (Walter Brennan) notarize his will. He leaves everything to son Daniel (Lon McCallister), nicknamed “Snug”.
Snug attempts to save the Dominy farm by working for Roarer. Roarer buys two mules. Crowder and Moonbeam do not like to be driven. Snug offers $260 (including a $20 down-payment) for them. Roarer repossesses with one non-payment within the 12-month installment plan.
Tony draws upon a mule-training youth. He gets the mules responsive to “scudda hoo” (“left”) and “scudda hay” (“right”) commands. He persuades logging camp foreman Mike Malone (G. Pat Collins) to hire Snug once the mules can pull heavy logs.
Roarer’s younger daughter Eufraznee (Natalie Wood), nicknamed “Bean”, becomes Snug’s confidante. Roarer’s older daughter Rad (June Haver) becomes his girlfriend. But flirtatious Rad resents Snug’s mules. She reveals Snug’s logging ambitions to Stretch. Stretch tells Roarer that he will beat up Snug. Roarer then will fire Snug and reclaim the mules.
Snug beats Stretch. He gets fired by Roarer and hired by Mike. But Tony spends all Snug’s earnings on drink.
Roarer asks Sheriff Tod Bursom (Ken Christy) to repossess the mules. Roarer’s wife Lucy (Geraldine Wall) gives Snug the money. After paying Roarer, Snug learns of Milt’s death.
Snug arranges with Tony to get Judge Stillwell (Tom Moore) and Tod to evict Judith and Stretch. Stretch attempts to maim the mules with wire trapping. Crowder almost crushes Stretch, whom Snug rescues.
The film ends with Rad, Snug and Tony finding Roarer’s tractor mud-mired and Snug orchestrating a rescue upon Roarer’s promise to approve him as a son-in-law and cancel the debt.
Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! is memorable in film history for Marilyn Monroe’s (1926-1962) brief appearances. She is seen as a blue pinafore-dressed church-goer and a canoe-paddler. She speaks one line, “Hello, Rad”, outside the church.
Copyright: Thursday, August 16, 2012 by Derdriu