The Hoosier Schoolmaster (May 15, 1935)

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Norman Foster in The Hoosier Schoolmaster
 

Released on May 15, 1935: As the Civil War ends, a small Indiana town hires a new schoolmaster who uncovers corrupt town leaders.

Directed by Lewis D. Collins

The Actors: Norman Foster (Ralph Hartsook), Charlotte Henry (Hannah Thompson), Dorothy Libaire (Martha Means), Tommy Bupp (Shocky Thompson), Otis Harlan (Squire Hawkins), Fred Kohler Jr. (Bud Larkin), William V. Mong (Jacob Means), Russell Simpson (Doc Small), Joseph E. Bernard (Randall), Wallace Reid Jr. (Hank), George 'Gabby' Hayes (Pearson), Sarah Padden (Sarah Means), Don 'Red' Barry (Rebel soldier), Ann Bupp (school girl), George Cleveland (townsman), Henry Hall (Mr. Johnson), Lloyd Ingraham (townsman).

 

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Indiana Spelling Bee

I will be the first to admit that I'm an old fogie, as I sometimes claim, 'Older than dirt.' While most people alive today were not alive when John F. Kennedy was killed in Dallas, I can remember fifty years ago being in the seventh grade in Meadville, Pennsylvania when the teacher told us to go home because something terrible had happened. That violent time in our history when several political leaders were assassinated by madmen is still fresh in my mind. When this movie was filmed in 1935, the Civil War had only been over for 70 years, and there were still many veterans and others who watched this movie in a theater who had vivid memories of those days. In fact, I have a television game show on my tv show web site from 1956 that features a gentleman who was in the audience of the Ford Theater the night that Abraham Lincoln was killed: I've Got A Secret Game Show. The beginning of this movie shows the first days after the war, when tensions were still high between folk loyal to the Confederacy and those loyal to the Union. It is fascinating to watch people from both sides as they started living together again. But this movie is not primarily a North vs. South movie, it is a classic "wimpy schoolteacher takes on the meanest school kids in the territory" adventure. In the grand style of the television classic "Little House on the Prairie" Norman Foster becomes schoolmaster in a small Indiana town with the biggest and meanest kids in the area. He followed a group of soldiers who were promised a plot of land by the government in Indiana to begin a new life after the war. When the soldiers reached the town they discovered a very unfriendly trio of town leaders who ordered them to move on because there was no land for them. While the soldiers camped outside the town deciding what to do next, soldier Ralph Hartsook, played by Norman Foster, becomes the town's new schoolmaster, and faces not only the town bully, but the ire of the town leaders when he discovers that they have stolen all of the government land intended to be given to surviving soldiers of the war. Not only that, but he falls in love with a slave girl who is also loved by the biggest bully in town. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn and drizzle plenty of warm melted butter on it and enjoy the show.

Norman Foster and Charlotte Henry
Norman Foster and Charlotte Henry
Norman Foster as Union soldier Ralph Hartsook
Norman Foster as Union soldier Ralph Hartsook
Tommy Bupp warns Norman Foster about his first day as Schoolmaster
Tommy Bupp warns Norman Foster about his first day as Schoolmaster
Charlotte Henry, Fred Kohler Jr. and Dorothy Libaire
Charlotte Henry, Fred Kohler Jr. and Dorothy Libaire argue over Schoolmaster Ralph Hartsook
Charlotte Henry and Fred Kohler Jr.
Charlotte Henry and Fred Kohler Jr.
Charlotte Henry and Norman Foster kiss under the tree
Charlotte Henry and Norman Foster kiss under the tree
Charlotte Henry and Tommy Bupp greet the passing soldiers
Charlotte Henry and Tommy Bupp greet the passing soldiers
Charlotte Henry as Hannah Thompson, bonded girl
Charlotte Henry as Hannah Thompson, bonded girl
Charlotte Henry in The Hoosier Schoolmaster
Charlotte Henry in The Hoosier Schoolmaster
Charlotte Henry movie title screen
Charlotte Henry movie title screen
Dorothy Libaire as Martha Means
Dorothy Libaire as Martha Means
Dorothy Libaire is Martha Means in The Hoosier Schoolmaster
Dorothy Libaire is Martha Means in The Hoosier Schoolmaster
Dorothy Libaire movie credit screen
Dorothy Libaire movie credit screent
Fred Kohler Jr. as Bud Larkin, the town bully
Fred Kohler Jr. as Bud Larkin, the town bully
Fred Kohler Jr. challenges Norman Foster to a fist fight
Fred Kohler Jr. challenges Norman Foster to a fist fight
Fred Kohler Jr. as Bud Larkin in The Hoosier Schoolmaster
Fred Kohler Jr. as Bud Larkin in The Hoosier Schoolmaster
Fred Kohler Jr. leads the class in hijinks before the new schoolmaster arrives
Fred Kohler Jr. leads the class in hijinks before the new schoolmaster arrives
Fred Kohler Jr. movie credit screen
Fred Kohler Jr. movie credit screen
Fred Kohler Jr. prepares to fight Norman Foster
Fred Kohler Jr. prepares to fight Norman Foster
George 'Gabby' Hayes and Norman Foster get ready to head to Indiana in search of a new life
George 'Gabby' Hayes and Norman Foster get ready to head to Indiana in search of a new life after the war
George Cleveland and Lloyd Ingraham watch the spelling bee
George Cleveland and Lloyd Ingraham watch the spelling bee
George 'Gabby' Hayes as soldier Pearson
George 'Gabby' Hayes as soldier Pearson
Joseph E. Bernard as Reb soldier Randall
Joseph E. Bernard as Reb soldier Randall
Norman Foster meets Dorothy Libaire as William V. Mong looks on with pride
Norman Foster meets Dorothy Libaire as William V. Mong looks on with pride
Norman Foster and Dorothy Libaire in The Hoosier Schoolmaster
Norman Foster and Dorothy Libaire in The Hoosier Schoolmaster
Norman Foster meets Sarah Padden and Dorothy Libaire
Norman Foster meets Sarah Padden and Dorothy Libaire
Norman Foster as soldier Ralph Hartsook
Norman Foster as soldier Ralph Hartsook
Norman Foster meets Fred Kohler Jr. the toughest student in town
Norman Foster meets Fred Kohler Jr. the toughest student in town
Norman Foster meets Sarah Padden in The Hoosier Schoolmaster
Norman Foster meets Sarah Padden in The Hoosier Schoolmaster
Norman Foster and Tommy Bupp
Norman Foster and Tommy Bupp
Norman Foster movie credit screen
Norman Foster movie credit screen
Otis Harlan, Russell Simpson and William V. Mong as the town leaders
Otis Harlan, Russell Simpson and William V. Mong as the town leaders
Otis Harlan is Squire Hawkins in The Hoosier Schoolmaster
Otis Harlan is Squire Hawkins in The Hoosier Schoolmaster
Otis Harlan interviews new schoolmaster Ralph Hartsook
Otis Harlan, as Squire Hawkins, interviews new schoolmaster Ralph Hartsook
Otis Harlan movie title credit screen
Otis Harlan movie title credit screen
Otis Harlan warns Norman Foster
Otis Harlan warns Norman Foster
Russell Simpson and William V. Mong
Russell Simpson and William V. Mong
Russell Simpson is Doc Small in The Hoosier Schoolmaster
Russell Simpson is Doc Small in The Hoosier Schoolmaster
Sarah Padden and Charlotte Henry
Sarah Padden and Charlotte Henry
Sarah Padden gives Dorothy Libaire advice on how to catch the schoolmaster
Sarah Padden gives Dorothy Libaire advice on how to catch the schoolmaster
Sarah Padden as pipe smoking mama Sarah in The Hoosier Schoolmaster
Sarah Padden as pipe smoking mama Sarah in The Hoosier Schoolmaster
Tommy Bupp movie title credit screen
Tommy Bupp movie title credit screen
William V. Mong and Sarah Padden in The Hoosier Schoolmaster
William V. Mong and Sarah Padden in The Hoosier Schoolmaster
William V. Mong as Jacob Means in The Hoosier Schoolmaster
William V. Mong as Jacob Means in The Hoosier Schoolmaster