Private Snuffy Smith (January 16, 1942)
Released January 16, 1942: The cartoon character comes to life as Snuffy decides to take the Army up on their offer of free clothes, instead of dodging the revenuers after his moon shine.
Directed by Edward F. Cline
Written by Billy DeBeck, John Grey, Jack Henley, Lloyd French and Doncho Hall.
The Actors: Bob Duncan (Snuffy Smith), Edgar Kennedy (Sergeant Ed Cooper), Sarah Padden (Lowizie Smith), J. Farrell MacDonald (General Rosewater), Doris Linden (Cindy), Jimmy Dodd (Private Don Elbie), Andria Palmer (Janie), Patrick McVey (Lloyd), Frank Austin (Saul, Cindy's father), James Carlisle (Army officer), Riley Hill (Army officer), Pierce Lyden (War Games Umpire), Hart Wayne (Army Officer), Norman Willis (Revenue Agent).
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January 1942, and we are at war with both Japan and Germany. I have many movies that are intended to keep the home folks excited and incited to fight the enemy. Well . . . here is a movie that aimed to get us smiling and laughing at the silly side of the Army. Snuffy Smith was a newspaper cartoon that cartoonist Billy DeBeck penned first in 1919 and showed the funny side of the WWI Army, with the antics of moon-shining mountan man Snuffy Smith, morphing from the original comic strip that appeared on the sports pages and focused on Barney Google. Barney was a short, 'google-eyed' moustached character with a wife that was three times his size.
In this adventure, Snuffy learns that the Army will give a man all the food he can eat, and free khakis, and enough money every month to buy your smoking tobacco. Or so Private Don Elbie tells him. It sounds like heaven to Snuffy, after being hunted by the Revenuers chasing him and trying to find his moon shine still. Snuffy goes back to the Army camp with Don, and through an odd set of circumstances, the General lets him join the Army and 'manicure potatoes' as a kitchen helper. Meanwhile, Don has discovered the secret to creating an accurate gun sight that some fifth columnists want to steal for then enemy. Also, Snuffy's wife has discoverd a potion that can turn anything invisible, and when Snuffy goes to the Army, he makes his dog invisible and takes the dog with him.
Add to that the implausible circumstance that the Army is planning a training excercise, and they choose the Ozarks that Snuffy calls home. As the Army has it's training war, and the evil fifth columnists try to get Don's gun sight, the Ozarks and Snuffy's home turf become the center of action for this war time comedy. Snuffy, his wife Lowizie, Don's girlfriend Cindy, and the mountain men guarding their stills save the day in a wonderful comedy that you don't need to concentrate too much on . . . just pop some corn, grab a soda, and enjoy a slice of comedy from almost a hundred years ago