Doctor Christian in Remedy for Riches (1940)
Released on November 29, 1940: This time Doctor Christian exposes a fraudulent land speculator who is trying to fleece the good people of River's End in this small town comedy.
Directed by Erle C. Kenton
Written by Lee Loeb.
The Actors: Jean Hersholt (Doctor Paul Christian), Dorothy Lovett (Judy Price), Edgar Kennedy (George Browning), Maude Eburne (Mrs. Hastings), Walter Catlett (Clem), Robert Baldwin (Roy Davis), Warren Hull (Tom Stewart), Jed Prouty (D.B. Emerson Vanderveer), Margaret McWade (Gertrude Purdy), Hallene Hill (Abby Purdy), Renie Riano (Mrs. Gattle), Barry Macollum (Harvey Manning), Lester Sharpe (Eddie), Prudence Penny (Prudence Penny), Phil Arnold (townsman), Stanley Blystone (Police Captain Jeff), Frank Coghlan Jr. (Bud), Sumner Getchell (first hotel clerk), Grace Hayle (investor in line), Edward Hearn (Police Patrolman-driver), Tom Herbert (second hotel clerk), Jack O'Shea (townsman at oil strike), Dick Rush (Police Patrolman).
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The first nine years of my life were spent in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania at 304 S. Main Street, where dad had a chicken coop in the back yard attached to the garage. Dad was raised on a farm, and as an adult kept many of his farm ways, even though he was a preacher. We had a tree stump in the back yard near the big apple tree, and this was the place where dad would kill a chicken for Sunday dinner. I can remember him holding the chicken's head and neck over that tree stump and chopping the head off quickly with a sharp hatchet. The amazing thing came next. As dad was holding the severed head, the chicken would lurch away from the tree stump and with only a short neck and body, run around the yard aimlessly until it finally gave up the ghost. Another memory from those chicken days was mom holding the plucked chicken body over the stove. After removing all of the guts and the big feathers, there were still small feathers that were difficult to pull out, so mom would turn on the burner on the gas stove and hold the plucked chicken over the flame to burn away the last of the small feathers. The smell of burning chicken flesh and feathers is a unique smell that I can still imagine as if it were yesterday. In this lovingly wonderful movie about small town River's End two old maids get a live chicken that they intend to cook for Dr. Christian, but become so attached to the little critter that they have a very difficult time killing the chicken to make their fried chicken dinner. Heh . . . . no wonder that they are still old maids . . .
When a slick fellow from Chicago passes through River's End, he discovers that the fellow in the drug store is an old college pal. The slick Chicago guy says that he builds resort hotels now, and the townsfolk want him to build his next resort in little River's End. All looks good until one of the workmen clearing the land discovers some oil . . . and now it looks like the town can get rich if they all invest with the slick Chicago fellow so that oil wells can be dug. Of course, if it looks too good to be true . . . it probably is, but Dr. Christian is the only person in town that is suspicious. Everyone in town is falling over themselves to put their savings into the slick Chicago fellow's hot hands, and it looks like the town will get fleeced before the fellow disappears into the night . . . unless Dr. Christian can come to the rescue with a Remedy for Riches. If you are a fan of the old tv shows like The Waltons, this movie is just what the Doctor ordered, so grab your white kernel popcorn and spend the next hour in River's End with Doctor Christian.