Doctor Christian in Remedy for Riches (1940)
Released on November 29, 1940: (running time 66 minutes) Doctor Christian exposes a confidence man who is trying to fleece the good people of River's End.
Produced by William Stephens
Directed by Erle C. Kenton
Written by Lee Loeb
The Actors: Jean Hersholt (Doctor Paul Christian), Dorothy Lovett (Judy Price), Edgar Kennedy (George Browning, merchant), Maude Eburne (Mrs. Hastings, Dr. Christian's housekeeper), Walter Catlett (Clem, goofy policeman), Robert Baldwin (Roy Davis, druggist), Warren Hull (Tom Stewart), Jed Prouty (Mr. Emerson, phony geologist), Margaret McWade (Gertrude Purdy, old maid), Hallene Hill (Abby Purdy, old maid), Renie Riano (Mrs. Gattle, stingy shopper), Barry Macollum (Harvey Manning, real geologist), Lester Sharpe (Eddie, horse race gambler aka D.B. Vanderveer), Prudence Penny (Prudence Penny, cook book author), Phil Arnold (townsman), Stanley Blystone (Police Captain Jeff), Frank Coghlan Jr. (Bud, drug store clerk), 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 in squad car)
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Chicken Feathers and Oil Well Stock
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 feather fuzz that was 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 feel-good story 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 fellow that they have a very difficult time when they try to kill the chicken.
Along with the rest of the town, they become convinced that there is oil on a patch of land near the city dump, and all the citizens of Rivers End rush to give the promoters all of their cash for a piece of the action. Of course, the men selling the shares of the oil venture are crooks, and it will take the ingenuity of Doctor Christian to save the town from the confidence men. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
P.S. - When this movie was in theaters, actor Don Knotts was sixteen years old. I wonder if he saw the movie, and later remembered actor Walter Catlett as Clem, the goofy small town policeman. . . .
Dick Rush and Edward Hearn
Edgar Kennedy and Renie Riano
Edgar Kennedy and Robert Baldwin
Edward Kennedy and Warren Hull
Frank Coghlan Jr.
Hallene Hill and Margaret McWade
Jean Hersholt and Dorothy Lovett
Jean Hersholt and Robert Baldwin
Jean Hersholt and Warren Hull
Jean Hersholt tastes the cake
Jean Hersholt and Robert Baldwin
Margaret McWade and Hallene Hill
Prudence Penny and Sumner Getchell
Robert Baldwin and Dorothy Lovett
Walter Catlett and Edgar Kennedy