Colonel Effingham's Raid (January 16, 1946)
Released on February 15, 1946: (running time 1 hour and 10 minutes) A retired Army Colonel goes home to his small Georgia town and begins fighting city hall when they want to tear down the historic courthouse.
Produced by Lamar Trotti
Directed by Irving Pichel
Written by Kathryn Scola, from a novel by Berry Fleming
The Actors: Charles Coburn (Colonel Willie Seaborn Effingham), Joan Bennett (Ella Sue Dozier), William Eythe (Albert 'Al' Marbury), Allyn Joslyn (Earl Hoats, managing editor), Elizabeth Patterson (Cousin Emma), Donald Meek (Doc Buden), Frank Craven (Dewey), Thurston Hall (Ed, the mayor), Cora Witherspoon (Mrs. Clara Meigs), Emory Parnell (Joe Alsobrook), Henry Armetta (Jimmy Economy), Stephen Dunne (Professor Edward Bland), Roy Roberts (Army Captain Rampey), Carol Andrews (cafe counter waitress), Bobby Barber (man at town meeting), Oliver Blake (Bill Silk), Boyd Davis (Jesse Bibbs, banker), Robert Dudley (Pete), Edward Fielding (Mr. Clyde Manadue), Clyde Fillmore (engineer), Bess Flowers (party guest), Gus Glassmire (unknown), Sam Harris (party guest), Henry Hastings (courthouse janitor), Hallene Hill (unknown), Olin Howland (painter), Harry Humphrey (unknown), Edward Keane (Doctor Evans), Alma Kruger (Mrs. Clyde Manadue), Harold Miller (party guest), Grant Mitchell (Major Anthony T. Hickock), Frank Orth ('end of the world' man), Clinton Rosemond (servant), Nick Stewart (Ninety Eight the Orderly), Ferris Taylor (Wishum), Phil Tead (advertising manager), Charles Trowbridge (bank persident Sterling Tignor), David Vallard (reporter), Charles Wagenheim (man at town meeting), Cecil Weston (teacher at meeting), Elizabeth Williams (guest at tea)
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Georgia’s Finest, or Joan Bennett’s Legs
This comedy adventure is about the common citizen versus the established political party in small town America. . . . In real life there is no automatic right and wrong, in my humble opinion. Sometimes the established politicians are good folk helping their community in many unselfish ways . . . . Sometimes they are rogues with ulterior motives that do not serve the community that pays them.
This story is about an elderly, retired Army Colonel who served his country well, as did his father, his father’s father, and his . . . . . . Well, you get the idea. When Colonel Effingham retires to the small Georgia town of his birth after a lifetime of military service, he discovers that no one remembers him or his family. His cousin Albert has faint memories of the Colonel from his youth, but the Effingham name is not a fondly remembered name in the small town of Fredericksburg, Georgia.
The old retired Colonel still has a bit of fire in the belly and he wants to make his mark in his hometown, so he visits the small newspaper and offers to write a column in the newspaper for free. Small town economics being what they are, his offer is accepted and he begins to get a large following of readers for his writings, which stress the need for respecting the old ways and the traditions of the past. But the town leaders want to forge into the future and build a new Fredericksburg, tearing down the old and building a new, modern town. Therein lies the battle lines that the old Colonel will fight against the new town leaders.
Within this story is the story of a young girl and the Colonel’s cousin Albert. The young girl is Ella Sue, played by Joan Bennett, and the director takes special care to film close-ups of her legs, expecting us to be totally amazed. This plot line is the story of a girl who chases a fellow until he catches her, between the Colonel’s cousin Albert and Ella Sue, the society editor of the small newspaper.
While no great sociological statements are made either on the battle between preserving history and new progress, or on the ways to fall in love with a Southern girl, the story is a very pleasant time-machine taking us back into 1946 small town America. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
Charles Coburn and Elizabeth Patterson
Charles Coburn and Emory Parnell
Donald Meek and Thurston Hall
Edward Keane and William Eythe
Emory Parnell, Thurston Hall and Donald Meek
Frank Craven and Allyn Joslyn
Frank Craven, WIlliam Eythe and Joan Bennett
Joan Bennett, WIlliam Eythe and Frank Craven
Joan Bennett and William Eythe
Joan Bennett's legs
Joan Bennett's legs
Roy Roberts and WIlliam Eythe
William Eythe and Carol Andrews
William Eythe and Elizabeth Patterson