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Tuesday, July 6, 2010


This movie is kind of like DELIVERANCE – except that Ned Beatty’s not in it (plenty of corn liquor, but no corn-holin’!) and everyone here appears to have slightly better dental work.

It’s the stirring saga of a young girl, Jennie (Shirley Mills), just on the cusp of womanhood – and how she catches the eye of her father Ira’s moonshine business partner, Jake (Warner Richmond).

Things are set up in such a way that Ira gets liquored up one night and, suspecting Jennie’s Ma of cheating on him with Jake, a fight ensues. Ma cuts Ira with a cooking knife just before she is knocked out. Jake sees the brawl and comes in to stab Ira to death while Ma is passed out. When she regains consciousness, Jake convinces Ma that it was she who killed Ira and now has something hanging over her head to make her do what Jake wants. Well, he wants Jennie.

So Ma reluctantly gives her consent to Jake to take young Jennie as his child bride (hence, the movie’s title). Jennie’s young boyfriend, Freddie (Bob Bollinger), witnesses the wedding through an open window and weeps, his little heart broken. Then he heads back home to get his shotgun.

Jake is soon ready to enjoy the traditional wedding night activity, but all of a sudden a shot comes from outside and he falls down, dead. The surprise turns out to be who the shooter is. Not Jennie, not Freddie. It wasn’t even Ma.

So, the story ends happily as Jennie and Freddie walk off from the cabin, with Freddie promising to marry her when she reaches a proper and completely womanly age.

The unintentionally hilarious part of this film starts early with a scroll after the opening credits which says that the producers of the movie do not intend to ridicule the life of mountain folks and yet almost every cliché and Hillbilly stereotype you can think of can be found here.

The name of the smiling man on the front cover of the movie box with the yellow hat is “Happy” and it is subtly hinted that he is the product of in-breeding. He’s slow, but good-hearted. His friend, Angelo (credited as “Don Barrett” but is, in actuality, Angelo Rossito, who was in Tod Browning’s “Freaks”), is a dwarf and is mistreated and manhandled by Jake a time or two. You might start getting the picture now as to who fatally wounds Jake on his wedding night.

This one may be a little hard to find, but if you don’t have to pay more than 5 bucks for it, it might be worth adding to your collection.

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