Making the Grades
Based on the 1960's television series, the Beverly Hillbillies joins the list of television show ideas put into movie form for the 30 plus crowd that want to relieve the "past." There really is no need to outline the idea, everyone except the most recluse members of society (hillbillies, perhaps?) are aware of principle. The movie doesn't vary far from the average Hillbillies episode in character development or quality. Where it does wander, is in the area of sexual innuendo, providing situations that 1960's network executives would have chopped faster than Grannie's coleslaw.
Really, the sexual innuendo in this movie would be looked upon as average by today's public. However, when jokes and remarks are put into the same scene as the Hillbilly characters, you suddenly realize how much of this stuff we have become accustomed to tolerating in our entertainment. It would be like taking what you thought was a fast Model T, and putting it in the middle of a California freeway (a scene found in this movie, of course).
Otherwise, the film offers a poor script with a few funny lines. Put into a 24 minute sitcom, it would have a hope, but 95 minutes stretches it to the breaking point. I found myself wanting to like the movie just out of sentimental reasons, but that wasn't enough.
All the new actors fill the old characters' shoes quite well, with the exception of Jim Varney as Jed Clampett. Maybe I've seen Jim acting in his stupid Ernest character too often, but he didn't seem to have the serious, down to earth nature that Ebsen brought to Jed in the television series. But to keep the nostalgia buffs happy, Ebsen still has a small cameo as his Barnaby Jones character.
Even Dolly Parton's cameo appearance can't save the Hillbillies this time -- so put your feet up and rest a spell, 'cause thar ain't no hurry to run out and see this one.