30 Jul Review – Li’l Abner

FlixFling contributor, Jordana Lipsitz reviews Li’l Abner

I’m going to come out and say it. The best part of Li’l Abner was the theme song.  I was not incredibly into the whole podunk thing that was going on with the movie for the most part. However, it worked in the song. I know that the film was based on a beloved comic book but I could not get into the process of just making fun of hillbillies. It hits too close to home. I did, however, enjoy the more comic-bookesque characteristics of the film.

As a young, liberal, college-educated woman, I sometimes find it hard to separate myself from my views when watching old movies.  A bunch of men running away from women and being chased into marriage is not something I find humorous no matter how hard I try.  In my 21st century mind I couldn’t help but think the only reason Li’l Abner wasn’t running after the girlsies was because he was a closet homosexual or born with both parts. I’m going to have to say that no matter how you cut it, its weird that a character doesn’t like women. This characteristic very seriously took me out of the atmosphere of the movie.

The characters in L’il Abner are completely silly. They fit very well into the “this is a comic book” shtick. I felt that Li’l Abner (Jeff York) seemed the least realistic hillbilly. He’s far too good-looking to seem like he doesn’t know what a toothbrush is.  However, his parents Pansy (Mona Ray) and Lucifer (Johnnie Morris) with their weird shaped noses and inability to speak the English language did a great job seeming like they were from the mountains of Bumble%$#&, Georgia.

Possibly the most exciting thing about Li’l Abner was the appearance of Buster Keaton. As I’ve said before, Buster Keaton truly proves there is art in comedy.   Li’l Abner could have fallen into the “comedy isn’t an art” category if Buster Keaton hadn’t stopped in.  His presence in the film makes it not simply a stupid comedy, but a stupid comedy with a timeless actor.  The other performances in Li’l Abner are still well done, but Keaton simply has a place in my heart.

If I were to watch Li’l Abner again it would be at a time when I can force my unborn children to watch an old comedy and survey the differences between old and new styles of comedy. I found it interesting from a history of film standpoint but not so much in regards to entertainment. That being said, I’m totally illegally downloading the theme song and listening to it everyday. It was golden.