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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

The Beverly Hillbillies (1993)



Reviews and Comments

I'm really tired of comic villains that strut around and speak of their plans of embezzlement with exaggerated sneers and eye squints. And while it's hard to tire of the talented Lea Thompson, the more interesting of the two comic villains in The Beverly Hillbillies, her character did just that. Above, I've described just about all the plot for this cinematic resurrection of the sixties television show. The gaps are filled by the Clampett family being themselves and going through the motions of predictable gags. There are a couple funny moments, but oddly enough these don't tend to involve the Clampetts at all but rather the peripheral supporting cast. Granny, my favorite character from the series, is recreated here by Cloris Leachman, and she does a great job -- but as the script gives her virtually nothing to do (and less that's funny), it's all for nought.

When the movie ended, I asked myself if the people making it thought their script would make for a sure-fire hit, and if so, I wondered what they thought people might find to enjoy. Most of the jokes don't work. The plot is both paper thin and cliched, so much so that it seems nobody cared about making an attempt to hide that fact. I can't imagine that the idea for this movie, as presented to the studio executives, was any more involved than, "We do plot number two on a movie version of 'The Beverly Hillbillies'. What do you think?" And obviously the studio executive said, "Ok, start shooting." Evidently this studio executive must be shot.