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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

The Kettles In the Ozarks (1956)



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Percy Kilbride, who played Pa Kettle in the first eight films of this series, retired after an automobile accident. The series should have ended with his departure, but his co-star, Marjorie Main, starred in two more without him. In this one, Ma and the kids pay a visit to Pa's brother Sedge. Sedge is essentially the same character as Pa without any of the charm.

The plot involves the usual run-in with gangsters, but the formula is well past its expiration date. The series began as a celebration of two wonderful characters, but by this time they had degenerated into caricatures. Funny lines such as "I'm gonna fix that one of these days," which originally emerged organically from the Pa Kettle character, are reprised here as catch-phrases and lack the humor they once had.

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