Grand Ole Opry


1h 8m 1940

Film Details

Release Date
Jun 25, 1940
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 8m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
5,992ft (7 reels)

Synopsis

Newspaper reporter "Hunch" Clifton suspects that crooked politician Fred Barnes killed Governor Adams in order to prevent him from supporting an important farm bill. The bill is opposed by political boss and newspaper publisher William C. Skully, who chastises Barnes for killing Adams instead of merely warning him to defeat the bill, then orders the new governor, Edgar G. Thompson, who was Adams' lieutenant governor, to meet him for lunch. As Skully speeds through the small town of Hopeville on his way to the appointment, he is arrested by policeman Cicero Weaver. Mayor Abner Weaver and Judge George Hay preside over the trial, and, because the farm bill would greatly benefit the citizens of Hopeville, they sentence Skully to five days in jail so that he cannot influence the upcoming vote on the bill. Thompson is then brought in, having also been arrested by Cicero for speeding, and he is also sentenced to five days in jail. The state attorney general attempts to free Thompson and Skully by force, but the townsfolk deter the soldiers with a cannonload of vegetables. The attorney general arranges for Thompson to do a radio broadcast about the election issues from his jail cell, but when Thompson, who has been threatened by Skully to speak against the farm bill, tries to discuss the bill, he is drowned out by the singing of the Weavers and Roy Acuff and the Smoky Mountain Boys. Farmers all over the state rally behind Abner to help with the passage of the bill, and the Better Government League, of which Barnes is the head, nominates Abner for governor. Barnes, who sabotages the league's candidates according to Skully's orders, uses various methods to thwart Abner's ambitions, but to no avail. Abner's honesty and aversion to corruption are emphasized as he campaigns and broadcasts "Grand Ole Opry" music with his family, Roy, and Uncle Dave Macon and his son Dorris. Barnes's schemes finally succeed when he tricks Abner into going to a hotel room where softball player Ginger Gordon lies in wait. Ginger frames Abner so that it seems as if he attacked her, and a discredited Abner is tossed in jail. The Hopeville citizens believe that Hunch is behind the frame-up, and Abner's daughter, Susie Anne, breaks off her romance with the reporter. Abner maintains his faith in Hunch, however, and on the night before the election, as Abner's wife Elviry makes one last plea on the radio for her husband, he and Hunch trick Barnes into revealing his guilt for the frame-up and the death of Adams. Skully is also arrested, and one month later, Governor Abner is living up to his campaign promises to rid the state of corruption. Susie agrees to marry Hunch, and the Weavers and their friends sing in celebration as the sweethearts kiss.

Film Details

Release Date
Jun 25, 1940
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 8m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
5,992ft (7 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

According to the onscreen credits, the title Grand Ole Opry was used courtesy of radio station WSM, Nashville, Tennessee. George Dewey Hay was the originator of the Grand Ole Opry radio show on station WSM, which, according to the Variety review, had been running for fifteen years prior to the release of this film. Hay and the other acts featured in the film-Roy Acuff and his Smoky Mountain Boys with Rachel, and Uncle Dave Macon and his son Dorris-were popular stars of the radio show. According to Hollywood Reporter news items, Republic originally purchased the title Grand Ole Opry from the radio station as a starring vehicle for Gene Autry. William Berke was slated to produce the picture, George Sherman was set to direct it, and Gerald Geraghty and Betty Burbridge were signed to write the screenplay. The titles and composers of the other songs in this film have not been determined.