Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay!


1h 38m 1948

Brief Synopsis

Light-hearted, old-style romance about a farm-hand who arranges to buy a pair of mules from his employer. No one is able to handle the mules and he must train them. Adding to his dilemma, he pursues his boss's daughter who gets her kicks out of keeping him guessing about her true feelings. Of course, at the end he tames both the mules and the girl.

Film Details

Also Known As
Summer Lightning
Release Date
Apr 1948
Premiere Information
World premiere in Sedalia, KS: 11 Mar 1948; New York opening: week of 14 Apr 1948
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Century Ranch, California, United States; Reuss Ranch, California, United States; Sonora, California, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Scudda-Hoo! Scudda-Hay! by George Agnew Chamberlain (Indianapolis, 1946).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 38m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8,824ft (10 reels)

Synopsis

Farmer Milt Dominy and his son Daniel, who is called "Snug," commiserate with each other about their loathing of Judith, Milt's second wife, and her brutish son Stretch. Unable to endure Judith's sarcasm, Milt decides to return to the sea and, in the presence of neighbors Robert "Roarer" McGill and Tony Maule, makes out a will designating Snug as his beneficiary. Snug agrees to work for Roarer, despite his loud, overbearing manner, and the next day, accompanies him to examine two mules for sale. While Roarer negotiates with the owner, a stablehand confides in Snug that the mules, named Crowder and Moonbeam, will "drive" for only one man, and he still in the Army. Snug is impressed by the handsome animals, however, and the next day, offers to buy them himself when Roarer cannot control them. Roarer agrees but warns Snug that ownership of the mules will revert to him if Snug misses even one payment. Snug then takes Crowder and Moonbeam to Tony's farm, and Tony, who was once a dedicated mule driver before falling down on his luck and becoming an alcoholic, is thrilled by them. While learning about the mules, Snug also deals with Judith and Stretch, who are trying to take over the Dominy farm, and Roarer's flirtatious daughter Rad, who entices Snug and Stretch to compete for her affections. Eager to help Snug, Tony introduces him to logging foreman Mike Malone, who offers him a well-paying job, that will start when Snug learns how to drive the mules. Tony teaches Snug the commands "scudda hoo" and "scudda hay," which mean "gee" and "haw," country slang for "left" and "right," and one night, Snug drives the animals as they pull a heavy log. Soon after, Rad, who is upset that Snug has been spending so much time with the mules, tells Stretch that Snug can guide the animals and will soon be working at the lumber camp. Hoping to hurt Snug and make money, Stretch apprises Roarer of the situation and offers to beat Snug, after which Roarer can fire him and regain control of the mules. Roarer's younger daughter, Bean, overhears the discussion and warns Snug about the vicious scheme, and soon after, Snug confronts Stretch when he sees him try to force a kiss on Rad. Stretch appears to be winning the ensuing fistfight, but Snug prevails over his stronger stepbrother and gives him a sound beating. That night, Rad apologizes to Snug for her behavior, and the couple affirm their love with a kiss. The next day, Snug's deliberate insolence prompts Roarer to fire him, and Snug goes to work at the lumber camp. Snug intends to use his first week's pay for another installment on the mules and is devastated when Tony, who was holding the money, returns home drunk and broke. Snug begs Roarer to accept a double payment in a few days, but Roarer refuses and asks Sheriff Tod Bursom to enforce his right to reclaim the mules. Seeing this, Roarer's wife Lucy finally stands up to her over-bearing husband and loans the money to Rad, who gives it to Roarer and chastises him for his avarice. Shamed by his family's reaction, Roarer tells Stretch that their deal is off, but Stretch vows that if he cannot have the mules, then neither can Snug. Meanwhile, Snug learns that his father has died, leaving him the Dominy farm, and Tony promises to consult Judge Stillwell about evicting Stretch and Judith. Soon after, Stretch places a wire snare in Crowder and Moonbeam's stall in an attempt to cripple them. Snug and Rad, who are out on a date, are forced by rain to return to Tony's house and there catch Stretch as Crowder is crushing him against the barn wall. Snug rescues Stretch from Crowder then throws him off Tony's property. Later, Judge Stillwell and Sheriff Bursom evict Stretch and his mother from the Dominy farm. As Snug, Rad and Tony are riding back to Tony's, they pass Roarer, whose tractor is stuck in the mud. Snug bets Roarer that if Moonbeam and Crowder can pull the tractor free, Roarer will forget Snug's debt, but if they fail, Roarer will reassume possession of them. Snug also asks for Roarer's blessing of his marriage to Rad if he succeeds, and Roarer reluctantly agrees. Snug expertly drives the animals and soon the tractor is free. Finally, as a happy Rad joins Snug, Roarer concedes that at least the mules will still be in the family.

Film Details

Also Known As
Summer Lightning
Release Date
Apr 1948
Premiere Information
World premiere in Sedalia, KS: 11 Mar 1948; New York opening: week of 14 Apr 1948
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Century Ranch, California, United States; Reuss Ranch, California, United States; Sonora, California, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Scudda-Hoo! Scudda-Hay! by George Agnew Chamberlain (Indianapolis, 1946).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 38m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8,824ft (10 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

This is generally considered to be the "screen debut" of Marilyn Monroe, although after most of her footage was cut, all that remains of her in the final film is one or two wide shots, where she can barely be seen rowing a canoe in the background.

Notes

Following completion of principal photography, this film's title was changed to Summer Lightning for a short period of time before release. According to an August 1947 Hollywood Reporter news item, Twentieth Century-Fox executives wanted to change the title to Summer Lightning because they feared that Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! would be "meaningless" to viewers even though it was based on a best-selling book.
       George Agnew Chamberlain's novel appeared serially in The Country Gentleman (Nov 1945-February 1946) before publication as a book. According to a February 1947 Hollywood Reporter news item, Louis King was originally set to direct the film, which marked the directorial debut of screenwriter F. Hugh Herbert. The film also marked the screen-acting debut of Lee MacGregor, who, according to an April 1947 Hollywood Reporter news item, was a former office assistant of studio production chief Darryl F. Zanuck. Natalie Wood was borrowed from Universal-International for the production. Although a studio press release announced that June Haver and Charles Henderson were composing a song titled "Scudda Hoo, Scudda Hay" for the film, it does not appear in the finished picture. Hollywood Reporter production charts credit J. Watson Webb as the film's editor, although the onscreen credits list Harmon Jones as the editorial supervisor. An April 1947 Hollywood Reporter news item noted that a second unit for the picture shot on location at Sonora, CA, and the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department, located at the UCLA Arts-Special Collections Library, add Reuss Ranch and Century Ranch, CA as additional locations.
       Although several trade reviews include Marilyn Monroe in the cast as one of "Rad's" girl friends, her scenes were cut before the film's release. The picture would have marked her screen debut, and some modern sources assert that she can be seen briefly while paddling a canoe across a lake. Monroe's actual screen debut was made in the 1948 Twentieth Century-Fox picture Dangerous Years. Lon McCallister and June Haver reprised their roles for the October 24, 1949 Lux Radio Theatre broadcast of Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! McCallister also reprised his role for a May 24, 1951 radio presentation on The Hallmark Playhouse.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Spring April 1948

Released in United States Spring April 1948