Polar Bear Return to Polar Blair's Den Menu Page

Polar Blair's Den
Li'l Abner
(1959 Film)

Li'l Abner
Back to "Live-Action Film Adaptations" Main Page
Back to "Movies" Main Page

About This Movie


Peter Palmer as Li'l Abner
Leslie Parrish as Daisy Mae
Stubby Kaye as Marryin' Sam
Howard St. John as General Bullmoose
Julie Newmar as Stupefyin' Jones
Stella Stevens as Appassionata Von Climax
Billie Hayes as Mammy Yokum
Joe E. Marks as Pappy Yokum
Bern Hoffman as Earthquake McGoon
Al Nesor as Evil Eye Fleagle
Robert Strauss as Romeo Scragg
William Lanteau as Available Jones
Ted Thurston as Senator Jack S. Phogbound
Carmen Alvarez as Moonbeam McSwine
Alan Carney as Mayor Dawgmeat
Stanley Simmonds as Rasmussen T. Finsdale
Diki Lerner as Lonesome Polecat
Joe Ploski as Hairless Joe

Li'l Abner (1959)
:  There have been a handful of attempts at a live-action Li'l Abner show.  There were two feature films, and two failed TV pilots.  The first film was made in 1940 and was just a straight-ahead comedy.  This 1959 version, a completely different story and cast, was created as a musical (based on the Broadway play).  I like both films, but the 1940 version is still my favorite.  The cast of this movie is great in its entirety, and the songs are charming, but I think they sacrificed a lot of the country comedy for a razzle-dazzle musical score.  The characters were not as pronounced as they should have been.  And they hardly showed such standard supporting characters like Hairless Joe and Lonesome Polecat...they barely gave Mammy and Pappy Yokum enough screen time!  This movie is basically Li'l Abner and Daisy Mae, with an unusually large part for the character of Marryin' Sam.  In all other Li'l Abner media, Sam is a character of third-tier importance at best.  He was easily one of the leads in this picture.

    Watch this movie for the hot women!  If nothing else, this movie reminds us of what real women look like.  Every single female in this production (except for Mammy Yokum) is hotter than holy Hades!  I'm not really into musicals as a genre, but the songs in this movie are charming.  I'm more into plot.  The song and dance numbers performed are all really top-notch, though.  If you like musicals, this is one of the best.

    "Li'l Abner" was very well cast.  The only exception would be Earthquake McGoon who, although still a really fantastic portrayal and interesting character, differs greatly from the comic strip counterpart.  Where is Earthquake's trademark beard?  How come he isn't more mean and grizzly?  Peter Palmer as Li'l Abner is great.  He really looks like Abner.  In this movie, though, Abner really isn't as goofy as he should be.  In fact, he might be a bit too smart.  He's still a dimwit, but not really as dimwitted as you would think.  It's surprising, but a lot of the comedy in this film does not come from Abner, but the characters surrounding him.  And how come he doesn't beat anybody up?  For crying out loud, he's one of the strongest men alive!  I still like Palmer as Abner in this film and feel he did well with the material. 
Stubby Kaye is a great comedic actor and a perfect choice for Marryin' Sam.  He's a likable fellow.  I think he's equal parts actor, singer, and dancer.  Few performers are.  Stubby is another highlight in this film.

    Leslie Parrish as Daisy Mae is HOT!  She's very pretty and I like her outfits.  I think she made a really great Daisy Mae.  She captured the character's fragile emotions for Abner very well.  Daisy Mae certainly is one of the very sexiest female characters of film.  She is SO passionate!  I think every man wants to be desired so strongly by a woman like Daisy Mae.  Carmen Alvarez as Moonbeam McSwine is another winner.  She's got nice legs.  Moonbeam, in this movie, is the leader of the anonymous hillbilly women click.  The other women with her also look great and have interesting, funny personalities.  Stupefyin' Jones by Julie Newmar...WOW!  She doesn't have speaking lines, but the lines she does have more than makes up for it!  Julie was always great in the comic roles, this film being 7 years before her stint as Catwoman on TVs "Batman".  Julie has the tall, statuesque beauty and MAN, what a costume!  Very few women in film/TV move so sexy all the time and can maintain such a constant state of arousal.  Last, but certainly not least, is Stella Stevens as Apassionata Von Climax.  She's wonderful!  I've always enjoyed Stella in film, past and present.  This was a great role for her.  Apassionata is sexy, funny, and very, very appealing.  We men know she's not the best thing for us, but geez, what a temptation!  This character is one of the all-time great bimbo roles!