Judy Crocker (Judy Canova), a hill-billy girl, strikes it rich when an oil company takes an option on her farm. She meets up with two confidence men, J. Huntington McMasters (Richard Lane) and Canada Brown (George McKay) and discovering she can sing, they sell her $3,000 worth of stock in a film called "Louisiana Hayride," which will star her. Arriving in Hollywood, Judy, her mother Maw Crocker (Minerva Urecal) and Jed Crocker (Matt Willis), her gun-totin' brother, find McMasters and Brown living in an expensive hotel. They try to get away but Judy and Jeb catch them. Judy tells them she wants to invest more money, and she agrees to pay them $3,000 a week. However, Judy doesn't know the name of the studio and she makes the rounds. A guard at one studio mistakes her as the singer who was being sent from the casting office and allows her to go in. She does the number and creates a great impression. "Louisiana Hayride" goes into production and, when it is finished, McMasters receives a generous offer for the distribution rights...but things start popping; They find that the plot of the film was stolen, the oil options payments will be stopped and the distributing offer is withdrawn. But not all is lost...the director of the picture in which Judy accidentally appeared signs her to a contract, and the police arrest McMasters and Brown for previous swindles.
Two con men dupe a country bumpkin into giving them all of her money under the pretense that they'll make her a movie star. She and her family eventually track them in Hollywood, still unaware they're being taken. The crooked pair enlist the help of a bellboy posing as a director and arrange for a fake screen test for the girl.
I remember Judy Canova on radio and the silver screen and she came across on the radio much better than she did on the screen. Her radio programs had more comedy situations in a thirty minute program than in an hour and a half movie. In longer movies the comedy aspect in her character seems to wane. The singing is always the greatest, and in this movie, I wish she had sung more of her popular numbers of the 1940s. "You Are My Sunshine" would have been great in this movie.
Her Western movies were much better than this example of a movie with a misleading title that can be confused with a former Shreveport, LA, country music program that competed for awhile with the Grand Ole Opry.
Nevertheless, Judy was a comedian with perfect timing, although totally country in the movie 'Louisiana Hayride,' which has its ups and downs with some questionable movie producers who are trying to make a fast buck on bumpkin Judy who has been given some lease money on her land that is producing oil. The 'Hollywood Studio' is simply a pawn shop where the shysters often take their loot, and is not a producing movie studio.
The plot for this movie is almost a dead-ringer for the TV series 'The Beverly Hilbillies: backwoods people with oil money go to Hollywood to make the big time and be taken advantage of. The only character missing is that of Jed Clampett. Judy's mother could have been Granny, Judy might have been Ellie Mae, and Judy's brother could be Jethro. I wonder if the writers for 'The Beverly Hillbillies' saw 'Louisiana Hayride' and got the idea for a TV series from it.
All in all, it was fun to catch Judy Canova on the screen again, but there are better performances out there that should be given some air time.
The voting tally for this movie was a mere six before the movie was shown recently, but has now jumped to seventeen, so there are a few old-timers out there that cared enough to see Judy again. TCM, just give us more, please. Judy is an interesting diversion. Louisiana Hayride finds Judy Canova and her hillbilly family being taken advantage of by a pair of sharpies, Richard Lane and George McKay. They convince the hillbilly thrush they're a pair of movie producers who are in love with their talent. But in fact they're in love with the new wealth that this hillbilly family has when they are paid for drilling rights. Sounds like another hillbilly family that made a fortune in oil.
The problem for the conmen is that they have to keep up an expensive front with this particular game, especially when they arrive in Hollywood. Bellboy and future producer himself Ross Hunter recognizes these two grifters for what they are persuades a friend, Lloyd Bridges, to in turn fleece them. Seems like Ross is sweet on that little hillbilly gal.
I was hoping to hear the Arthur Schwartz-Howard Dietz classic from which this film takes its title. I thought it would have been perfect for Canova and her style. Instead Kim Gannon and Walter Kent wrote two songs for Judy to sing, nothing in their that's Academy Award material.
Minerva Urecal as Judy's mom and Matt Willis as her shotgun totin' brother are also on the scene. And Hobart Cavanaugh who Minerva gets a little sweet on, proves to be the savior for her family.
Louisiana Hayride despite not having the song used is a pleasant enough film and typical of the roles Judy Canova played. She was a big star in red state America of the day. a5c7b9f00b
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