Miss Polly

Overview

Welcome to Midville, an appropriately named small town that has carried moderation to extremes. Run for over a generation by a bluenose civic league, the town doesn't allow driving faster than 12 mph -- and drivers can get a summons for not having a running-board, a part of a car that went out of style after the 1920s; no movies start after dark, and there are no late nights allowed at the soda shop or in the park. It's so bad that the soldiers from the nearby army base shoot right through the town for parts far ...
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Overview

Welcome to Midville, an appropriately named small town that has carried moderation to extremes. Run for over a generation by a bluenose civic league, the town doesn't allow driving faster than 12 mph -- and drivers can get a summons for not having a running-board, a part of a car that went out of style after the 1920s; no movies start after dark, and there are no late nights allowed at the soda shop or in the park. It's so bad that the soldiers from the nearby army base shoot right through the town for parts far away when they go on leave, and there hasn't been a wedding in the town in two years, because it's impossible for anyone under the age of 60 to start a romance, much less consummate one. One young couple Richard Clayton, Elyse Knox who would like to marry are thinking of leaving town, and that's the last straw from Miss Pandora Polly ZaSu Pitts, who likes both of them -- she's as prim and proper a small-town spinster as you'll ever see, but that doesn't mean she wants everyone to be that way. And with unintended help from an intoxicating beverage brewed up by her comically inept gardener Slim Summerville, she loses enough of her inhibitions to finally take a stand. At the next meeting of the civic league, she shows up ready to throw a few stones back at the bluenoses sitting in judgment of the town, and turn over a few rocks littering their pasts. Pitts and Summerville, who'd previously worked together in the Hal Roach-produced comedy Niagara Falls, prove just as effective here as a comedic elderly couple, and Pitts is at her most charming and beguiling in this gentle satire of small-town living, made on the eve of America's entry into World War II and all the more nostalgia-laden because of it.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
This is a rather delightful -- and, in its own way, serious -- satire of small-town life, perhaps not up to the level of, say, Nothing Sacred or Hail the Conquering Hero. Director Fred Guiol shows as deft a hand juggling the comic elements here as he did working with Laurel & Hardy in the late '20s -- he's able to switch gears easily enough and he has an attractive, appealing cast of veteran character players, led by ZaSu Pitts in one of the most genial roles of her career. Her Pandora Polly is wise, gentle, kind, and thoughtful, as well as feisty -- the perfect foil for Slim Summerville's portrayal of her inept inventor gardener, and Kathleen Howard as an overbearing battleaxe of a neighbor. A lot of the gag set pieces have been recycled from earlier movies, especially the films of Laurel & Hardy, but it still works, mostly because Pitts is so charming. The whole piece is a good comic exercise in people not throwing stones when they live in glass houses, done in enjoyably slapstick style. It's a brand of comedy that appealed to a small-town audience that still made up the majority of the moviegoing public on the eve of World War II -- but there the topicality enters into the picture with the scene of truckloads of soldiers on their way from camp on leave, a sequence we would not have seen in a movie made even a year earlier.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/14/2012
  • UPC: 089218671998
  • Original Release: 1941
  • Source: Alpha Video
  • Presentation: B&W
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 66,185

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
ZaSu Pitts Miss Pandora Polly
Kathleen Howard Mrs. Minerva Snodgrass
George "Slim" Summerville Slim Wilkins
Brenda Forbes Patsy
Elyse Knox Barbara Snodgrass
Richard Clayton Eddie
Dink Trout Wilbur Boggs, Postman
William Newell Hubert (new postman)
Ferris Taylor Mayor Walsh
Fern Emmett Mrs. Frisbee
Vera Lewis Elvira Pennywinkle
Sarah Edwards Angie Turner
Virginia Sale Osina Wiggins
Walter S. Baldwin Jim Wiggins
Mickey Daniels Elmer
Technical Credits
Fred Guiol Director
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