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Colonel Effingham's Raid (1946)

Passed | | Comedy | 15 December 1948 (Mexico)
In 1940, Colonel Will Seaborn Effingham (Charles Coburn), a retired Army officer, returns to his home town of Fredericksville, Georgia, and is disturbed at the lack of civic pride. He ... See full summary »

Director:

Irving Pichel

Writers:

Kathryn Scola (screenplay), Berry Fleming (novel)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Charles Coburn ... Colonel Will Seaborn Effingham
Joan Bennett ... Ella Sue Dozier
William Eythe ... Albert 'Al' Marbury
Allyn Joslyn ... Earl Hoats
Elizabeth Patterson ... Cousin Emma
Donald Meek ... Doc Buden
Frank Craven ... Dewey
Thurston Hall ... Ed - the Mayor
Cora Witherspoon ... Mrs. Clara Meigs
Emory Parnell ... Joe Alsobrook
Henry Armetta ... Jimmy Economy
Stephen Dunne ... Professor Edward 'Ed' Bland (as Michael Dunne)
Roy Roberts ... Army Captain Rampey
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Storyline

In 1940, Colonel Will Seaborn Effingham (Charles Coburn), a retired Army officer, returns to his home town of Fredericksville, Georgia, and is disturbed at the lack of civic pride. He writes a letter to the editor in the local newspaper and attacks those who would do away with with traditions, especially those moving to tear down the old city hall and those who wish to rename Confederate Square after a local politician. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Who Says You Can't Fight City Hall?

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 December 1948 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

Rebel Yell See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The WPA was the 'Work Progress Administration' (formerly the 'Works Projects Administration'). It was created by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1935 to create employment and revitalize communities across the USA. It was part of his New Deal strategy. See more »

Goofs

Ella Sue's second strike at bowling uses the same footage as the first strike. See more »

Quotes

Ella Sue Dozier: Have you a statement for the press?
Albert 'Al' Marbury: [Mimicking the blowhard mayor] Only that I wish to convey to our esteemed city leaders my heartfelt appreciation for this delicious barbecued pig... without which democracy as it is known in Georgia...
[trails off]
See more »

Soundtracks

You're In The Army Now
(1917) (uncredited)
Music by Isham Jones
Lyrics by Tell Taylor and Ole Olsen
Played at the National Guard office and when Al finds out he's being mobilized
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Make Fredericksville Georgia great again.
17 October 2018 | by juliankennedy23See all my reviews

Colonel Effingham's Raid: 5 out of 10: A retired Army colonel returns home and starts a fight to save the Confederate War Monument and the historic courthouse from the local corrupt politicians and an apathetic populace.

The Good: I usually hate movie reviews that view a historical piece through a modern lens and put our values unto the values of the time of the art. But good Lord almighty this is truly a litmus test of the times. Charles Coburn's colonel is bound to remind people of a certain President the way he wants to drain the swamp and bullies all those around him. In addition, we have the defense of a Confederate memorial against those one-party carpetbaggers looking to profit of a disinterested populace who have forgotten their roots.

The movie is an interesting piece partially because is such a dated piece of propaganda and partially because its message of paying attention to your local community and getting involved is kind of timeless.

The Bad: The ending feels unsatisfying and a bit truncated. It is as if they realized the movie was running too long and added a conclusion that simply isn't earned by what comes before.

The movie is also racist. This isn't as much a criticism as a statement of fact. Between the Confederate lovefest and the horrible way black characters are treated, the movie wears its overt racism on its sleeve.

The Ugly: While the racism at least fits the theme and plot of the film the bizarre sexism does not. Mainly in the form of an artificial wolf-whistle, every time the Colonel's nephew (William Eythe) looks at the society reporter's (Joan Bennett's) legs. It is distracting, strange and is out of place in this otherwise somewhat grounded movie. Honestly, it would be out of place in a Benny Hill sketch it is so over the top and juvenile.

In Conclusion: There is an interesting story buried under all the problematic racism and sexism and underdeveloped side characters. It is after all based on the very real problem of local government corruption that can happen anywhere with any political party. The movie simply commits too many sins (did I mention the random narration that pops up from William Eythe) and with a truncated tepid conclusion it leaves one unsatisfied.


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