The Beverly Hillbillies (film)

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The Beverly Hillbillies
Beverly hillbillies.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Penelope Spheeris
Screenplay by Lawrence Konner
Mark Rosenthal
Jim Fisher
Jim Staahl
Story byLawrence Konner
Mark Rosenthal
Based on The Beverly Hillbillies by Paul Henning
Produced by Ian Bryce
Penelope Spheeris
CinematographyRobert Brinkmann
Edited byRoss Albert
Music by Lalo Schifrin
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date
  • October 15, 1993 (1993-10-15)
Running time
92 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$25 million
Box office$57.4 million [1]

The Beverly Hillbillies is a 1993 American comedy film directed by Penelope Spheeris, [2] written by Lawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthal, and starring Jim Varney, Diedrich Bader, Dabney Coleman, Erika Eleniak, Cloris Leachman, Rob Schneider, Lea Thompson and Lily Tomlin.


Based on the television series of the same name (which ran from 1962–71), the film features cameo appearances by Buddy Ebsen (the original Jed Clampett, in his final motion picture appearance, playing his other starring television role, Detective Barnaby Jones), Dolly Parton and Zsa Zsa Gabor. The film grossed $57 million worldwide and was panned by critics. It follows a poor hillbilly named Jed Clampett (Varney), who becomes a billionaire after inadvertently finding crude oil on his property while firing his gun. [3]


Jed Clampett, a hillbilly of humble station from Arkansas, accidentally discovers oil on his land while shooting at a jackrabbit. Ozark Mountain Oil, interested in purchasing his land, offers him $1 billion for the property. Unsure of what to do, Jed consults his sister, Pearl Bodine, during a family dinner. Pearl suggests that a change of scenery for Jed's daughter, Elly May, would be a good thing. Pearl and Jethro convince them to move to Beverly Hills California. Ozark Mountain Oil come by Jed's place to check to see if he has signed the contract. Having made up his mind and signed the contract, Jed and his daughter Elly, his mother-in-law, Daisy Moses (aka "Granny"), and his nephew, Jethro, Pearl's son, load up Jethro's old, dilapidated truck with their possessions and move to Beverly Hills, California, even though Granny is reluctant to come.

Milburn Drysdale, the CEO of the Commerce Bank of Beverly Hills (where Jed's money is stored), sends out his secretary/assistant, Jane Hathaway to meet the Clampetts at their new estate that is next door to his. Jane calls the Beverly Hills Police after the Clampetts arrive, mistaking them for burglars. Upon learning of Jane's mistake at the police station, Drysdale briefly fires her. But seeing that Jed insists that he still wants her to watch over his affairs, Drysdale rehires her.

The Clampetts settle into their new surroundings. Drysdale and his wife, Margaret, push their reluctant son, Morgan Drysdale, into befriending Elly May, to whom he eventually develops an attraction. Jane is also smitten by Jethro, who seems ignorant of her affections.

Jed requests Jane's assistance in helping him search for someone who will help turn Elly May into a lady and also wants to get married, so Miss Hathaway has to play matchmaker. Woodrow Tyler, a banker at Drysdale's bank, catches wind of this and contrives a scheme with his con artist girlfriend, Laura Jackson, to steal Jed's money by having her marry Jed. She poses as a French etiquette teacher, Laurette Voleur, [4] and asks for work. 'Laurette' feigns romantic interest in Jed, which eventually leads to him proposing marriage to her.

Shortly before the wedding, Granny hears Laura and Woodrow talking about the scam. Granny reveals herself to the pair and threatens to expose their scam to Jed, and thus the impending wedding will be off. But before she can do so, they capture her, restrain her, and have her institutionalized at the Los Viejos Nursing Home, so that she cannot contact Jed.

At the wedding, Woodrow prepares to transfer all of Clampett's money in Drysdale's bank to a Swiss account, on his laptop computer, when the couple says 'I do'. Realizing that Granny is missing, Jane goes to the office of Barnaby Jones and after learning where Granny is and who Laura is, poses as a nurse and breaks her out. Granny and Jane arrive at the wedding and foil Laura and Tyler's plan when Jane grabs a shotgun and blows the laptop to bits, before they can steal Jed's money. The police arrest Laura and Woodrow. Jed decides that, since the wedding was off, they should have 'one hellacious shindig'.


The Dolly Parton 'band' was composed of members of Rhino Bucket (who had contributed a song on the soundtrack of the 1992 movie Wayne's World , also directed by Penelope Spheeris), the Dwight Yoakam Band (Skip Edwards), and Vern Monnett (Randy Meisner, Texas Tornados and Gary Allan). Parton's appearance reunited her with 9 to 5 co-stars Lily Tomlin and Dabney Coleman.


In its first weekend, The Beverly Hillbillies grossed $9,525,375 at the US box office. [7] The film moved up to number one the following week. [8] It grossed $40 million in the United and States and Canada and $57.4 million worldwide. [1]


On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 24% based on reviews from 33 critics. The site's consensus states: "Wasting a talented cast and director Penelope Spheeris' deft comedic touch on crude hijinks, this lame adaptation digs for comedic gold and only finds dirt". [9] On Metacritic the film has a score of 37 out of 100 based on reviews from 24 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". [10] Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade of 'B+' on scale of A+ to F. [11]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times , gave the film half a star out of a possible 4, arguing that it did not capture the appeal of the original television series nor did it improve the source material:

The Beverly Hillbillies was a major disappointment for Spheeris after her surprising triumph with Wayne's World the year before: 'When directors make a wonderful movie, you look forward to their next one with a special anticipation, thinking maybe they've got the secret. If it turns out they don't, you feel almost betrayed'. That's how I felt after The Beverly Hillbillies, one of the worst movies of this or any year. [12]

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone , wrote:

The Beverly Hillbillies is not, as the saying goes, a critic's picture. Still, you want to root for a movie that wallows without shame in leering, fatuous humor. I did—for about 15 minutes—then the sameness set in like an overdose of Beavis and Butt-Head. [13]

Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly , gave the film a grade 'D' and wrote: "The plot, which features Lea Thompson as a gold digger scheming to marry Jed, is like something you'd catch on the USA Network at 4 a.m. But enough of beating a dead possum. After sitting through The Beverly Hillbillies, I now realize that the best tribute anyone can make to the pop detritus of our childhood is to let it rest in peace". [14]

Video game

In 1993, Synergistic Software developed and Capstone Software published a game for MS-DOS loosely based on the film. The game is a point-and-click adventure game.

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The Beverly Hillbillies is an American television sitcom that was broadcast on CBS from 1962 to 1971. It had an ensemble cast featuring Buddy Ebsen, Irene Ryan, Donna Douglas, and Max Baer Jr. as the Clampetts, a poor, backwoods family from Silver Dollar City in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri, who move to posh Beverly Hills, California, after striking oil on their land. The show was produced by Filmways and was created by Paul Henning. It was followed by two other Henning-inspired "country cousin" series on CBS: Petticoat Junction and its spin-off Green Acres, which reversed the rags-to-riches, country-to-city model of The Beverly Hillbillies.

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Buddy Ebsen, also known as Frank "Buddy" Ebsen, was an American actor and dancer, whose career spanned seven decades. One of his most famous roles was as Jed Clampett in the CBS television sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies (1962–1971); afterwards he starred as the title character in the television detective drama Barnaby Jones (1973–1980).

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James Albert Varney Jr. was an American actor and comedian. He is best known for his comedic role as Ernest P. Worrell, for which he won a Daytime Emmy Award, as well as appearing in films and numerous television commercial advertising campaigns. He played Jed Clampett in a film adaptation of The Beverly Hillbillies (1993) and also covered a song for the film titled "Hot Rod Lincoln". and performed the voice of Slinky Dog in the first two films of the Toy Story franchise (1995–1999). He died at age 50 of lung cancer on February 10, 2000, leaving two posthumous releases, Daddy and Them and Atlantis: The Lost Empire.

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Barnaby Jones is an American detective television series starring Buddy Ebsen as a formerly retired investigator and Lee Meriwether as his widowed daughter-in-law. They run a private detective firm in Los Angeles, California. The show was originally introduced as a midseason replacement on the CBS network and ran from 1973 to 1980. Halfway through the series' run, Mark Shera was added to the cast as a much younger cousin of Ebsen's character, who eventually joined the firm.

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Irene Ryan was an American actress and comedian who found success in vaudeville, radio, film, television, and Broadway. She is most widely known for her portrayal of Daisy May "Granny" Moses, mother-in-law of Buddy Ebsen's character Jed Clampett on the long-running TV series The Beverly Hillbillies (1962–1971). She was nominated for Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 1963 and 1964 for the role.

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The Beverly Hillbillies is a video game developed by Synergistic Software and published in 1993 by Capstone Software for IBM PC compatibles. It was released in conjunction with the 1993 film of the same name. The game, a point-and-click adventure, tells the story of the Clampetts, a poor family in the Ozarks who discover oil on their property and become millionaires, moving to Beverly Hills with their newfound wealth. Despite being a tie-in to the film, the game shares only vague similarities in plot.


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  2. Rhodes, Joe (1993-06-13). "Swimmin' Pools, Movie Stars . . . : Yes, they're making a movie from TV's 'Beverly Hillbillies.' My goodness, should they tamper with a national treasure?". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-08.
  3. "Hollywood To Make Movie Of Old 'Beverly Hillbillies'". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2010-10-06.
  4. Voleur is French for thief, per the Collins French to English Dictionary. Copyright © by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved. (Retrieved 2018-09-06.)
  5. Willman, Chris (1993-10-16). "Movies: Buddy Ebsen has warm words for Jim Varney's rendition of the Clampett patriarch and for Penelope Spheeris' take on the old series". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-10-06.
  6. "SCHNEIDER'S A FILM ACTOR OF MANY CHARACTERS - ALL OF THEM SMARMY". 18 December 1993. she let him rewrite most of the scenes involving his money-grubbing banker
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  11. "Cinemascore". Archived from the original on 2018-12-20.
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  13. Travers, Peter (17 April 2001). "Beverly Hillbillies". Rolling Stone .
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