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Feudin' Fools

Feudin' Fools(1952)

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In the Bowery district of New York City, Terence Aloysius "Slip" Mahoney and his pals, bumbler Horace Debussy "Sach" Jones, Butch and Chuck, convene at Louie Dumbrowski's ice cream shop. When a pair of private detectives comes looking for Sach, a suspicious Slip is uncooperative until they reveal that they want to award Sach his inheritance: a southern "plantation" left to him by a long-lost uncle. The boys hop into their jalopy and head to Hog Liver Holler, where old hunter Traps leads them to the "plantation," which in reality is a ramshackle cabin. Traps then reveals that all of the Joneses have been killed by the Smiths during a long-standing family feud. Just then, the hillbilly Smith brothers--Clem, Luke, Caleb and Yancy--begin shooting at the boys, but soon stop, unable to discern which one is the Jones they seek to hit. The boys scramble inside to hide under a table, after which Slip volunteers Sach to patrol outside and orders the others to clean the cabin. Outside, Sach immediately runs into two of the Smiths and flees back into the house, where he sees each Smith brother framed in a windowpane and mistakes them for family portraits. Upon further exploration of the house, the boys discover a bootlegger's still containing potent whiskey. The Smiths continue to shoot into the house and, after refusing to accept a surrender, come inside, demanding to know which boy is a Jones. Slip lies that they are just city boys on a hunting vacation, after which the suspicious Clem coerces them into coming for dinner, reasoning in secret that the real Jones will expose himself by eating greedily, as do all Joneses. Later, the boys set out for the Smiths', but are stopped by pretty Smith sister Ellie Mae, who informs them of Clem's plan to trap them. She also introduces her other sister, the oversized Tiny, who takes an immediate liking to Sach. At dinner, the boys take small portions and eat fastidiously until the Smiths begin playing with their rifles, at which point Ellie Mae hurries the boys outside to protect them. There, Sach tries to impress the women by milking a cow directly into a bottle and procuring chocolate milk from a brown cow. The next day, Sach and Slip ask local banker Thompson for a loan to renovate the farm, but Thompson refuses to give them money without collateral. Meanwhile, Louie travels to the Holler to join the boys, but is captured by the Smiths, who believe he is a revenuer. Ellie Mae informs the boys of Louie's predicament, spurring them to rush to the Smiths' and rescue their friend. Soon after, gangsters Big Jim, Pinky and Corky rob Thompson's bank, and when Jim is shot in the arm, they are forced to seek refuge in Sach's cabin. Although the gangsters claim to be hunters, Slip has heard about the robbery on the radio and deduces their real identity. Hoping to stall for time, he pretends that Louie is a doctor who can remove the bullet from Jim's arm. Louie tries gamely to act like a doctor, but when he attempts to use the whiskey as an anesthetic, it burns a hole through Corky's shoe. Sach soon discovers the robbers' bag of money and, after Corky catches him trying to steal it, reasons aloud that the men are robbers, after which they hold the boys at gunpoint. Meanwhile, Ellie Mae walks over to the cabin, followed, unknown to her, by Clem. When she enters, Corky grabs her, but Slip sees Clem and loudly identifies each robber as "Jones," prompting Clem to call for his brothers and begin a shootout. While the gangsters are busy shooting, the boys knock them out one by one. The Smiths then force their way into the house, but when Slip explains that they have helped capture the bank robbers, they are proud to be on the right side of the law. The thieves are arrested, and the next day, Ellie Mae compels her brothers to dress up and apologize to the boys. At the cabin, they are joined by Thompson, who offers a bank loan as a reward for capturing the thieves. When Slip insists on signing for the loan, however, claiming that he is the "Mr. Jones" of the outfit, the Smiths draw their guns and chase him into the hills.