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So This Is Washington

So This Is Washington(1943)

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So This Is Washington (1944) brought an Oscar® nomination for Best Sound Recording to James L. Fields of RCA Sound. He had been nominated in the same category in 1943 -- for The Gold Rush (1925), a film made 18 years earlier! (The silent comedy was reissued with narration, sound effects and music added.) Fields accumulated numerous credits in sound work, many of them in Mexican films, and served as sound editor on Chariots of Fire (1981).

Chester Lauck and Norris Goff star in So This Is Washington as Lum and Abner, roles that had made them famous in radio before they were transferred to films and television. The characters are the proprietors of the Jot 'Em Down General Store in backwater Pine Ridge, Arkansas. In this entry in the movie series, made during World War II, the boys operate the local draft and ration boards in addition to serving as the town's air-raid wardens.

After hearing a plea for inventions that might help the war effort, the two travel to the nation's capital, believing that they have developed a synthetic-rubber formula. A wartime housing shortage has them obliged to take up residence on a park bench near the Senate. Before long their homespun wisdom is attracting politicians who listen to their sage advice. A brush with amnesia has to be overcome before the pair can continue to pursue their patriotic duty.

Lauck and Goff met each other while growing up in Mena, Arkansas, and created their "Lum Edwards and Abner Peabody" characters as country-boy imitations of "Amos and Andy." Their success in local appearances eventually led to an NBC radio show that quickly became a hit. In a joint career that lasted some 25 years, the pair made seven movies as Lum and Abner.

Producer: Ben Hersh and Jack William Votion
Director: Raymond McCarey
Screenplay: Leonard Praskins, Roswell Rogers, from story by Rogers and Edward James
Cinematography: Harry Wild
Editing: W. Duncan Mansfield
Art Direction: Hans Peters
Principal Cast: Chester Lauck (Lum Edwards), Norris Goff (Abner Peabody), Alan Mowbray (Chester W. Marshall), Mildred Coles (Jane Nestor), Roger Clark (Robert Blevins).

by Roger Fristoe

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