Corn's-A-Poppin' | Chicago Reader

Corn's-A-Poppin'

58 minutes 1955

Robert Altman contributed to the script of this 1955 musical comedy, shot in his native Kansas City, Missouri; he later disowned it, and given its rinky-dink sets, hambone acting, and convoluted story logic, you can hardly blame him. The story involves a popcorn company hoping to boost sales with a live TV program featuring western-swing music (the producer had family ties to the Popcorn Institute, a trade group), and the key character is an Altmanesque hustler who's assembling the program but, in the secret employ of the company's competitor, also trying to sabotage it. Without Altman's involvement, this probably would have been lost years ago, yet the music is pretty good and the movie is a singularly quirky exercise in regional filmmaking. Robert Woodburn directed; with nightclub singer Jerry Wallace and, backing him up, Kansas City's own Hobie Shepp and the Cowtown Wranglers.

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