Steamboat Round the Bend (1935) - full transcript

Dr. John Pearly is an affable, turn-of-the-century con man who sells a patent medicine whose primary ingredient is whiskey. He resurrects a broken down steamboat with a makeshift crew and challenges the respectable but arrogant Captain Eli to a winner-take-all river race. Pearly hopes his nephew Duke will serve as pilot, but the young man stands accused of murdering a 'swamp rat' who threatened the honor of 'swamp girl' Fleety Belle. After Duke is arrested, Pearly tries to raise money for a lawyer by charging admission to a wax museum aboard his ship. Ultimately he gambles it all in the river race to Baton Rouge, where he hopes to find a witness whose testimony will free Duke. - stop by if you're interested in the nutritional composition of food
Repent, oh, ye sinners!

Oh, ye children of darkness...


the New Moses.

Fight down the demon rum!


I was once a sinner like you.

I was a hog.

I was a slave of the demon rum.

A child of hell!

Yes, sir.

But I was saved by this ribbon.

It raised me from a hog to a man.

It can do the same for you.

Raise your right hand
and take the pledge.

Brother, what do I see in your hand?

Don't be a hog!

Cast the enemy away!

Bury demon rum in the waters
of the mighty Mississippi!

Fling it away, I say!

I swear that henceforth...

liquor shall never touch my lips.

- Me too.
- Bless you, brother.

- Bless you.

Look at that. You see that?
See that picture on there?

Yeah, that's Pocahontas,
the wonderful little Indian woman.

- You know, you all know the story of Pocahontas.

You know? That saved
John Smith's life, you know?

Well, John Smith wanted to get this remedy
from Pocahontas, you know?

Course, it's just made
out of pure roots and herbs...

that she picked up on the hillside.

But she wouldn't give him this remedy.
He couldn't get it.

- He had to marry her to get it.

Oh, yes, he did.
He had to marry her to get the remedy.

And that's how it got
into the Smith family.

And that's been handed down
from generation to generation...

from Smith to Smith right on down...

and that's how it come
clear down to me.

- My great-grandmother was a Smith.
- Mine too, Doc!

I doubt it.
Say, lookee here.

Lookee here, my friend.
You don't look good. Now, you are ill.

You are sick, and you don't know it.

- Well, I- I do feel kind of bad, Doc.
- I knew it.

I could just look at you-
Would you mind stepping up here?

Just get up here on the platform, will ya?

Now, you folks know that this man
is no confederate of mine.

- I never saw him before.

Now, along in the spring,
just about the time you should go to plowin'...

why, you feel kind of tired,
don't you?

- You're right, Doc.

- And you know that I'm right, don't you?

You know what that is?
That's spring sickness, that's what it is.

It's spring sickness, and the only thing
that'll cure that is Pocahontas.

Pocahontas. You know,
the main thing about Pocahontas is...

that you can't do a tap of work...

you're not allowed to turn a hand
until the whole bottle is empty.

You mean, I can't even sharpen the ax
for the old woman to cut wood?

- Why, you can't even hitch up the mules for her.
- I'll take a bottle, Doc.

It's 50 cents a bottle.
I-I haven't got change for that dollar here.

You don't mind just takin'
another bottle, do you?

Because, you know, you're gonna be tired
during the summer...

and that'll carry you over
till I get back.

- Now, who else wants a bottle?

You don't have to work.

You can lay off anytime.
I've got a few.

Complete relaxation while you're taking it.
Here you are.

- Who'll have another bottle here?

Hey, Doc, let me have
one of them two bits.

I'm awful sorry, lady.
I haven't got any more of the 10-cent ones.

They're all 25 cents, ma'am.
I didn't have enough.

There you are.
Who'll have another?

- Morning, Captain Eli.
- Hello, Doc.

Make yourself at home.

Say, what in thunder are you doin'?

I'm just teaching you
how to salute my boat.

The Claremore Queen.
Look at her layin' over there.


- Give her two more toots.

Say, that's four.

- That's a-That's a double salute.
- No.

Just honoring the unburied dead,
that's all.

Yeah, don't- don't try
to poke any fun at that.

Duke and I just bought it.

We saved up every nickel
we got to get that boat.

That's your nephew, ain't it?

You bet your life.
And he's a great boy, Duke.

I thought he was pilot
on the Memphis Girl.

Well, he was.
He's the main pilot on there.

But not no more.
He's making his last trip...

and then he's comin'
right on there with me.

You stick to doctoring.

You ain't no steamboat man.
Cramp her, Mink.

Cramp her.
I'll take her, Mink.

Well, admittin' Duke's
a pretty good boy...

what could you do on a steamboat?

Well, I'm just gonna sit up
in the pilot's house...

and toot the whistle and
listen to that old river sing.

The way you brag, I suppose...

you're fixin' to stick
that old apple crate yonder...

in the big race to
Baton Rouge this summer.

I never had thought of that.
But that's a idea at that.

You know, the Claremore Queen
won that race in '84.

And with-
And with Duke as a pilot...

I'll bet she could win it again.

I suppose you'd like to bet
your boat against my boat...

on the result of that race, huh?

Well, I-I don't know.

Well, I'll bet you at that.
I'll bet you.

You made yourself a bet
and lost yourself a steamboat.

Come up and get it. Come on.

Good-bye, folks.

Ain't you gonna stay ashore
here with us, brother?

The devil's pretty active
around these parts.

Nay, brother.
The Lord's a-callin' me up the river.

Gotta wrestle with
the captain of the Memphis Girl.

He's backslid.

Well, durn my britches!
The Memphis Girl, huh?

Say, I've got a nephew
works on that boat.

You need anybody to help you
wrestle with the devil, he'll help you.

He's the best wrestler
in this whole country.

His name's Duke.
Duke's his name.

Yes, sir.
He's pilot of the boat.

Thank you, brother.
I'll fetch him the word.

You tell him to hurry on down here.
I ain't any man to be kept waitin'.

Good-bye, brother.
Keep the faith.

You can count on me, Moses.

I ain't got no more use for liquor.

- Hey, Doc!

That's two bottles you got.
Cost you a dollar.

I ain't got any money, Doc,
but I can work it out.

- "Work it out." What can you do?
- Steamboat engineer.

Yeah? Steamboat engineer?

Are you an engineer? Huh?

Say, boy, you just drunk yourself
into a job. Come on in here.

Well, engineer,
what do you think of it?

Kind of looks as though a lot of rats
have to find themselves a new hole.

Well, of course it don't
look so good right now.

But you got to remember that-
Well, a steamboat is a female, you know?

And when they're struttin' up and down
the river where everybody's lookin' at 'em...

they're just like a woman
with a new Easter bonnet on.

But when nobody
ain't lookin' at 'em, why...

they get kind of careless and don't care.

- Yeah- sloppy.
- Sloppy. That's right.

But with a-with a good, live man
on this boat like you are...

say, you can make this thing
perk up and strut.

Get some paint on her nose
and get these chickens out of here.

We can put them
right in the pot now.

Here. Here.
Start flirtin' with that.

But, Doc, you told me yourself...

that a man couldn't do a lick of work
when he's on Pocahontas.

Oh, that's the first bottle.
But after that...

you've got to work to get
the best results out of it.

Now, hurry up.
Duke's gonna be here any day now...

and he'll be here-

Ooh! Look at that.

It says "Captain."
It says "Captain" on it.

Ain't that great?
Oh, uh- Oh, no. No, no.

Now, listen. We'll find a sign painter
up the river somewhere...

and I'll-we'll have "Chief Engineer"
put on there, see?

And if I have any room, you know...

and you work good,
we'll put "First Mate."

Come on, now.
Let's get goin'. Hurry up.

- That you, Duke?

- Hello, Uncle John.
- Hey, you're kind of late, ain't you?

I guess I am, Uncle John.

Who-Who's that-

This is Fleety Belle, Uncle John.

She's a swamp gal, ain't she?

Oh, I guess that's right.

But there's some mighty fine
people in the swamps.

You're actin' awful queer, Duke.

You done somethin' bad, ain't ya?

Mighty bad, Uncle John.

What'd you do?

I killed a man.

Well, was it on account
of her you done it?

Yes, sir.

Can Fleety Belle sit down
and get dry, Uncle John?

Guess so.
Half the Claremore Queen's yours, ain't it?

It's all right, Fleety Belle.

Uh, you all ain't had
nothin' to eat, have you?

I'd mighty like something
for Fleety Belle.

She's about worn out.

I got-

I got some hot coffee here.

I'll get some bacon in a minute.

Where'd you meet her?

Well, there ain't much to tell.

We was down at Blue Bottom Bayou
back of Hannan gettin' out timber.

Some swamp people come along
in their shanty boats.

I used to wave at 'em,
tryin' to be friends with 'em.

But they'd never wave back or nothin'.

Just make their womenfolk get indoors.

First time I seen Fleety Belle, I-

I thought she was a boy
the way she was dressed.

Well, I blowed my whistle...

and- and she waved back.

And her old man came out
and gave her a whippin'.

After that, I seen her
pretty near every day.

Then her folks found out,
and her old man gave her a worse whippin'.

And that's why she run away.

- Was it one of her kinfolks you killed?
- No, sir.

- It was Big Steve.
- Who's he?

Engineer on the Memphis Girl.

When he found Fleety Belle on the steamboat
where I was hiding her...

he started after her.

You know I don't get mad easy, but-

but when I do,
it's like a- like a thorn tree...

a-growin' and growin'
inside of me, and-

Well, we started in fightin'.
He drawed a knife...

and I picked up a chunk of stove wood
and throwed it at his hand.

And he ducked right into it, and I knowed
by the way he fell that he was dead.

Well, then, ain't nobody can say
that that wasn't self-defense.

- Did anybody see it?
- Nobody but a- a preacher fella.

- Calls hisself the New Moses.
- I know 'im. I know him.

He come up
on the Pride of Paducah with me.

I sent a message to you by him.
Did he give it to you?

Yeah, he told me.

- He-He seen it, huh?
- He seen it.

And it was night,
and he was sleepin' on deck.

He didn't blame me none.
Just done a lot of prayin'...

and told me to give myself up.

I don't know nothin' about religion.

But he's right.
He-He's right.

You gotta give yourself up.

There ain't no jury could blame you
for doin' a thing like that.

Now, come on. Come on and
sit down there. Come sit down.

Get you something to eat here now.

Then we'll go on over. We'll see the sheriff,
and you can give yourself up.


He ain't gonna give hisself up.

Listen here. Who asked for
any opinion of yours on this thing?

You've done enough to him already.

Now, sit down there
and get you something to eat.

He's gonna do as I say.
He knows that he can trust me.

No, he ain't gonna do what you say.

We heard tell of this hangin' judge.

Ain't nobody gonna hurt Duke.

- Sit down!
- Sit down, Fleety Belle. Eat somethin'.

Uncle John?s right.

There ain't nothin' to run away from.

I told you not to come here.
We'd be safe in the swamp.

Aw, swamps!
He's a river man.

He couldn't live in the swamps.
He's not that kind of people.

But they'll hang you, Duke.
I know they will!

Aw, they won't do any such a thing.
They won't hang him.

Don't pay any attention to her, Duke.
She'll only get you in worse.

You shut up and stop sayin' that!

You're just thinkin' of yourself!
You don't care what happens to Duke!

Now, honey, Uncle John is-

I ain't never had nothin' to love in my life,
and I'm not gonna let 'em take you.

Nobody's gonna take me
away from you, honey...

except maybe for a little while.

You and me gotta be free to get married
and- and live on this boat.

If you don't come with me now,
you'll never see me again.

Come on, son. Let's get on over
and see the sheriff.

- You let him alone!
- Now, honey-

- Come on, son.
- I know why you're doin' this.

It's because you hate me,
and you think I ain't good enough for him.

Comin', Duke?

I'm comin', Uncle John.

But you've gotta take care
of Fleety Belle while I'm gone.

Rufe? Rufe?

Sure is quiet up here.

Sleeps right upstairs there.

See if I can wake him up here.

Hello down there.
Well, good heaven Betsy.

What are you doin' down there this time
of night, Doc? Can't you let a man sleep?

Come on down. Duke-
Duke killed a man.

Well, doggone me.
Who was it, Duke? Somebody I knowed?

Fella named Big Steve.

- Never heard of him.
- Come on- Come on down, Rufe.

Now, Doc, there ain't no need
of me comin' down them stairs.

Wait just a minute.
I'll fix you up.

Here you be, Duke.

Now just open her up
and make yourself at home.

Take the first bed
you take a liking to. And, Doc...

just hang the keys
on the front doorknob, will ya?

I'll be seein' you in the mornin' now
about breakfast time.

Good night.


You'd think somebody killed a man
every day around here...

and come and give theirself up.

Hey, you. Girl!

Come on inside here now.
Supper's about ready.

Sit down.

- Sit down!
- I ain't goin' to! You sit down!

I don't want nobody
waitin' on me.

I know you hate me,
and I don't care.

Duke told me to stay here,
and I'm gonna do it.

As soon as he gets out,
him and me's goin' away.

And we ain't comin' back neither.

Maybe you're goin' away,
but he ain't.

Yes, he is.

Now, we'll see about that.
I never knew of any good...

comin' of a river man
gettin' mixed up with swamp trash.

Hey, look out there!

You know- Say, you're a-

You're a spunky little rascal,
you know it?


You kind of got
to admire you at that.

- There she is!
- Just wait till I get you home.

- No, I ain't a-goin'!
- I'll beat the hide off of you for this-

runnin' off with a river man,
shamin' me in the face of the Lord.

Makin' trash out of herself.
I don't know as I want to marry her now.

She'll marry you, Ben,
after Pop gives her a good whoppin'.

- Oh, I won't! I won't! I won't!
- You'll shut up!

Darn you! I'll beat the livin'-

- Hold on there!
- Go ahead and beat me!

That's all I ever knowed.
Take me back.

But I won't marry him,
and you can't make me.

I'll run away, and I'll-
I'll keep on doin' it till you kill me!

Now, you listen to me.
And you don't have to go anywhere.

- Oh, shut up!
- He's just lookin' for trouble.
Go ahead. Give it to him.

Ain't no sin runnin' off
with the man you love...

and ain't nobody gonna
make me say it is.

You heard what she said.
Now, go on! Get out of here!

- Hit him in the chin, Pop!
- I'll bust him one!

Go ahead, Ben.
Don't take none of his sass.

Ain't no river man
gonna tell me what to do.

She's my young 'un,
and I got the right.

There ain't nobody gonna
tell her what to do but Duke.

- I'm her pa.
- Yes, and Duke is her husband.

Her and Duke-
Her and Duke was married.

There can't be nothin' wrong
about that, can there?

He's lyin', Pap!

I ain't a-gonna marry her now nohow.
I don't want no river man's trash!

You bet your life you're not a-gonna.

Say, just a minute here.

Say, I've stood just about all the insults
I'm gonna stand out of you people.

You can't come in here talkin' to
that girl like that. That's Duke's wife.

- Now get out of here, you swamp trash!
- Now, wait a minute.

- Put that down.
- Come on, you swamp rats! Get out of here!

- Look, Pappy! There's my shoes.
- Hey, drop them shoes!


Fine lot of kinfolks you got.

- I'd mighty like to thank you for what you've done.
- Well, you oughta thank me.

Hadn't been for me,
they'd have got your shoes.

- But- But, I mean, you fixed it-
- Well, yes.

If you hadn't give me the knife,
they might have got 'em anyhow.

Comin' in here botherin' us just when
we're gonna enjoy our supper here together.

Hmph. That's a fine lot of kinfolks
havin' like that. Swamp people.

Look at that bacon.
Look at that. It's all burned.

Look. Look at that.

- Let me fix it.

Huh? What do you know
about cookin' bacon?

I bet you never did cook
nothin' but catfish.

Hey, what is that- Here.

What is that? Is that- Is that
an old tablecloth of somebody's? Huh?

What is it?

You can't wear a thing
like that to the court-

You can't wear-
You can't wear that to the courtroom.

You've got to-

No wonder Duke couldn't tell
whether you was a boy or a girl.

Look at that.

Sure used to make
them Yanks run in that.

Look at that. Huh?

That belonged to-
That belonged to Duke's mother.

She was the prettiest woman
I ever saw in my life...

even if she was my sister.

She was a skinny little thing,
just like you.

- There you go. There you go.

Lettin' the bacon burn up that way.

That's all you women think about-
just clothes.

Dr. John, do you think anybody'll
take me for a swamp girl?

Swamp girl? What, in those clothes?

No more swamp girl.
Say, there's gals up in the big city...

like-like Vicksburg
that ain't got duds like those.

You know where those clothes come from?
Way up to Memphis.

Do you think-
Do you think Duke'll like it?

Like it? Say, he ain't even
gonna recognize you at first.

Duke's gonna have
two sweethearts now.

- Two?
- Yeah. Gonna have two.

You and the Claremore Queen.

Say, we gotta hurry up here.
Let's get to prancin' here. Come on.

'Twas me done this to Duke.

It's all my fault. I ought to let him
run away like you said.

You was right about
that hangin? judge.

Guess I thought 'cause I was older...

that I- I knew more
about right and wrong than you all did.

Duke ain't blamin' you, Dr. John.

I know he ain't.
But you are.

I ain't blamin' nobody.

You ain't no more surprised
about it than I be, Doc.

Aw. You up there
supposed to be savin' a man's life.

Then you're talkin' to the judge
about real estate.

What'd you wanna start
an argument with him for?

Well, 'tweren't my fault.
You seen the way he led around to it.

He's held a grudge against me
ever since I sold him that bottom land.

'Tweren't my fault
the river run over it.

Oh, well, if you'd let me have my way
and let me go find the New Moses...

who's the only man
that saw the thing-

Had him here as a witness,
Duke could've been free and out of here.

Aw, shucks.
He ain't been hung yet.

Just wait and see the way
I handle this appeal. I tell you-

You just wait a minute now.
You ain't gonna handle any appeal.

You know what I want you to do?
I want you to go down to Baton Rouge...

and I want you to get a-
get a good lawyer.

Get the best lawyer you can get.
Get a- Get a smart lawyer.

Cost a heap of money.

Them big fellows wouldn't even
worry about Duke for less than $500.

Five hundred dollars?

Well, if his life ain't worth $500,
it ain't worth nothin'.

You go get the lawyer, will ya?
You get the lawyer.

I'll get the $500 somehow or another.

Come on, honey.

Howdy, Doc!

Oh, hello, Rufe.

Mighty sorry to hear about
the way Duke's case turned out.

Well, ain't hung him yet.

That's the truth as I see it.

They ain't goin' to either.

What-What's that you got there?

Why, ain't you heard? Why, Professor Marvel
done skipped town owin' everybody.

Left his whole show
and the calliope and everything.

Come on in and see the show, honey.
It'll cheer you right up.

They got a dead fish in here.
They call it a whale.

Why, the whole tent's just chuck full
of things that'll give you the shivers.

Come on in.
Yes, sir.

All the greatest folks in history,
from John the Baptist...

plumb down to the king of England.

There's Little Eva sittin' there.

Old Uncle Tom's layin'
around here somewheres.

You know the story of Little Eva, honey?

- No.
- Well, just as well.

Oh, here. Lookee.
It's Daniel Boone.

- That Daniel Boone?
- That's Daniel Boone.

You-You know the story
of Daniel Boone?

- No.
- I'll tell you that sometime.

That's a-That's a great story.

Oh, here. Look here. I'll bet that's
the old bloodhound, ain't it, Sheriff?

- Huh?

Got ya there, Doc.

Lookee here.
You see that statue there?

- Uh-huh.
- That's Ulysses S. Grant.

- Yeah? Who's that?
- Oh.

- The woman leadin' the horse?
- Yeah.

Why, that's Victory.

Ain't it just like some durned Yankee
to let the lady walk?

They do it every time.
But lookee here, Doc.

I'll bet you this here's somethin'
that you ain't never seen before.

There's been a heap of argument around town
about this here whale.

And Professor Marvel,
now, he claimed that...

it's the very identical whale
that swallowed Jonah.

Well, it looks old enough to be.

Yes, and look here at
the size of this here mouth.

Ain't nobody in here.


Ain't nobody in here, white folks.

- Holy Moses!
- Moses nothin'.

- Say, that's Jonah.
- No, it's just me.

I worked for the doctor, and I just-

Well, come on out of there now.
Ain't nobody gonna harm you.

- What you doin' in there?
- Nothin'. I was just-

Thought you thought
I was Mr. Professor, and I-

Thought you thought
I was Mr. Professor, and I-

Say, wait a minute here, Rufe.

You know, I got an idea.
See what you think of this, Fleety.

What do you say-You want to
get your money out of this, don't ya?

Sure do.

What do you say you let me take this
on the Claremore Queen...

and I'll soon have your money back.

And we can get Duke
that appeal lawyer too.

Well, I don't see how
nobody can kick about that.

- Do you go with this?
- Yes, sir, I works here.

I play the banjo and the mouth organ
and the calliope and-

- Calliope?
- Yes, sir, and the-

- What's your name?
- Well, I was baptized David Begat Solomon, but-

- David Begat what?
- David Begat Solomon.

But I changed it to
George Lincoln Washington.

Well, now, listen. If you're goin' with me,
we're gonna stick to the Bible.

- You?re Jonah.
- Yes, sir. But I can't swim.

Where do you want this virgin queen?

Put her there by her husband.

What do I know about
a king and queen anyhow?

All I ever did do is sell medicine
up and down this river here.

But I'll tell you,
if we get right down to earth...

and we can change these people around
into people these folks on the river wanna see...

we can make a lot of money.

Now, for instance,
who-who's your favorite female?

- Pocahontas.
- Pocahontas. That's great.

Now, we'll just make
Pocahontas out of her, see?

Get some feathers
and some paint and all.

Who was the feller she was with?
What was his name?

- Captain John Smith.
- Captain John- Here-

Here's Captain John Smith right here.

Over here, we'll take this fella.
The gentleman here is-

"King George"- One, two, three.
King George III.

I never heard of him. We'll make
that gentleman into George Washington.

That's who it is.
And this one over here...

we'll take him-

Hey, hey.

Hey, that's Napoleon.

Better leave him alone.

Uh- Now, here.
Here's these two New Moseses here.

I think they're old prophets of some kind.

But there ain't nobody
interested in prophets nowadays.

I tell you,
we'll make outlaws out of them.

- Frank and Jesse James.
- That's great. That's-

Everybody wants to see the James boys.

Pop, I just now done told you,
Topsy goes back there with Uncle Tom.

You know good and well
she don't goes with Napoleon.

Here's Mr. Ulysses S. Grant, Mr. Doctor.

Grant? Oh, say.
I just happened to think.

Say, we got to go right by Vicksburg.

And they ain't never forgot down there.

No wonder
old Professor Marvel skipped town.

You know, I knew a fellow that got run
out of Vicksburg for just lookin' like him.

I tell you, if you all don't want him...

this uniform just about fits me.

You'll have to change him
to somebody else.

Say, I'm gonna change him.
You know what I'll do?

Take that old cigar out of his mouth...

and we'll make him Robert E. Lee.

I been waitin' here
kind of hopin' you'd come.

Gets mighty lonesome sometimes.

I had to come.
We're leaving tomorrow.

Ain't nothin' nicer than...

goin' up and down the river.

Dr. John's got the appeal lawyer.

He's gonna send you the money
fast as we take it in.

I sure would like to be in them
river towns and see your show.

Oh, it's mighty beautiful.

Fella in here used to work
in a tattoo parlor in Perryville, and-

Well, I kind of been gettin'
some tattooin' done myself.

I wished I could see it.


See what it says under the heart?

It's my name.

I've been learnin' to play the saw too.

I wish I could hear it.

I only know one tune, and...

I don't know that very good.

There's somethin' I gotta
tell you, Fleety Belle.

You know that girl that waits on table
across the street?

Well, I- I waved at her once.

I'll bet she waved at you first.

I've gotta go.

Fleety Belle, you ain't-

ain't never kissed me yet.

Put it over a little bit.
Put it over a little.

A little more there.
Now just hold it steady.

You don't want me to run into
that sandbar, do you, Captain John?

Hmm? What- Hey, hey! Look out there!
Say, wait a minute there.

Hey, you got to make up your mind
who you're gonna take orders from-

me or you.

Now, hold her right there now.
Right there.

You think I'm learnin'?

Say, you takin' to the river
just like an old turtle.

If you listen to me, you'll be
the best pilot on the whole river...

outside of Duke and me.

I sure would like
to get back and see Duke.

You ain't, uh, getting tired
of my company already.

Why, you know that ain't so.

I ain't never had a dream like this.

I ain't never knowed nobody like you.

Why, you bought me dresses
and pretty things...

like I ain't never see'd before.

Sometimes, when we're goin'
down the river at night...

I get to thinkin' about Duke...

and what you done for him and me.

Seems like I can hardly stand it.

I feel like the Lord's just shamin' me
for having hated you so.


Don't have to-
Worry about-

The Lord's a lot broad-minded
than you think he is anyhow.

Put her over a little bit. Look out
for this bend. That's it. Hold it steady.

Steamboat round the bend!

Hey, that's the river talk!
Steamboat round the bend.

Steamboat round the bend!
Here she comes.

Hey, you know what that is?
That's the Pride of Paducah.

It's old Captain Eli.

Want to just give
that old snappin' turtle a toot here...

- to show him my boat can toot louder than his.

Hey, Doc!

Don't forget I'm gonna
own that old mud scow...

when I win this race!

Yeah, the only time you ever gon' pass me
is when you goin' the other way.

Say, what are you on that museum...

the mummy?

And, say, you better
stay away from Salt Creek.

They lynched one of them
hootchy-kootchy shows there last week.

Where was you sittin', on the front row?

I sure was!

- Cramp 'er, Mink! Cramp 'er!

You know, Captain John...

maybe he's right about Salt Creek.

Oh, that old bullfrog don't know
what he's talking about.

Salt Creek's the last town we gonna
show anything. Then we going home.

See Duke.

Oh! Now, look, say, don't do that.

There ain't nothin' run you on the sandbar
quicker than a lot of huggin' and kissin'.

I didn't mean to.

You didn't mean to?
Well, that's a fine thing to say.

If you didn't mean to,
maybe I'd better give it back.

Too much foolishness goin' on around here.
Change your clothes quick now.

Put on a fancy dress.

Gonna show those folks in Salt Creek
some fancy pilotin' now.

- Give 'em a little toot.

Oh, say, there's a lot of folks
comin' tonight!

It looks like the biggest night
we've had in a long time. Come on.

Got some change?
Get up in there now.

Come on, Jonah.
Get that started.

Well, well, well, now.
Well, welcome, brother.

Welcome to Dr. John's Floating Museum.

The show is just about to start,
so get your tickets right here.

There ain't gonna be no show.

No? Just, uh-Just where did you,
uh, get that information, brother?

'Cause we're gonna
chop up your boat, mister.

- Yeah, and burn it up too!
- We'll give you a trail to travel!

And a bucket of tar for that gal!

Come on. Let's pull
this museum out of here!

Mr. Efe! Mr. Efe! They're tearin'
the boat down, them gentlemen!

Mr. Doc and Miss Fleety and them
standing round there, lookin' round!

I never been so scared in all my life!

They got pickaxes
and they got ax handles-

- Stand back there!
- Hold up your hands!

- Look out, pappy! He's got a gun!
- I see him.

- I'm gon' shoot!
- Wait a minute, boys!

Don't shoot. Just hold that till I tell you.
They've got the wrong impression.

- This ain't no show.
- How come she ain't a show? You got a "calli-oop."

Yeah, I know. But this is a museum.
It's educational!

- How come she's educational?
- Well, because- because it is, that's why!

Now, uncock your guns, boys, because
you may let 'em go off accidentally.

Just hold it until I tell you to.

It's educational. Did you ever see
a petrified man? Huh?

No, you never did. Well, we got
one in there. Ain't we, honey?

We got one in there,
and he's 2,000 years old.

I'm gonna let you all come in there
and see with your own eyes...

and it ain't gonna cost you one nickel.

And if everything that I've told you about
out here ain't in there just like I told ya...

then you can come out
and chop it down.

Now, friends, there ain't nobody
that rightfully knows just how old she is.

There is people that say a whale
grows an inch every hundred years.

So, well, you can figure it out
for yourself.

That's not a fish. This ain't a fish.
That's a mammal.

- It's a-
- A mammal.

Well, I mean it raises its young
just like a cow does.

- Yes!

And it breathes
just the same as you and I.

And when it gets waterlogged, it blows it out
through these breathing places in its head.

I'll show you.
Efe, let her breathe a little.

Pappy, it breathed all over me!

There you are.
Now, is she educational, or ain't she?

There's a powerful lot
of learning in a whale.

- Neighbor, this thing is worth payin' for.
- I'm glad to hear you say that.

- Rex, pass the hat.
- Come on, Rex.

Rex, better get your pappy's hat.
Yours leaks.

Over this way, gentlemen, you have
George Washington, the father of his country!

You can't leave without seein' Pappy!

I told you on the outside that I had
George Washington here. I wasn't lyin' to ya.

that certainly is a fine man!

All my life I've thought that about him
and what he's done for our country.

- Will you be here tomorrow?
- No, I'm sorry. I won't be here tomorrow.

I sure would like to have my old woman see him,
if she could get away from her plowin'.

She got a picture of him, and ain't more
than a week goes by she don't look at it.

Well, I'm awful sorry, but we got
to be in Beaver Slough tomorrow.

- They're waitin' for us.
- Don't suppose you could spare me
a piece of his hair, could ya?

Well, no, I don't-

Me and her'd be mighty proud
to have a piece of George Washington's hair.

Well, I'm gonna give you a little piece here.

Of course, I don't want you
to have to make your wife quit plowin'.

There it is. You be very careful
of that. Take good care of that.

Right over this way, gentlemen!
Right over here!

Call your attention to the stage!
All right, Fleety Belle, Efe, Jonah.

Gentlemen, General Robert E. Lee.

Look away, look away
Look away, Dixieland


I wish I was in Dixie, I say, I say

Away, away
A- way down South in Dixie

Away, away
A-way down South in Dixie

I wish I was in the land of cotton

Old times there is not forgotten

Look away, look away
Look away, Dixieland

- Come on.
- Howdy there, Doc, Fleety Belle!

Hello! Hello!

- Hello!
- Hello, Sheriff.

The way this gal drag you up that hill,
you'd think she wanted to see somebody.

- How's Duke?

Oh, fine as a frog hair.
Never knowed a man could keep so happy.

Wait'll you hear him play on that saw.

Man, he really whips 'er.
And he eats more'n a horse.

You wanna feed him good,
'cause there ain't nothin' too good for Duke.

That's the truth as I see it.
Sure hate to see him get hung.

What are you talking about?
Why are you joking about a thing like that?

Ain't you heard?
The court done turned down his appeal.

- Who said so?
- Doc, I'm sorry. I thought you knowed.

I got my orders in my pocket. I gotta
take him to Baton Rouge tomorrow night.



Fleety Belle.

- Duke, it ain't so, is it?
- I guess it is.

They can't take you, Duke.
They can't!

Aw, don't cry, honey.

I guess things just gotta be that way.

I'd just about die
if I never was married to you.

Oh, dear, you're such a skinny little thing.

You know, my Bonnie Lou
got married in this dress.

- She was a little stouter than you are, though.
- It's awful pretty.

Dear, I wished I had
some orange blossoms.

Don't seem like no weddin'
without no orange blossoms.

Addie May, dear, run along
and fix the flowers. That's a good girl.

Yes, sir, Duke, I'm gonna give you
a real good 'un.

This makes 13 folks that I've married
what was gonna get hung.

I guess that's a record.

Sheriff down in Big Bend,
he claimed he done 14.

But never was nobody could find
where it was put down in a book.

Now, these 'uns I done.

Every one of 'em is wrote right here in my
family Bible, where anybody can see 'em.

- Uh, everything's ready, Pop.
- That's fine, Addie May.

Got your flowers all put around?
That's good.

Doc, got the piano set.

Guess we're about ready to go.

Now, Addie May,
can you play the "Wedding March"?

Can't play nothing but
"Listen to the Mockingbird."

I reckon that'll have to do. We gotta
have some music to get the bride in here.

Run on over to the piano, dear.
We'll be ready in just a minute.

- Ma! Oh, Ma! 'Bout ready?
- Yeah! We're a-waitin'.

Won't be but a minute.

Pappy, you gotta give her away, 'cause you done
it for me when you was in here last time.

Bub, let the boys in.

Now, you boys quiet down
and get settled now.

Don't wanna have no disturbance.
Gonna start the ceremony in just a minute.

Doc, the old jail
looks kinda cheerful, don't it?


Go ahead, dear.
Go ahead.

All right, begin, Addie May.

- Friends...

We are gathered here in the eyes of God
and one another...

for the purpose of joining together...

this here man and this here woman
in holy matrimony.

Can't nobody rightly
say nothin' agin marriage...

'cause I reckon God intended...

everybody to live that-a-way.

- 'Cause every living human on this earth...

has got to find his mate...

sometime or other.

And when God put Noah in the ark...

he told him to take two of everything.

'Cause God knowed that was right...

and I guess he knowed
what it was to be lonesome.

Now, if Duke and Fleety Belle here...

had a notion...

they're only carrying out the Word of God.

And right here
I wanna say a word about Duke.

There ain't never been a finer man...

in this here jail.

That's the truth as I see it.

Course, we're all mighty sorry that Duke's
gotta go and get himself hung.

Don't seem just-just right.

But that ain't got nothin' to do
with this ceremony, I guess. Has it, Doc?

All right, Duke...

do you take this here woman
to be your lawful wedded wife...

until death do ye part?

I do.

And you, Fleety Belle,
do you take this here man...

for your lawful wedded husband...

until death do ye part?

I do.

You got a ring, Duke?

I got it.

Just put it on her finger there.

That looks like it might have been
your mother's, son.

- It was.
- All right.

I now pronounce you
man and wife...

until death do ye part.

Go ahead and kiss her, son.

- Hurry up now, Duke.

Here she comes!

Yeah. Darned ol' train.
It would be on time.

Duke 'n' me be down in Baton Rouge
before midnight.

I hate to do this, Duke,
but it's according to the law.

I guess you done all you could, Rufe.

They ain't takin' you!

Go on, Duke! Get away!

Ain't no sense in that.
I don't wanna get you in trouble.

Or you either, Uncle John. I don't
wanna get you in no trouble either, Rufe.

You been mighty good to me.

Oh, that's all right, Duke.
I ain't holdin' no grudge.

Well, guess I kinda lost my head too.

I wanted to see him get away.

Don't cry, honey.
Rufe ain't gonna hold nothin' against ya.

Don't reckon we'll be needin'
these handcuffs none, Duke.

- All aboard!
- Come on, let's get on.

- Go ahead, Duke.

Don't you worry, honey.

You know what we gonna do?
You know?

We gonna get on that boat
and we gonna go all up and down that river.

And we're gonna hunt and hunt till we-
till we find the New Moses.

We'll find him somewhere.

Hey, brother,
you seen anything of the New Moses?

Yes, sir! He was down
in the swamp baptizin' about a week ago!

Hello, friends! Hey, have you
seen anything of the New Moses?

Brother, he was here two weeks ago...

and I ain't had a drop since!

Uncle John, come here!

What is it? Huh?

Oh! Say, that does look like a baptizin'.
That might be him.

Pull over here.

Hey! Hey, brothers!
Is that the New Moses?

No, brother, but I am the New Elijah!

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!


No. It's the wrong prophet.

Folks out there don't look like
they seen anybody comin' through here.

Hey, brothers!
You seen anything of the New Moses?

Brother, I ain't even seen the old Moses!

Fresh thing.

Your joke's old enough-
you oughta have seen the old Moses.

Looks like we've missed him
everywhere we've gone, Fleety Belle.

- Duke ain't got much time left, Uncle John.
- I know that.

I been racking my brain
every night and day...

since the thing happened.

I-I don't know. I just wouldn't wanna
go on livin' if they hang that boy.

I ain't goin' to neither.

But they ain't gonna hang Duke.

I'm not sayin' we're gonna save him,
but they ain't gonna hang him.

I don't know.

Nobody but the Lord knows about that.

Ain't got but two days left.

Say, wait, I got a no-
T-Take the wheel and hold it.

Let me think a minute.
You know what I'm gonna do?

I'm goin' right and see the governor.

- Could ya?
- Yes! Well, they say he ain't forgot us old soldiers.

You know,
I remember him at Shiloh.

He was certainly dealin' them Yankees...

a powerful lot of misery there then.

I'm just gonna go see him and tell him
that we can't find the New Moses...

and this is not Duke's fault.

Let's put her around now.

- We'll turn right around
and take her into Baton Rouge.

Oh, what's the idea
of his comin' up here now?

Don't he know we got a race on?

Say, what's he doin'?
Wavin' us in there?

Go back, will ya!
Go back, I say!

We're gonna have a race!

Hey! What's the idea wavin' us in there?
We goin' on up the river!

The river's been cleared for the race, Doc!

Nobody can get through
until they get away!

Get that floatin' henhouse
out of the way!

Henhouse? What's he doing,
calling this thing a henhouse?

What are you talking about?

Why don't you do as I tell you
and go back?

What do you mean,
callin' this a henhouse?

Can't you understand English?

I said go back, not up river!


Now, you captains ain't gonna start
until the cannons go off.

Then you can do what you please.

The first boat that reaches Baton Rouge
wins the race as well as the prize...

from the governor's own hand.

Here, Clay, hey, what's the idea
of flaggin' me in here?

Sorry, Doc, but you know
the rules of the race.

I'm not in the race.
I'm tryin' to get to Baton Rouge.

Oh, no, you ain't, either.

I knowed you'd try to back out of that race.

- Scared you'll lose that old chicken coop.

Chicken coop, nothin'.
You still wanna bet the Pride of Paducah
against the Claremore Queen?

As I recall, that was the terms of the bet,
unless you're crawfishing.

Winner takes both boats.

Is that so?
Well, I'll just take you up on that.

I'll bet you my boat against yours,
whole hog or none with me.

I'll go in the race. It'll slow me up
going to Baton Rouge, but I'll go in.

What time do we start?

Sergeant Benson shoots off
that cannon in five minutes.

Now, wait. Give me time to load on
some firewood. I'm purt' near out.

Same ol' Pokey-hontas.

- Always full of alibis.

You couldn't win if you put wings on!

She starts when the gun goes off.
That's the rules.

- You fellas better hurry and get on your boats.

I'll lay the course, Mink.

I don't wanna start off by running over
them floatin' waxworks.

Get ready, Cap.
Cannon's about to go "boom!"

Get ready below!

Hey, come on there, Fleety Belle.
Don't be standin' around.

- Are we really goin' in the race?
- Sure. We got to get down the river anyhow.


Hey, Doc, better hug close to shore!

No tellin' when
that ol' honey wagon's gonna sink.

Aw, you shut up, you old-

Uh, hush up.

Hey, Efe! Stand by now!
Full head of steam on all the time!

Come on, honey.

Let me get it, now.

I wanna get a flyin' start. That's the boat
we got to beat, this Pride of Paducah.

Hey, Uncle Jeff,
throw off your spring line!

We way ahead!
Look here! Lemme show ya!

They way back there!
See 'em back there?

You can see that Cherokee boat,
they way back there!

But that Pride of Paducah is right up there!
I believe it's gon' slip by!

Better get some more of that steam,
if you can, in there!

We out in front now,
if we can just hold it.

- Yeah, but the Cherokee's catching up with us.
- Holler down to Efe!

- Tell him to pour the wood to 'er.
- Efe, what steam you carryin'?

I'm just a-wonderin', Mink, where we gonna
put that prize when we win it tomorrow.

Down in the clerk's office?

Uh, in the pilot's house, I should say.

Well, maybe that would be best.

Uncle John, look!
It's the New Moses!

But-Say, it is
the New Moses! It is!

Pull it over!
Pull right over!

Pull her over! Pull her over!
Pull her over! Pull her over!

Away! Away!

Hallelujah! Glory be! Hallelujah!

- Hallelujah!
- Be careful!

Hallelujah! Glory be! Hallelujah!

- Hallelujah!
- Get him on the boat, quick!

- Hallelujah!
- Glory be! Hallelujah!

Glory be! Hallelujah!

Hallelujah! Glory be! Glory be!

- Hallelujah!
- Glory be!

Brother, what are you doing here?

- Helpin' to win a race.
- Race? Gambling?

- Devil's work!
- Oh, no, no!

This is a race to save a life. It's Duke.
They're gonna hang him in the morning.

- But they can't! I seen it!
- That's what I want you to tell the governor!

No, I got souls to save.

No, you got a life to save, and the Lord
don't care which one of your jobs you do first.

Keep a-goin', Fleety Belle!

Can I get you a drink of water
or somethin', Mr. Moses?

Just lucky he didn't
bump his head on that boat.


Glory be, Brother Efe!

Into the fiery furnace!
Into the fiery furnace!

- Glory be!
- Hallelujah!

Glory be, brother!

We must have more wood!

Chop up the decks here!
Chop everything that burns!

Anything that burns!

Must have more wood!

Say, look here, honey.

- Can you get over there
and get right in behind him?
- Sure, I can. Yeah.

- In his backwash?
- Uh-huh.

Because if you can,
the Lord has given me an idea.

Here she comes!

Mink, when I get sound asleep,
take this here cigar out of my mouth, will ya?

Burnt up three, four steamboats

- Mornin', Mink.
- Morning, Captain.

Mornin', Captain Eli!
Have a good night?

Holy jumpin' catfish!

Fletch! Fletch! Get an ax!

Get an ax and chop that old scow loose!

Doc, you connivin' old scoundrel!

It 'taint fair! It 'taint fair!

I'm just as sore 'bout it
as you are, Captain Eli...

when I found out
we'd been pushin' you all night.

Ah, son...

I wouldn't keep watching
that scaffold if I were you.

I ain't seen it, Reverend.

I was watchin' up the river.

I sure thought Uncle John and Fleety Belle
would be here today.

Well, maybe they'll be able
to get here yet.

I'll stay here with you.

- How much time I got?
- Oh, a couple of hours.

- Let me read to you a little.
- Please.

The fire's dyin' out, Doc.
The boiler's gettin' cold.

She ain't got another lick in 'er.
We're sure licked now.

- You got to keep the fires goin'.
- Ain't got nothin' else to burn!

- Well, burn that museum!
- Huh?


Doc said burn up the museum!

The mu- Good idea!

You gon' burn up
Mr. George Washington? Hey!

I wonder how come they can-


Mr. Moses, that's
Miss Carry "Notion"! Lookee here- Hey!

Hey, Mr. Efe!
Mr. Efe! Hey!

It's me, Mr. Efe!
Hey! It's me!

It's me!
It's Jonah, Mr. Efe!

Go on, brother!

- Hallelujah!
- Go on, brother!

Glory be! Hallelujah!

- Get everything in there!
- Get that drinkin' chap over there!

In with the demon rum!

In he goes! Here we are!

Cramp her, Mink!
Get in that current and cramp her sharp!

Hey, Clem!

Give 'er everything you've got!

Spread 'er wide open and
put two more men on the safety valve!

Mr. Efe, there they is there!
Hurry up, Uncle Jeff! They sneakin' by!

- Hallelujah! Glory be! Hallelujah!
- Glory be!

- Only six to do now!
- Glory be!

Come on, brother!
Into the fiery furnace!

There they come, Mr. Efe! You better
make a fire up! You better make it hotter!

You just takin' your time!
You can't get no steam!

There they go! I know good and well
we gon' have to catch 'em again!

- Take 'er, Mink.
- I've got 'er.

Hot ziggety! We got him beat
four ways to Sunday now!

Glory be!
Hold 'er steady, Mink!

Ain't there somethin' we can get in there
and keep 'er goin' a little further?

- We're purt' near there.
- We ain't got steam enough to raise a blister.

Don't seem fair. They're gonna hang Duke,
and we in spittin' distance of Baton Rouge.

Nothing can save us now
but the power of prayer.

What are you drinkin' there?


Brother Efe, you've been deceivin' me!
That's demon rum!

Hey, that's Pocahontas.
It's never failed us yet.

- Say, we got 10 gallons, right?
- Ten? We got a hundred!

Then fire it up!
Down with demon rum!

Down with demon rum!
Down with it!

Down with the demon rum!
Into the fiery-


- Hallelujah!

Boy, that stuff is dangerous!

- Give it here!
- Keep it goin'!

Down with the demon rum!

- There we are! Into the fiery furnace!

- Glory be!
- I'd love to see ol' Captain Eli's face now!

Gosh almighty!
Say, look, Mink!

Look at the way
the smoke's comin' out of 'er!

Hey, Clem! Clem!

Feed 'er rosin!

Yes, and a barrel of pitch!

We'd better get hotter!
I ain't gonna rest, so we'd better catch that-


That must be some powerful roots
and herbs in this Pocahontas.

- Yea, brother! More! More!

Hurl away the demons!
Yes! There they are!

Hurl away the demons!
That's it!

Mink, he's crawlin' up.

We're comin' into-
We're comin' into Baton Rouge!

That's Baton Rouge!

O God in heaven,
look down upon this, thy son-

O God in heaven,
look down upon this, thy son-

Excuse me, Reverend.

Say, Duke, is there any last request
you'd like to make?

I sure would like to see
the finish of that race.

Well, I ain't got no objection to that.
But Rufe told me that you-

That's all right.
Anything Duke wants suits me.

Well, I'd like to see the finish
of that race myself.

So, we'll let 'er go as soon as
the Pride of Paducah comes around the bend.

- Thank you, sir.
- It won't be long.

- There she comes!

Well, all right, son.
Let's go.

Wait a minute!
That ain't the Pride of Paducah!

It's the Claremore Queen!

- Well, let's go.
- Good-bye, Duke.

O Father, Father, I beseech thee...

- at this moment look down upon thy son...

in this, his hour of need.

- Grant him strength. Grant him praise-
- Wait! Wait! Wait!

Wait! Wait! Wait!

I pardon this boy!