Palooka From Paducah

Length: Two reels
Release date: January 11, 1935
An Educational Pictures Production
Presented by: E.W. Hammons
Distributed by: Fox Films
Producer: E.H. Allen
Director: Charles Lamont
Story: Glen Lambert
Photography: Dwight Warren

Buster Keaton: Jim
Joe Keaton: Pa
Myra Keaton: Ma
Louise Keaton: Sis
Dewey Robinson: Elmer
Bull Montana: Bullfrog Kraus

It’s a quiet day in the Appalachians, particularly in the home of the hill-bound Diltz family, with Jim and Elmer Diltz making moonshine, Pa sending a letter from the city (the “letter.” of course, is blank, because Pa can’t write), and Sis lighting up sticks of dynamite in the middle of the woods. Pa comes back, and says they’re going to stop moonshining, because Prohibition has been repealed and sales are likely to go down as a result. He starts training his bigger son, Elmer, to wrestle, with Jim as his sparring partner.

At the Paducah arena, Elmer “Hillbilly” Diltz gets ready to fight “Bullfrog” Krauss, with Jim as his ringside assistant. The fight begins. As Elmer starts wrestling Krauss, he seems to be in trouble, and the entire family hops into the ring in an effort to help Elmer. The family is escorted off, but an enraged Krauss punches Jim in the face. Seeing his brother down gives Elmer the vigor to pummel Krauss (literally) into the floorboards, and Elmer wins the fight. The next day, the family sees Krauss on crutches and chases him away. — Nick Ciccone