A fake movie in Green Acres mashed together clips from classic Boris Karloff horror flicks

“Frankenstein Meets Mary Poppins” used footage from many early scary movies.

Green Acres never shied away from portraying a TV show within a TV show. Arnold the Pig loved watching westerns, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. was a town favorite and even The Beverly Hillbillies played on Hooterville TV screens — before the characters met in real life, of course (real life in this fictional world). It's all very meta in the funniest way.

One Green Acres episode showed a phony small-screen presentation called Multi-Million Dollar Movie Matinee.

In "Sprained Ankle, Country Style," Oliver injures his leg and can't get out of bed. The residents of Hooterville, being the nice country folks they are, decide to bring him food. Unfortunately, before Oliver can eat any of it, all his visitors get distracted by the movie on TV and eat the snacks themselves.

It's not long before Alf and Ralph Monroe, Hank Kimball, Doris Ziffel, and even Bobbie Jo Bradley are all sitting at the foot of Oliver's bed, enthralled by Frankenstein Meets Mary Poppins.

The film seems to be an amalgamation of all the classic horror tropes — because it is! Clips shown on Oliver's TV include an old mansion in a thunderstorm from the 1941 Boris Karloff movie The Devil Commands, a skeletal hand from Karloff's House of Frankenstein, and scenes from many other black-and-white scary flicks, like the robot from Mysterious Doctor Satan.

Though it's hard to identify from the short clip, a shot of a monster running through the forest could be from a third Boris Karloff film – Frankenstein 1970 (released in 1958).

If so, it would add an extra meta layer to the show-within-a-show. Frankenstein 1970 is about the filming of a monster movie. So, that means there's a movie within a movie within a TV movie presentation — all within a real TV sitcom.

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Pacificsun 45 months ago
i never realized how far ahead of its time Green Acres was. As an adult I appreciate how relatively experimental it was in terms of (surreal) comedy. As a kid I just watched it for the silliness of the characters. Which was (of course) the intention of the producers, dual purpose, the very real satire (of many rural sitcoms of the day) along with its most important element - entertainment and escapism!

Lately the collection of all these GA articles has been very interesting! Thanks MeTV!!
MrsPhilHarris 45 months ago
I'd like to see that movie.
OldTVfanatic MrsPhilHarris 45 months ago
Talk to Disney and Universal.
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