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Aaron Slick from Punkin Crick (a.k.a. Marshmallow Moon in the UK and the Philippines and Härkiä, heiniä ja hakkailua in Finland) is a musical and was a 1952 'hillbilly' movie made by Paramount Pictures, directed by Claude Binyon and produced by William Perlberg and George Seaton. It is based on a 1919 play by Walter Benjamin Hare which was one of the most produced plays in the history of American theater with 40,000 performances, as of 1952, mainly by amateur groups.[2][3] The cinematography was by Charles Lang and the costume design by Edith Head.[4]

Aaron Slick from Punkin Crick
Directed byClaude Binyon
Produced byWilliam Perlberg
George Seaton
Written byStory:
Claude Binyon
Walter Benjamin Hare
StarringAlan Young
Dinah Shore
Adele Jergens
Robert Merrill
Minerva Urecal
Martha Stewart
Veda Ann Borg
Music byRobert Emmett Dolan
CinematographyCharles Lang
Edited byArchie Marshek
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • April 12, 1952 (1952-04-12) (Los Angeles)[1]
Running time
95 minutes
CountryUnited States



A dreamy farm widow, played by Shore, is obsessed with moving to the city. She is courted by shy-bumpkin neighbor (Young). She is almost tricked out of her oil-rich land by crooks (Merrill and Jergens) who alone know about the oil.[5][6]


The film stars Alan Young, Dinah Shore and Robert Merrill. Supporting are Adele Jergens, Minerva Urecal, Martha Stewart (not to be confused with Martha Stewart, television host and home-decorating mogul), and Veda Ann Borg.[4] Alan Young had previously appeared in only three films–in the 1940s and all supporting roles. Dinah Shore had only acted eight years previously, in Up in Arms (1944) and Belle of the Yukon (1944), and this was her last major film role. The film also marked the debut of opera star Robert Merrill.[2]


Aaron Slick from Punkin Crick had an unfortunate release. Produced in Technicolor as an A production, its boxoffice failed in its initial playdates. The film thereafter opened as a B movie.

Bosley Crowther of The New York Times wrote in his April 19, 1952 review: "Claude Binyon, who wrote and directed, must have done so in a stultifying trance; not a trace of his well-known wit or drollery is evident in this film. And the songs, which are woodenly delivered by Miss Shore, Mr. Young and Robert Merrill, who plays the city rascal, are hard to remember as far as the door."[3] Variety was lukewarm, reporting: "The bucolic humor presented is of a mild brand, the music score that has been added to the original play is fair, and while the performances are competent its chances in the general market are spotty."[7] Harrison's Reports wrote that it should give "fairly good satisfaction to the general run of audiences, although it will probably find its best reception in the smaller towns and cities."[8] John McCarten of The New Yorker wrote: "Every cliché of musical barnyard drama is included here, and the song lyrics run to such idiocies as 'Purt Nigh but Not Plumb.' Associated with Mr. Merrill in this hayshaking enterprise are Alan Young and Dinah Shore. They'll make you long for the streets outside."[9]

English film historian and critic Leslie Halliwell considered Aaron Slick from Punkin Crick to be: " Homespun entertainment based on a staple success of the American provincial theatre, with pleasant songs added."[10]


  • "Chores" written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
  • "My Beloved" written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
  • "Marshmallow Moon" written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
  • "Why Should I Believe In Love?" written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
  • "Still Water" written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
  • "Purt' Nigh, But Not Plumb" written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
  • "Life Is a Beautiful Thing" written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
  • "I'd Like To Baby You" written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
  • "Saturday Night in Punkin Creek" written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
  • "Step Right Up" written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
  • "Soda Shop" written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans

The song "Marshmallow Moon" was a hit before the film was released.[2]


  1. ^ "Aaron Slick from Punkin Crick - Details". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Aaron Slick from Punkin Crick (1952) - Notes -". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved August 21, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Movie Review - - THE SCREEN -". Retrieved August 21, 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Aaron Slick From Punkin Crick (1952) - Claude Binyon - Cast and Crew - AllMovie". AllMovie. Retrieved August 21, 2016.
  5. ^ "Aaron Slick From Punkin Crick (1952) - Claude Binyon - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie". AllMovie. Retrieved August 21, 2016.
  6. ^ "Aaron Slick from Pumpin Crick". Retrieved August 21, 2016.
  7. ^ "Aaron Slick from Punkin Crick". Variety: 6. February 20, 1952.
  8. ^ "'Aaron Slick from Punkin Crick' with Alan Young and Dinah Shore". Harrison's Reports: 30. February 23, 1952.
  9. ^ McCarten, John (April 26, 1952). "The Current Cinema". The New Yorker: 137.
  10. ^ Halliwell, Leslie (1987). Halliwells Film Gude, 6th Edition. U.K.: Grafton. p. 1. ISBN 0-246-13207-8.

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