From Hare to Heir
From Hare to Heir is a Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies theatrical cartoon short released on September 3, 1960 starring Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam as Sam, Duke of Yosemite at Bedlam Manor. The cartoon was directed and written by Friz Freleng. It is the first Merrie Melodies short to include "A Vitaphone Release" at the end of the cartoon.
|From Hare to Heir|
|Directed by||Friz Freleng|
|Produced by||John Burton, Sr. (uncredited)|
|Story by||Friz Freleng|
|Music by||Milt Franklyn|
|Animation by||Gerry Chiniquy |
|Layouts by||Hawley Pratt|
|Backgrounds by||Tom O'Loughlin|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|September 3, 1960 (USA premiere)|
|6 minutes 31 seconds|
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The cartoon takes place at Bedlam Manor (Bethlem Royal Hospital, nicknamed "Bedlam"), located somewhere in England, during the 18th Century. Sam, Duke of Yosemite finds out from one of his servants that Sam no longer has any money, because his uncle, the King, has cut off his allowance (possibly as punishment for losing his temper once too many times). After Sam punishes the servant for this message ("not having the books balanced") by giving him the "nose-in-the-book" penalty (slamming a heavy book on the servant's big nose), Bugs Bunny comes to his door as a representative of an unnamed company and offers Sam one million pounds. According to the document that Bugs reads, Sam must prove that he is worthy of the monetary gift by displaying mild temperament at all times; if he loses his temper at any time, a portion of the million pounds will be deducted, the amount depending on what Bugs thinks is suitable ("In short, whenever you blow your top, you blow some dough. Get it?"). Sam welcomes Bugs into his home, anxious to receive the one million pounds.
Bugs plays the role of an annoying house guest to test Sam's temperament. During dinner, Bugs keeps asking Sam for various condiments one by one (first asking for salt, then asking for pepper, and finally asking for olives). Sam takes it in stride at first, but then it becomes too much (as they are sitting at opposite ends of a very long dining room table) and he goes into a closet to express his vexation. It doesn't help, though, as Bugs can hear him through the door, so Sam loses £300 which is then changed to £400 after another burst of anger, prompting Sam to run outside into the distance to let off more steam.
Bugs' provoking of Sam continues that night by playing the piano while loudly and obnoxiously singing "Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair" while Sam is trying to sleep. Sam bursts out of his room and screams: "Stop that music, ya crazy rackin', frackin', varmint rabbit!". After Bugs deducts some more money, Sam requests that he play "Brahms' Lullaby" so that he can fall asleep. Bugs agrees but in the form of a one-man marching band, pacing back and forth right outside Sam's bedroom door. Of course, this ticks off Sam even more, but he is able to pretend that he likes it.
Next morning, Bugs hogs the bathroom and Sam shouts for him to get out, the first demand resulting in the door being slammed into him (without being penalized) and the second costing him another £400 plus 35 shillings. After furiously pounding his head on the piano (with Bugs thinking that the noise is a "song") and realizing he's not going to have any money left if the temper-losing deductions keep up, Sam gets an idea to get rid of Bugs and make it look like an accident so that he receives the entire million. He saws a hole in the floor outside the bathroom door and covers the hole with a mat so that when Bugs comes out of the bathroom and walks over it, he'll go through and plunge into the river below. When Bugs still won't budge from the bathroom, Sam bursts in and pushes him out, but Bugs traverses across the covered hole and Sam falls through it, cursing in gibberish all the way down. A drenched Sam charges back upstairs and is told by Bugs that he can use the bathroom now. Sam charges towards Bugs but has completely forgotten about the hole between them, falling through and plunging into the river again, bellowing out the same cursive gibberish as before.
Later that day, Bugs climbs up a really long staircase (“The Alps have got nothing on these stairs for climbing.”). Sam is awaiting for him at the top, posing as a statue in armor. When Bugs gets close enough, Sam takes a swing at his head with a double-bladed axe, as if to decapitate him, but Bugs ducks and he falls down the stairs. As Sam descends while ranting, raving and cursing all the way down, Bugs continuously writes out deductions.
The following day, Sam finally gets control of his temper. He shows Bugs by having his servants physically mock him with a pie in the face, a kick in the rear and a conk over the head with a rolling pin. As Sam goes through this repeatedly, Bugs looks at the camera and says: “I haven’t got the heart to tell him that he’s used up all the money” as the cartoon fades in (though it is never revealed if there actually was any money in the first place).
Usage in compilationsEdit
This cartoon was included in the 1983 compilation film Daffy Duck's Movie: Fantastic Island as Sam's wish and possibly the final classic sketch in the movie.
"From Hare to Heir" is available, uncensored and uncut, on the Looney Tunes Superstars DVD. However, it was cropped to widescreen.
| Bugs Bunny Cartoons
Lighter Than Hare