Colonel Effingham's Raid

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Colonel Effingham's Raid
Colonel Effingham's Raid.JPG
Directed by Irving Pichel
Produced by Lamar Trotti
Written by Kathryn Scola (writer)
Berry Fleming (novel)
Starring Charles Coburn
Joan Bennett
William Eythe
Allyn Joslyn
Elizabeth Patterson
Music by Cyril J. Mockridge
Cinematography Edward Cronjager
Edited by Harmon Jones
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • 1946 (1946)
Running time
72 min
Country United States
Language English

Colonel Effingham's Raid (UK title: Man of the Hour) is a 1946 comedy film made by 20th Century Fox, directed by Irving Pichel. It is also known as Berry Fleming's Colonel Effingham's Raid, Everything's Peaches Down in Georgia and Rebel Yell. The screenplay was written by Kathryn Scola, based on a 1943 novel by Berry Fleming. The music score is by Cyril J. Mockridge. The film stars Charles Coburn, Joan Bennett, William Eythe, Allyn Joslyn and Elizabeth Patterson. The plot involves a retired career Army colonel who returns to his hometown, starts writing a column in a local newspaper and takes on the corrupt local politicians to not replace the historic county courthouse.

Fleming based his novel on the Cracker Party and political corruption in Richmond County, Georgia.[1]


William Seaborn Effingham (Charles Coburn) returns to his home town Fredericksville, Georgia, in 1940 as a retired Army Colonel. He soon finds something to fill his days with, by starting a fight for the survival of the local newspaper. After many years of absence, he meets his cousin, Albert Marbury (William Eythe), who is a reporter at the newspaper, and hears that a rival newspaper is threatening the existence of the one Albert works for. The competing paper is getting more advertisers because of its support of the sitting mayor, Bill Silk (Thurston Hall). Among other things, the mayor favors renaming the town Confederate Monument Square after a highly questionable deceased politician named Pud Toolen. William isn’t happy at all with this development, and decides to support the editor, Earl Hoats (Allyn Joslyn), in the fight for survival. Effingham has opinions about the content of the paper, and convinces the editor to let him write a military column. The column becomes a success among the readers, and opens up the doors to society in the small town. Effingham eventually writes against renaming the town square in his column, and the editor wants to shut him down. Effingham goes to the mayor with a suggestion to transform the square, rather than renaming it. The mayor agrees, but only to cover up a larger scheme of his to completely change the look of the town square, by tearing down the old beautiful courthouse. When Effingham learns about the plan, he is infuriated, and start fighting for the courthouse’s restoration. The mayor calls for a town meeting, hoping that no one will show up and protest against his plans of transformation of the town square. But Effingham spills the news about the meeting in his column, thereby filling the meeting with town folk opposed to the transformation idea. The mayor still manages to elude the crowd by telling them the town will only get federal money if the courthouse is torn down. Effingham decides to check the correctness of this information, and finds out that the mayor has lied to the people. He talks to the most influential people in town to reverse the decision taken by the mayor, but they refuse to help him. Cousin Albert realizes that William is right about saving the buildings instead of tearing them down, starts a fundraiser in support of the restoration. He succeeds in convincing the mayor to keep the square as it is, and Effingham gets apologies from his old friends as the realize he was right all along.[2]


Joan Bennett as Ella Sue Dozier


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