By Monogram standards, this one is pretty classy: outdoor locations, a cast of dozens, smooth camera work! It even has a pig on a leash! Like The Abe Lincoln of Ninth Ave, it's another 30s Monogram whose hero (in this case ex-Civil War soldier Ralph Hartsook) romanticizes the myth of Honest Abe. In imitation of his idol, Hartsook dons a stovepipe hat to teach the backwoods children of Indiana in a log cabin, easily instilling respect for books and long words and such. He even takes a shine to Hannah, a "bound girl" pseudo-slave who does all the chores for a local burgher's family. Now, if Hannah had been black, that would have been something to write home about! However, she's blonder than a poster child of the Hitler Youth!
"Bound girl" Hannah throws a wink to her brother Shocky.
Hoosier Schoolmaster is a safe, simple story for white folks but it's not unintelligent. Again, I'm surprised at Monogram's achievement here: it's well executed -- nicely paced and well acted. Fred Kohler Jr is great as cartoonish, Lil Abner-esque gentle musclehead Bud and Norman Foster carries the movie well. He's also foxier than the original Rail Splitter, if you ask me!