|The Farmer and the Belle|
Riot in Rhythm
Vacation with Play
The Farmer and the Belle is Popeye's 177th cartoon, released by Famous Studios on December 1, 1950. The cast includes Popeye as the protagonist; Bluto as the antagonist; Olive Oyl as the love interest; a living car with an appreciation of female beauty; a cow; a pair of horses; a flock of laying hens; and a passel of hogs.
In a formula that was repeated from The Anvil Chorus Girl, we are introduced to Olive Oyl's farm, apparently being run by a somewhat inept Olive, as she bemoans her sorry state: "Oh, it would be so nice to have a man around the farm!". Just then Popeye and Bluto happen by, apparently on shore leave, and spot her "Farmhand Wanted" sign. Both are instantly thunderstruck by the opportunity presented, and the jockeying for her favor gets underway.
Bluto locks Popeye under the hood of their car and starts the engine while he rescues Olive from a mishap at her water well. Bluto, quite proud of himself, pours the contents of the water bucket into a cattle trough. Popeye one-ups him by hoisting the entire well out of the ground and pouring hundreds of gallons into the same receptacle. Bluto harvests Olive's apple crop by use of a pogo stick, gathering a peck basket; Popeye bends an apple tree over and catapults all its fruit onto a barn roof, then makes use of a drainpipe to funnel the produce and fills an entire barrel. Bluto fits a horse for a horseshoe by spitting nails and using his knuckles as miniature jackhammers, but Popeye tosses four pre-nailed horseshoes onto the ground, then flings the horse neatly on top of them, and effectively quadruples Bluto's efforts.
The friendly competition now turns volatile, and the two job candidates are on the verge of fisticuffs when Olive separates them and proposes that their proficiency at egg-gathering should make the final determination. Bluto returns first from the henhouse with a single egg in hand. Popeye, however, has fed a pinch of his spinach to one of the hens, and the resultant mountain of eggs is more than enough to clinch the position for Popeye.
Bluto is incensed. He pitches a wagon wheel at the victorious sailor, only to have Popeye's armload of eggs smash on his own head and make him look like a fool. Popeye and Olive's derisive laughter further infuriates the scorned jobseeker. Suddenly we see him up in the barn hayloft, hoisting a massive anvil. He slams the heavy object down on Popeye's head, yanks Olive up, and informs her, "I'm taking that job, and you, too, cutie!" Olive screams and makes a desperate leap for a haystack.
Bluto dives right after her. It is now clear that he had wanted Olive for another purpose altogether than for honest work. Olive attempts to flee, but Bluto is huge and powerful and fleet of foot. She screams again and again for Popeye, still crushed beneath the multi-ton iron implement. But the chicken to whom Popeye had imparted the lesson of the benefits of spinach quickly sizes up the situation, opens Popeye's mouth like a cash-register drawer, and manipulates the sailor's mouth to chew the life-restoring substance. Instantly the anvil splits in half; Popeye leaps to his feet, and just as Bluto has secured Olive in his clutches Popeye hammers the man Olive had scorned as a "rude dude" right out of his sailor suit and into the air.
Bluto comes to rest in a hog wallow dressed in a union suit, shaking mud from his face. The pigs are insulted by the presence of this interloper, and stalk off with their noses in the air. Just as they are about to exit the scene the last of their number shoots yet another pile of mud in the big man's eye and snorts, "Pig!" as Olive and her new hired man laugh uproariously.
- The Farmer and the Belle at the Internet Movie Database