The Beverly Hillbillies

by Cody McLellan

The Beverly Hillbillies was a show featuring a poor backwoods Southern family from the Ozark Mountains, who move to Beverly Hills after striking oil on their property. While the show does not depict a specific Southern place, it does depict the Clampett family and their home in the Ozark mountains. The Clampett’s home in the Ozarks was a shotgun shack located in a rural landscape. The Clampett family had lived off the land, hunting, fishing, and gathering their resources. But, when the Clampett Clan leader, Jed Clampett, becomes a millionaire, discovering a massive oil field he wants to be removed from his land. They relocate to Beverly Hills where the family was painfully out of place. Jed was an uneducated, rural, Appalachian man whose family stereotypically depicted the Appalachian/Ozark demographic. Granny, the matriarch of the family, is educated in the hills and better known as a doctor of “hillbilly medicines,” meaning by default she is a proficient moonshiner.
The family truck was a 1921 Oldsmobile with barrels strapped to the side and a wooden platform on the back. When the show aired their car was already 41 years old. This quintessential depiction of “rags to riches” often makes fun of the Appalachian culture while contrasting it with the “modern” culture of Beverly Hills. While Appalachian culture was often highly dramatized for television, the Clampetts held strong family values, resourceful skills, and strong wills to defend what’s theirs. While the family’s Southern attributes often caused issues with their Beverly Hills neighbors, it also remained authentic to the historic ways of life for frontiersmen in the Ozarks: hunting for their food, distilling their moonshine and medicine, and defending their family and home. While these attributes may not have served the Clampett family well in Beverly Hills, but for people living in the rural South and old Southern frontier, it was essential. The Beverly Hillibillies’ lifestyle depicted in the show was uniquely Southern.

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beverly hillbillies shack | Old cabins, The beverly hillbillies, Cabins in the woodsThe Beverly Hillbillies' mansion featured a 150-foot waterfall and an underground elevator


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