The film follows a poor hillbilly named Jed Clampett (Jim Varney), who becomes a billionaire when he accidentally discovers crude oil after missing his target while hunting.
Jed Clampett (Jim Varney), a hillsman of humble station, accidentally discovers oil on his land while shooting at a rabbit. Ozark Mountain Oil, interested in purchasing his land, offers him $1 billion for the property. Unsure of what to do, Jed consults his sister, Pearl Bodine (Linda Carlson), during a family dinner. Pearl suggests a change of scenery for Jed's daughter, Elly May (Erika Eleniak), would be a good thing. Having made up his mind and accepted the money, Jed, his daughter, his mother-in-law Granny (Cloris Leachman), and his nephew, Jethro (Diedrich Bader), Pearl's son, load up Jethro's old, dilapidated truck with their possessions and move to Beverly Hills, California.
Milburn Drysdale (Dabney Coleman), the CEO of the Commerce Bank of Beverly Hills (where Jed's money is stored), sends out his secretary/assistant, Miss Jane Hathaway (Lily Tomlin) to meet the Clampetts at their new estate. Miss Jane calls the Beverly Hills Police after the Clampetts arrive, mistaking them for burglars. Upon learning of Miss Jane's mistake at the police station, Mr. Drysdale briefly fires her. But seeing that Jed insists that he still wants her to watch over his affairs, Mr. Drysdale rehires her.
The Clampetts settle into their new surroundings. Mr. Drysdale pushes his reluctant son, Morgan Drysdale (Kevin Connolly), into befriending Elly May, to whom he eventually develops an attraction. Miss Jane is also smitten by Jethro, who seems ignorant of her affections.
Jed requests Miss Jane's assistance in helping him search for someone who will help turn Elly May into a lady. Woodrow Tyler (Rob Schneider), an employee in Drysdale's bank, catches wind of this and contrives a scheme with his con artist girlfriend, Laura Jackson (Lea Thompson), to steal Jed's money by having her marry Jed. She poses as a French etiquette teacher, Laurette Voleur, and asks for work. "Laurette" feigns romantic interest in Jed, which eventually causes him to propose marriage to her.
Shortly before the wedding, Granny hears Laura and Woodrow talking about the scam. Granny reveals herself to the pair and threatens to expose their scam to Jed, and then "the weddin' will be off!!" But before she can, they capture her, restrain her, and have her institutionalized at the Los Viejos Nursing Home so she cannot contact Jed.
At the wedding, Woodrow prepares to transfer all of Clampett's money in Drysdale's bank to a Swiss account on his laptop computer when the couple says "I do". Miss Jane, realizing Granny is missing, goes to the office of Barnaby Jones (Buddy Ebsen), and, after learning where Granny is, poses as a nurse and breaks her out. Granny and Miss Jane arrive at the wedding and foil Laura and Tyler's plan when Miss Jane grabs a shotgun and blows the laptop to bits. The police arrest Laura and Woodrow while Jed decides that, since the wedding was off, they would have "one hellacious shindig."Jim Varney as Jedidiah D. 'Jed' Clampett
Diedrich Bader as Jethro and Jethrine Bodine
Erika Eleniak as Elly May Clampett
Cloris Leachman as Daisy May "Granny" Moses
Dabney Coleman as Milburn Drysdale
Lily Tomlin as Jane Hathaway
Lea Thompson as Laura Jackson "Laurette Voleur"
Rob Schneider as Woodrow Tyler
Penny Fuller as Margaret Drysdale
Kevin Connolly as Morgan Drysdale
Linda Carlson as Aunt Pearl Bodine
Buddy Ebsen as Barnaby Jones
Leann Hunley as Miss Arlington
Robert Easton as Mayor Jasper
Dolly Parton as Herself
Zsa Zsa Gabor as Herself
The Dolly Parton "band" was composed of members of Rhino Bucket (who had a contributing song on the soundtrack of the 1992 Penelope Spheeris hit movie Wayne's World), The Dwight Yoakam Band (Skip Edwards), and Vern Monnett (Randy Meisner, Texas Tornados and Gary Allan). Parton's appearance reunited her with 9 to 5 costars Lily Tomlin and Dabney Coleman.
In its first weekend, The Beverly Hillbillies grossed $9,525,375 at the box office. The movie moved up to number one two weeks later. The total worldwide gross was $57,405,220, making it a moderate box office success.
The film received mostly negative reviews, with a 24% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film half a star out of a possible 4, arguing that it did not capture the appeal of the original, and did not improve the source material. Furthermore, wrote Ebert, The Beverly Hillbillies was a major disappointment for Spheeris after her surprising triumph with Wayne's World only two years before: "When directors make a wonderful movie, you look forward to their next one with a special anticipation, thinking maybe they've got the secret. If it turns out they don't, you feel almost betrayed. That's how I felt after The Beverly Hillbillies, one of the worst movies of this or any year."
Based on The Beverly Hillbillies movie a PC computer adventure game for operating system MS-DOS was developed by Synergistic Software, Inc. and published in 1993 by Capstone Software.