The Will Rogers Collection, Vol. 1

A collection which contains the four 'adieu' films of American humorist Will Rogers. To us today we hear the name and go, "Who?", but during his day Roger's was considered to be one of the more influential and popular actors in Hollywood. Whatever he said or whatever messages were contained in his films carried much weight with the American people. Because he was seen as an 'average guy', Will Rogers was trusted and as such could get away with social and political criticisms because he mixed it with humour. Besides being an actor Rogers also was a newspaper columnist, a radio commentator and a philanthropist. The four films have all been remastered.

Steamboat Round the Bend:
Director: John Ford

Riverboat captain John Pearly (Will Rogers) finds out that his nephew Duke (John McGuire – White Heat, You're In The Navy Now) has killed a man in self defense. The man was trying to rape his girlfriend Fleety Belle (Anne Shirley – Anne of Green Gables), a swamp girl. Pearly wants Duke to turn himself in, but Duke does not like his chances. The only witness Duke has in his defense in the crazy unpredictable New Moses (Berton Churchill – Stagecoach, In Old Chicago), who has disappeared somewhere up river. At the same time a rival captain named Eli (Irvin S. Cobb – The Arab) wants to race Pearly's steamboat, The Claremont Queen, with his paddle wheeler, The Pride of Paducah. Pearly races off in his boat to try and find New Moses, help clear Duke and win the race against Eli.

Special Features:
-Trailer
-Restoration comparison

Doubting Thomas
Director: David Butler

Paula Thomas (Billie Burke – Father of the Bride, The Wizard of Oz) is bitten by the acting bug much to her husband, Thomas' (Will Rogers) chagrin. He returns from a business trip to find her wanting to leave the home and her family to try out for Broadway. Thomas is desperate to keep her at home and tries to convince her that she will never make it. The tension mounts even further when Paula agrees to be part of a local production headed by director Mrs. Pampinelli (Alison Skipworth – Dangerous). When his ridiculing does not work, Thomas decides to take part in the production as well. He hires a vaudeville performer to pretend he is a Hollywood director who is not interested in her but wants to sign Thomas to a contract.

Special Features:
-Movietone News: Will Rogers Memorial Fund
-Restoration comparison
-A&E Biography – Will Rogers: An American Original
-Steamboat Round the Bend trailer

In Old Kentucky
Director: George Marshall

Two feuding Kentucky families and a horse trainer that they share headline this film. The Martingales and the Shattucks have one of the biggest family feuds going in the entire South. Horse trainer, Steve Tapley (Will Rogers) switches allegiance, partly due to his affections for Nancy Martingale (Dorothy Wilson – The Merry Widow) and partly to protect her senile grandfather, Ezra (Charles Sellon – It's A Small World), from the Shattucks to the Martingales it really brings out the big guns. The stage is set for a horse race that will determine everything. Greyboy, the Martingales horse, who likes a wet track, is set to race Emperor, the Shattucks horse, who can run on any type of surface. The big problem for the Martingales is that it hasn't rained in awhile.

Special Features:
-Movietone News: Film executives visit memorial to Will Rogers
-Restoration comparison
-Steamboat Round the Bend trailer

Life Begins At Forty
Director: George Marshall

Lee Austin (Richard Cromwell – Jezebel), an ex-con, is hired by newspaper owner Kenesaw H. Clark (Will Rogers). This upset the town's rich banker, Colonel Abercrombie (George Barbier – The Man Who Came to Dinner, Week-End in Havana), who shuts down the paper. Not discouraged, Clark starts up a new newspaper which is in opposition to Abercrombie. He goes even further by recruiting the town bum to run against Abercrombie for mayor. The closer the election gets Clark begins to suspects that there is more behind Abercrombie's dislike for Austin, so he begins to investigate.

Special Features:
-Restoration comparison
-Steamboat Round the Bend trailer

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