Thursday, Aug. 14
10 S. Lewis Avenue, Tulsa
The Event 2014
6 p.m., Reception
7:30 p.m., Screening of Steamboat Round the Bend
$75 each, donation benefits Will Rogers Memorial Foundation
Tickets can be arranged now by calling 918-341-0719
Saturday, Aug. 16
10 S. Lewis Avenue, Tulsa
Will Rogers Family Film Festival
10 a.m., Screening of Too Busy to Work Movie
Noon, Screening of In Old Kentucky
Admission $5, each per movie, proceeds to benefit Will Rogers Memorial Foundation
Tickets at www.circlecinema.com or at box office, or day of filming
The Event 2014, Film Festival Features Will’s Last Films
WILL ROGERS MEMORIAL MUSEUMS — When Will Rogers was killed Fox had two films ready for release, but was concerned it would not be respectful to release them. However public clamor to release all the earlier films led Fox to release the two latest, “Steamboat Round the Bend” first, nine days after his death, and “In Old Kentucky,” a few months later.
“Steamboat,” directed by John Ford, a leading director in a career that spanned more than 50 years, got rave reviews everywhere.
The movie, as in many of Will’s “pictures,” includes references to his roots. Aboard the Claremore Queen going down the Mississippi, Will is Dr. John Pearly, hawking his Pocahontas Remedies.
Mystery ensues when Duke, the pilot, in self-defense and in defense of Fleety Belle, a swamp girl, kills a man. Dr. Pearly wants him to turn himself in and tell the truth.
Turns out without a witness to corroborate his claim, Duke is sentenced to death. Will, now Captain Pearly and Fleety Belle travel up and down the river looking for a New Moses, the witness. It is when he is spotted along the shoreline that a steamboat race begins between the Claremore Queen and Pride of Paducah.
Running out of fuel and about to fall behind, Captain Pearly ropes the Pride of Paducah and lets the other boat pull him in.
In “In Old Kentucky,” Will is cast as Steve Tapley, racehorse trainer. He becomes involved in a feud between his employer and a neighbor, also getting involved in a love story (common with Will’s movies) with the neighbor’s daughter.
The plot thickens when a rainmaker is hired to make a muddy track, favorable to the neighbor’s horse.
Filming was started April 15,1935 and when it was released after Will’s death, Literary Digest on Nov. 30, 1935 said “people flocked to the movie and reacted to it much as though the comedian were still alive.”
It was not until the end that spectators were “suddenly overcome by the realization that there can be no more such films,” the Boston Herald posted in November 1935.
“Too Busy to Work,” copyrighted in 1932 is the story of Jubilo (Will) searching for his wife and daughter, who took off with another man while he was away at war.
While searching he discovers the truth of his wife’s death and the wholesome way his daughter has been raised. He ends up seeing her happy to wed Dan Hardy (Dick Powell, 1904-1963) and leaves without revealing his relationship.