MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 143,740 this week

Down to Earth (1932)

 |  Comedy  |  1 September 1932 (USA)
6.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.3/10 from 66 users  
Reviews: 2 user

The Pike Peters family deals with the trappings of wealth. That is, until the depression begins to catch up with them.

Director:

0Check in
0Share...

Family Entertainment Guide

Check out IMDb's comprehensive Family Entertainment Guide for recommendations for movies and TV series for every age and every viewing platform.

Visit our Family Entertainment Guide

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 9991 titles
created 26 Jun 2012
 
a list of 303 titles
created 21 Oct 2012
 
list image
a list of 1149 titles
created 17 Feb 2014
 

Related Items

Search for "Down to Earth" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Down to Earth (1932)

Down to Earth (1932) on IMDb 6.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Down to Earth.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An American ambassador arrives in a small country that is being convulsed by political intrigue and civil unrest. He befriends the young boy who is to be the country's king, to ensure that ... See full summary »

Director: Sam Taylor
Stars: Will Rogers, Marguerite Churchill, Greta Nissen
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A depression-era tramp named Jubilo goes looking for the wife that left him. While on his journey, he meets an assortment of characters.

Director: John G. Blystone
Stars: Will Rogers, Marian Nixon, Dick Powell
Mr. Skitch (1933)
Comedy | Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Director: James Cruze
Stars: Will Rogers, Rochelle Hudson, Zasu Pitts
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In small-town America the easy-going publisher of the local paper finds himself in opposition to the local banker on the return to town of a lad jailed possibly wrongly for a theft from the... See full summary »

Director: George Marshall
Stars: Will Rogers, Richard Cromwell, George Barbier
Judge Priest (1934)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Judge Priest, a proud Confederate veteran, uses common sense and considerable humanity to dispense justice in a small town in the Post-Bellum Kentucky.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Will Rogers, Tom Brown, Anita Louise
Fantasy | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Director: David Butler
Stars: Will Rogers, William Farnum, Frank Albertson
State Fair (1933)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An Iowa family finds adventure, love, and heartbreak, when they spend a week at the state fair.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Janet Gaynor, Will Rogers, Lew Ayres
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A husband makes fun of his wife's theatrical aspirations when she agrees to appear in a local production. When she begins to neglect him, he decides to retaliate by also going on stage.

Director: David Butler
Stars: Will Rogers, Billie Burke, Alison Skipworth
Doctor Bull (1933)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Doc Bull, a no-nonsense country doctor who has served his community for decades, fights small-town prejudice and provincialism in several crises.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Will Rogers, Marian Nixon, Vera Allen
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

On a Mediterranean cruise, Earl Tinker, a manufacturer of razor blades, is the target of a femme fatale in the pay of a business rival, and he becomes embroiled in a feud between two Arab tribes.

Director: David Butler
Stars: Will Rogers, Jetta Goudal, Joel McCrea
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Director: Frank Borzage
Stars: Will Rogers, Fifi D'Orsay, Lucien Littlefield
Handy Andy (1934)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A small-town druggist is henpecked by his social-climbing wife to sell his pharmacy to a national chain. In addition, she tries to set up her pretty young daughter with the nitwit son of ... See full summary »

Director: David Butler
Stars: Will Rogers, Peggy Wood, Mary Carlisle
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Pike Peters
...
Julia Pearson
...
Idy Peters
Matty Kemp ...
Ross Peters
...
Jackie Harper
Brandon Hurst ...
Jeffrey, the Butler
Theodore Lodi ...
Grand Duke Michael
Clarence Wilson ...
Ed Eggers
Louise Mackintosh ...
Mrs. Phillips
Edit

Storyline

The Pike Peters family deals with the trappings of wealth. That is, until the depression begins to catch up with them.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

sequel | See All (1) »

Genres:

Comedy

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 September 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El dinero tiene alas  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (FMC Library Print) | (re-release)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Follows They Had to See Paris (1929) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A family faces hard times in this surprisingly topical film
24 October 2010 | by (Westchester County, NY) – See all my reviews

Will Rogers was known as a humorist, but that doesn't mean his movies were strictly for laughs. Down to Earth was made when the Great Depression was hitting its nadir: banks were failing, civil unrest was worsening, and the financial crisis was sweeping the world. By 1932 a lot of people who'd come through the Wall Street Crash of '29 with their savings intact were losing their jobs or their businesses and starting to feel the pain. That's what this comedy-drama is all about, and consequently the emphasis is on drama, especially in the final scenes. Viewers expecting nonstop chuckles may be disappointed, but as a longtime fan of Rogers' Fox features I'm especially fond of this one, which I feel is the most emotionally moving film he ever made.

Will and Irene Rich reprise their roles as Pike & Idy Peters, a married couple from Oklahoma introduced in the early talkie They Had to See Paris. In that film the middle-class Peters family suddenly strike it rich, and Mrs. Peters and their two grown children are soon spoiled by their new wealth while Pike looks on bemused. They Had to See Paris, which happened to be Will's first talkie, was released just before the stock market crash. Three years later this sequel finds the Pike family still living high on the hog despite the Depression. (Rogers and Rich return from the earlier film, but their son is now played by a different actor while their daughter has inexplicably vanished.) The tone is set from the opening scene, when son Ross shows up in a flashy new car that cost him thousands of dollars, while Dad still drives a perfectly good, weathered jalopy. Idy Peters is now an insufferable snob, obsessed with making an impression on the other wealthy wives yet unaware that behind her back they're laughing her off as a social climber. Pike is worried about his business, upset that his family won't cut back on spending, and, in a running gag that provides a bit of comic relief, irritated that his every move is watched by a sternly disapproving butler, whom he hates.

There are a number of strong scenes, but two in particular stand out for me. First, when Pike's financial trouble reaches a crisis point, his business associate Ed Eggers offers to give him some shares of stock as a gift to tide him over. Pike is moved almost to the point of tears by the gesture, even when it's revealed that the stock is worthless. In addition to being poignant this sequence stands as convincing evidence that Will Rogers was more than a screen personality who simply played himself, he was a genuinely skilled actor, natural and unaffected. This scene is also notable for off-beat casting. Edgar Kennedy played Ed Eggers as a bluff comic figure in They Had to See Paris, but here he's played by Clarence Wilson, a character actor most often cast as sour S.O.B.s. Usually we find Wilson as a mean old guy who orders the Our Gang kids to stop playing on his property, or a banker who takes sadistic pleasure in foreclosing on tenants and kicking them out into the snow. Seeing him in such a sympathetic role adds to the power of this scene.

The second and more flamboyant dramatic highlight comes towards the end, at a lavish costume ball in the Peters home, thrown by Idy to honor a Russian dignitary who'd been a high-ranking noble under the Czarist regime. (She's unaware that in recent times he's been reduced to working as a uniformed doorman at a Chicago hotel, one more sign of the times.) Everyone at the ball wears 18th century finery such as silk breeches and powdered wigs, even Pike, although he's not happy about it. During the party Pike learns that his business has gone under and his son has gambled away what was left of the family's savings. Still wearing his silly costume Pike takes the stage and delivers a blistering address to the assembled guests. He admits that he's broke and says his family has been living too lavishly, and adds that it's wrong for people in his position to blame the hard times for their own mistakes. With mounting fury he says it's taken an international catastrophe to beat some sense into his head, then denounces his guests as "parasites" and "leeches," and orders them out of his house. It's a startling scene, unique in Will Rogers' work. When I first saw this movie as a teenager on late-night T.V. that scene really burned itself into my memory, and if anything it's even more powerful today.

When this film was first released, oddly enough, the Fox Studio chose to advertise it as "a story flooded with side-splitting humor" and "a scream from start to finish." That's far from accurate, but maybe they didn't want to scare audiences away with the truth: this is a hard-hitting story of a family struggling with the impact of the Depression, leavened with humor but not exactly side-splitting. That said, I do feel Down to Earth is one of the best Will Rogers features. I count it among my favorites, and hope it becomes more widely available.


10 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Unbilled Actors PATRICK1962
Discuss Down to Earth (1932) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?