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 »
Based on George Ade's play which, in part, was based on an incident in a 1902 election in Wyoming, with women's-right-to-vote playing a large role. Here, Jim Hackler, local party-boss in a ... See full summary »
The plot is all over the place in this one...and that's why it's not even close to being Rogers' best.
I have seen quite a few of Will Rogers' films and would consider "Too Busy to Work" among the least of his films. Most of the problem is that it looks almost like three sort of films all combined into one--with no clear and distinct tone or theme. It's quite odd and I cannot recall another Rogers film like it.
When the film begins, Jubilo (Rogers) is a bum and he's been on the road for many years. Now, inexplicably, he's decided to go look for his wife and daughter. It seems that the wife left him 18 years ago...and NOW he decides to look them up for some unknown reason.
When Jubilo arrives as his daughter's home, he learns that his ex-wife has died and the daughter lives with her step-father, the judge. You learn that Jubilo is a bum who hates to work and is a nice fellow despite this. The daughter (Marian Nixon) takes an instant liking to Jubilo and invites him to stay as a hired hand--not knowing it's her father.
So far, this is a reasonably good film--a man coming to visit his daughter and deciding exactly what to tell her--if anything. However, two other plot elements arise--and they have no place in the film. The first is about a robbery where the judge's son (Dick Powell) is implicated even though he's innocent. What's shocking about this is that first Jubilo recommends to the young man that he lie his head off to the police. Then, later in the film when the gang comes looking for the guy, Jubilo gets into a gun battle and shoots the gang boss!! Huh?! I thought this was a comedy! Another plot, and this one was disturbing, was when Jubilo met the judge. Jubilo appeared to be threatening the judge--threatening to expose him as a home wrecker. Huh?! Again, I thought this was supposed to be a comedy. How all this works out is just fine--but overall it's a very dissatisfying melange--one that should have been a lot better. The writing is simply the problem with this one despite some strong characters.
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