1932's "Business and Pleasure" to this day remains one of Will Rogers' least seen efforts, and it's easy to see why; he's virtually on his own as a razor blade magnate on his way to the Middle East to buy the secrets of Damascus steel so as to conquer all competition. Working on behalf of the rival Straightback company is an exotic femme fatale, played by Dutch-born silent star Jetta Goudal, whose French accent did not lend well to talkies (in fact, this would be her last film). The best scene has Rogers impersonating a crystal gazer, complete with whiskers, to fool both Jetta and his wife (Dorothy Peterson, who made a career out of long suffering spouses). His daughter was pretty Peggy Ross, in her second and final screen appearance, romanced by a young Joel McCrea, about 17 films behind him, just on the cusp of stardom. The opening half hour is truly frustrating aboard ship, recovering nicely on land, with the unexpected appearance (for the last 15 minutes) of an uncredited Boris Karloff as Sheik Ali Ben Joseph, who would prefer to behead Rogers rather than negotiate over money. Karloff continued his varied supporting career for six months following the completion of "Frankenstein," and this proved to be the last not to offer him on-screen billing, though his name is prominently featured on the posters (he shortly reunited with Dorothy Peterson in "Night World," while director David Butler later did the same on 1940's "You'll Find Out"). Boris would return to Fox only once more, for 1936's "Charlie Chan at the Opera."
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