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Will Rogers Collection, Vol. 2 (Ambassador Bill / David Harum / Mr. Skitch / Too Busy to Work) (1934)

Will Rogers , Marguerite Churchill , James Cruze , John G. Blystone  |  NR |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Frequently Bought Together

Will Rogers Collection, Vol. 2 (Ambassador Bill / David Harum / Mr. Skitch / Too Busy to Work) + Will Rogers Collection, Vol. One (Life Begins at 40 / In Old Kentucky / Doubting Thomas / Steamboat 'Round the Bend) + Story of Will Rogers
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Product Details

  • Actors: Will Rogers, Marguerite Churchill, Greta Nissen, Tad Alexander, Ray Milland
  • Directors: James Cruze, John G. Blystone, Sam Taylor
  • Writers: Anne Cameron, Barry Conners, Ben Ames Williams, Edward Noyes Wescott, Guy Bolton
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Fox Searchlight
  • DVD Release Date: December 12, 2006
  • Run Time: 296 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000JLQQ26
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,019 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Will Rogers Collection, Vol. 2 (Ambassador Bill / David Harum / Mr. Skitch / Too Busy to Work)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • 4 Featurettes
  • Restoration Comparisons
  • Will Rogers Collectible Booklet

Editorial Reviews

Movie fans unfamiliar with the great wit of Will Rogers are in for a treat. The second volume of the Will Rogers Collection features some of Rogers' lesser-known talkie titles, but all showcase the humor and plainspokenness that America in the '20s and '30s ate up by the heaping spoonful. Included in this set are Ambassador Bill (1931), a Marx Brothers-esque romp through the world of international relations; David Harum (1934), in which Rogers plays horse race enthusiast betting on revenge against those who've pull fast ones on him; Mr. Skitch (1933), with the bubbly Zazu Pitts as Rogers' wife, a screwball comedy of the highest order; and Too Busy to Work (1932), in which Rogers re-creates his fan-fave role as Jubilo, a '30s-era hobo who tramps from town to town, avoiding work while trying to track down news of his missing family. The films are as valuable for their snapshots of the early years of the Depression as they are as showcases for the humor of Rogers. The boxed set includes several small, not-to-be-missed featurettes, including "Jane Withers Remembers," all of which are a tribute to a golden bygone era. "People are kind of funny," says Rogers as Jubilo. "They'll believe any kind of a lie if it sounds like the truth, but they won't believe the truth if it sounds like a lie." --A.T. Hurley

Product Description

Disc 1: AMBASSADOR BILL 1931 (B&W) Disc 2: DAVID HARUM 1934 (B&W) Disc 3: MR SKITCH -1933 (B&W) Disc 4: TOO BUSY TO WORK 1932 (B&W)

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Year of Jubilo January 20, 2007
In less than a year's time we've gotten TWO Will Rogers movie collections, so it seems a bit petty to complain, but--couldn't the titles have been selected a bit more judiciously for Vol. 2? If the plan is to release all the Rogers talkies, fine; but if we're only to get a few of these boxed sets, let's get serious: "Mr. Skitch?" It has a fine cast, some funny moments, a rattle-trap excuse of a plot, and production values so cheap you can hear the pennies jingling--both of 'em.

"Too Busy to Work," a drama with comedy highlights, will bemuse anyone who doesn't appreciate that Rogers played the "Jubilo" character in several movies throughout his career, this movie being the culmination and apothesis of them all, right down to the little jig step in Jubilo's stride. "David Harum" has as much sentiment but even more comedy and is a lot of fun to watch, no matter what your opinion of Stepin Fetchit.

"Ambassador Bill" weaves uneasily between sentimental comedy and broader, "Duck Soup"-style political satire that finally (and thankfully) predominates in the last third of the movie.

As with Volume 1, there are some good extra features included, the most interesting being the "He Chews to Talk" featurette with the famous "unemployment relief" speech. Any Rogers collection is better than none, but if we're only going to get one or two more of these, let's do Will proud and collect "Dr. Bull," "Judge Priest," "The County Chairman," and "State Fair."
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "In the year of Jubilo." March 9, 2008
Verified Purchase
Will Rogers was a prominent figure in radio and in the movies. He often talked politics, a relevant topic in the Depression years, but always managed to spin the discussions with a bit of humor. His "hometown folk" personality won him plenty of favor with the public, and despite his plain appearance and less-than-polished grammer, he was a top star. Unfortunately, he met an early end in a plane crash in 1935.

The first movie in this set is a short and fun one. Ambassador Bill shows off all of the charms of the legendary Rogers with great ease. His trademark personality brings about plenty of humor in the film. There is nothing really important in this movie, but it is an enjoyable way to pass the time. Bill Harper (Rogers) is the US Ambassador to Sylvania, a troubled country in the midst of a revolution. The former ambassador has suffered a nervous breakdown, so the US sends Bill to take over the job. The elite in Sylvania are corrupt individuals intent on taking power, and Bill is an unwanted foil to their plans. The young king (Tad Alexander) quickly takes to Ambassador Bill; the two play baseball together. The queen (Marguerite Churchill) appreciates his efforts to reunite her with the abdicated king (Ray Milland), although she fights the reconciliation. Although Bill's manners do not mesh well in Sylvania, he charms many people there, and the powerful abhor him. To get rid of him once and for all, they plant a beautiful young girl (Greta Nissen) in his room and hope for the best.

Too Busy To Work is the best film of the lot, an excellent example of just how good Rogers could be. Here he plays Jubilo, a man who roams the world and refuses to work. His life's ambition is to find the man that charmed his wife away from him while he was away at war.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I've never watched a Will Rogers movie I didn't like! August 12, 2009
Verified Purchase
The Will Rogers collection seems to be going in reverse; volume 1 highlights his last 4 films he made before his tragic death. Volume 2 continues to explain why Rogers' appeal was so universal, and why he became one of the top box office stars in the Thirties.
"Ambassador Bill" (1931) is an early Rogers vehicle as he plays the title role. Sent to a foreign country and at first, shocking the officials with his down-home diplomacy & etiquette, he then teaches its boy-king how to be a regular boy. The friendship between Rogers & the boy-king is quite touching, Rogers briefly shows off his rope tricks, and even a young Ray Milland is in the cast! "Too Busy To Work" (1932) has Rogers re-prising the role of Jubilo the bum, which he first played in the silent era. It's a balance of comedy & drama as Rogers plays a seemingly ineffectual & "lazy" drifter who winds up affecting everyone around him. Its closing shot of Rogers strolling down a country road to his next adventure is strikingly reminiscent of Chaplin's ending in "Modern Times". "Mr. Skitch" (1933) begins with echoes of the Depression era as Rogers & family lose their their home, load up the jalopy, and travel from Missouri to California to start over. This gives Rogers opportunity to converse with several interesting characters en route. "David Harum" (1934) has Rogers at his eccentric best as a bank owner/horse trader who affects the lives of a new bank employee & his object of affections during the 1890's. Its climax is memorable as Rogers discovers his horse loves song during a harness race, and before you know it, the entire crowd is singing along!
What's so enchanting about these films is that all Rogers had to do is play himself, while everything else took a back seat or just coasted along.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ANOTHER GREAT SET!!!!! October 5, 2008
By larryj1
This is another great Will Rogers set that is much welcome. Absolutely great films and DVD quality. Extras are good and I always wish there were more. I would request Fox to release at least 2 more sets of their Rogers films(in fact, I demand it).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Feel Good Flicks
Will Rogers was a real person of genuine warmth who had a talent for comedy. Arguably, he was the most popular American during the 1930's. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Glen R. Scutt
3.0 out of 5 stars Watch both the films and the bonus features
Here are some of the major contents of the box set:

"Too Busy to Work"
Here's the plot of this 1932 comedy: Will Rogers lost his wife to... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Donald M. Bishop
5.0 out of 5 stars I was mesmerized....
I couldn't wait to watch my movies once I received them. i just LOVE old Will Rogers movies. There is so much common sense in them yet back then, you could laugh at yourself or... Read more
Published 17 months ago by The Book Worm
4.0 out of 5 stars Second Rogers Box A Welcome Addition
America's beloved cowboy-philospher Will Rogers is remembered today for a few famous comments on American life and public affairs: "I never met a man I didn't like" and "I'm not a... Read more
Published on June 11, 2012 by ronfpugh
5.0 out of 5 stars The young people should see how we Great Depression person lived
Some people may object to some scenes...that is the way It was.
Rogers was the grandson of a Cherokee Indian who walked from Alabama to Oklahoma.. Read more
Published on February 8, 2011 by Douglas G. Bell
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Depression Era Piece (Too Busy to Work)
This review is for "Too Busy to Work". I have not yet seen the other films in this set. Although this film is not a masterpiece, it provides an insightful picture into the worst... Read more
Published on January 18, 2011 by Sara Brideson
3.0 out of 5 stars Where is Volume One?
And what are the titles?

I do not see it here on Amazon.
Published on December 4, 2008 by Seeker
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