Earthworm Tractors (Warner Bros.) (1930)

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EARTHWORM TRACTORS PUBLICITY (Lead Off Story) Joe E. Brown Is Coming ToStrand In Riotous Film Millions have read of the hilarious exploits of Alexander Botts, the whimsical and egotistical tractor salesman and comedy hero of the famous series of _ stories, “Earthworm Tractors”, written by William Hazlett Upson for the Saturday Evening Post. Now Alexander Botts has been brought to life on the screen in the First National comedy, ‘“Earthworm Tractors”, which is scheduled as the feature attraction at Botts, on the screen, is no other than the famous wide mouthed comedian Joe E. Brown. Joe is supported by a notable east. He has two leading ladies, June Travis and Carol Hughes, and such talented players as Guy Kibbee, Dick Foran, Gene Lockhart, Olin Howland, Joseph Crehan, Sara Edwards, Charles Wilson, William Davidson, Irving Bacon and Stuart Holmes. As Botts, Joe E. is in love with a small town girl, but she and her family frown on his suit because he is merely selling gadgets. Disheartened, he finally picks out the biggest thing he can think of to sell, tractors. Knowing nothing about tractors, he writes’ the Earthworm Company asking for a job and stating that he knows the machine so well he could build it himself. He is sent to a small town as mechanical assistant to the salesman there. The salesman drinks some of Joe’s shoe polish by mistake and passes out, so Joe takes over the sales end. He makes so many colossal blunders he is fired by wire, but by a strange twist of fate a big order is sent in for tractors and Joe is reinstated. While in the small town he and the daughter of one of his prospects fall in love with each other, but Joe goes back to marry his sweetheart. He finds her already married, and returns but stupidly tells the second about the first girl and is spurned again. Carol Hughes plays the part of Joe’s first girl, and June Travis is the second and greater love of Joe’s, who gives him the go-bye when she finds out about Carol. Dick Foran has the role of Joe's rival. Joe gets into every kind of difficulty, through his mistakes. However, he tackles the toughest prospect in the district, a cantankerous and deaf old man and father of the girl who has just spurned him. Through another monumental blunder he drives his prospect over a road that is being dynamited. Both are nearly killed and so is the daughter who has followed them in her car to get Joe to turn back. Again fate comes to Joe’s aid and he rescues his lady love from a pile of debris where she has been hurled by a dynamite blast. The detonations cure the deafness of his prospect and in a smashing climax of riotous nature, Joe becomes the hero of the old man and his daughter, who promises to wed him, while the father puts in an order for many of the Earthworm tractors. Guy Kibbee has the role of the cantankerous prospect who consents to become Joe’s father-inlaw, while Olin Howland is the father of Joe’s first love. Gene Lockhart plays the part of a rival tractor salesman, Joseph Crehan the part of salesmanager of Earthworm Tractors with Charles Wilson in the role of the owner of the company. Raymond Enright directed the comedy from the screen play by Richard Macauley, Joe Traub and Hugh Cummings. One of the side-splitting highlights in the picture is reported to be the sequence where Brown arrives in Chicago to find his sweetheart. All he knows is that she is staying with relatives named Johnson. He enters a telephone-booth and with a directory in one hand begins calling all the Chicago Johnsons. The scene ends with a surprising climax. Yessir, it’s “Earthworm Tractors”, First National’s comedy-riot about the hilarious hero of the Saturday Evening Post stories who sold a bill of goods to the wrong customer and a marriage license to the wrong girl. In this case it’s lovely June Travis. Mat No. 203—20c (Prepared Review) Joe E. Brown Has Laugh Hit In “Earthworm Tractors’’ New Film Is Best Vehicle Comedy In Which Star Has Appeared In Some Time Never has Joe E. Brown been funnier personally than in his latest First National comedy, ‘Earthworm Tractors”, which was SHOWN AL EHG..A IG ids Pdesssense Theatre yesterday for the first time locally. Nor has he ever had a more hilarious vehicle in which to display his comic antics than in this picture which is taken from the series of comedy stories written for the Saturday Evening Post by William Hazlett Upson. Probably no other comedian of stage or screen could have come so close to being the personification of Alexander Botts, natural born super-salesman, in his own mind, whose luck is so phenomenal that even his consistent and collossal blunders turn out to his advantage. Joe EK. makes Alexander Botts, one of the most comical heroes of fiction, live and breathe on the screen, as Joe has lost none of his vim and pep as the greatest fun maker of the time. Joe E.’s two leading women merit special comment. They are June Travis and Carol Hughes, both of the brunette beauty type. The latter ditches him and marries his rival the minute Joe leaves town, much to her regret when Joe eventually makes good, while her husband turns out to be just a false alarm. The former also turns up her nose at Joe when she hears of the first love episode. But Joe finally gets his gal through another series of hilarious blunders. Both girls show remarkable talent in their roles, in this picture, although neither have had a long screen experience. Miss Travis went directly into pictures at First National after a screen test. Miss Hughes, however, had been doing a singing and dancing act on the stage when picked up by First National scouts. There is a talented supporting cast with Guy Kibbee giving a hilarious performance as a cantankerous and partially deaf old man to whom Joe tries for long in vain to sell tractors. Dick Foran is excellent in his role as the successful rival of Joe in love, playing his part straight and acting as a foil to Joe’s antics. Gene Lockhart, the famous stage comedian, gives a good account of himself as the rival salesman of Joe E. in the tractor field, as also does Olin Howard as the Here’s The Girl Ivs June Travis, featured in “Karthworm Tractors”, First National’s laugh-riot at thé. Theatre, starring Joe E. Brown, the world’s greatest salesman—he admits it himself—as the hero of the celebrated Saturday Evening Post stories whose antics convulsed a nation. Mat No. 102—10c father of Joe’s first love. Others worthy of special mention include Joseph Crehan, Sara Edwards, Charles Wilson, William Davidson, Irving Bacon and Stuart Holmes. Raymond Enright, who has guided Joe E. through many a comedy, has done an exceptionally fine piece of direction in this film. (Opening Day Story) Joe E. Brown At Strand Today In New Laugh Film Joe E. Brown comes to the.......... Theatre today in “Earthworm Tractors”, a First National production that is said to be his most hilarious comedy to date. The picture is based on a series of stories written by William Hazlett Upson and which appeared in the Saturday Evening Post. Joe brings to life on the screen the hero of these comedies, that blundering, and in his own egotistical estimation, natural born super-salesman, Alexander Botts, who somehow always wins out in the end despite his egregious mistakes. Joe has two leading women in the picture, one whom he loses to a rival when he leaves town and the other whom he finds is quite unwilling to play second fiddle when he stupidly tells her he would have married the first girl only he discovered that she already had become a bride. The first love is played by Carol Hughes and the second by June Travis, whose love he finally regains by a series of mistakes in which he almost causes her death and then, playing the conquering hero, rescues her from a dynamite trap into which he had led her. Not only does he win her back, but in a hilarious climax to the story, he sells her cantankerous father a flock of tractors. Others in the large and talented cast include Guy Kibbee, Joe’s father-in-law to be; Olin Howland, father of his first love who lived to regret he had forbidden his daughter’s marriage to Joe; Dick Foran, Joe’s rival for his love; Joseph Crehan, Sara Edwards, Charles Wilson, William Davidson, Irving Bacon and Stuart Holmes. Raymond Enright directed the comedy from the screen play by Richard Macauley, Joe Traub and Hugh Cummings. Actresses Say Careers Aided By Joe E. Brown Now there’s another promising young film actress already to swear that Joe E. Brown is the best professional mentor in Hollywood. It’s June Travis, currently playing opposite Brown in “Earthworm Tractors”, the First National comedy now showing at the Fragesuseoktties ites Theatre. Others are: Olivia de Havilland, Jean Muir, Beverly Roberts and Maxine Doyle, each of whom came into the limelight through initial films with Brown. Miss Travis had already clicked in a big way in her first picture, “Ceiling Zero”. But she feels her experience in “Earthworm Tractors” with Brown has proved more helpful to her, thanks to the comedy star’s sympathetic and untiring efforts to help her. “He taught me_ tremendously valuable things. ’d never dreamed about timing, for both comedy and serious scenes,” June avers. “And line reading. And romantic scenes. And audience psychology, interpretation of situations, characterization, and many other things. “It seems to me that Mr. Brown has a wonderful gift for expressing himself on these subjects, giving hints at exactly the right time, and showing a greenie like myself exactly what he means. I’m deeply grateful to him.” Miss Muir appeared with Joe E. in “Son of a Sailor’. Miss deHavilland in “Alibi Ike’, Miss Roberts in “Sons O’Guns”. “Karthworm Tractors” is a screamingly funny comedy based on the stories by William Hazlett Upson. Besides Joe E. Brown and Miss Travis, the cast includes Dick Foran, Carol Hughes, Gene Lockhart and Olin Howland. Raymond Enright directed the picture from the screen play by Richard Macauley, Joe Traub and Hugh Cummings. Salesman Hit the mirthful highspots with Alexander Botts, hero of the famous Saturday Evening Post stories, and played by Joe HE. Brown, in “Harthworm Tractors”, First National’s laugh-crammed story POW + ESIC eases sseetcccsarveast erent Theatre. Mat No. 101—10c Guy Kibbee Says Joe E. Brown Is A Bit Too Funny Practical jokes on movie sets have always been of the hardy variety, but Guy Kibbee thinks chasing people around with tractors is going a bit too far. Unless you’re acquainted with small, lively tractors which can turn on a dime, and also with the players Joe E. Brown and Director Raymond Enright assembled for the filming of the First National picture, “Earthworm Tractors”, which comes to the................ ER TVCAEN Ge: Ollccccsssscesspestasess » you can’t fully appreciate Guy’s qualms. Joe himself isn’t averse to bronco-busting a tractor around and chasing you with it. Another stunt, according to Guy, is to bury a thin rope just under the surface of the ground. One end connects with your folding canvas chair, in which you sit comfortably waiting for your turn to act, or perhaps catching a wink or two of sleep. The other goes to a baby tractor some distance behind you. When the tractor starts suddenly for somewhere else, your chair goes with it and you sit suddenly on the earth. “Karthworm Tractors” is a rollicking comedy romance based on the famous stories by William Hazlett Upson. Besides Joe E. Brown and Kibbee, the cast includes June Travis, Dick Foran, Carol Hughes, Gene Lockhart, Olin Howland and Joseph Crehan. Frogs Refuse To Croak For Movie A movie property man can put frogs in a synthetic swamp, but a film director can’t make them croak. Director Raymond Enright discovered this when he was making a scene for Joe E. Brown’s latest First National comedy, “Earthworm Tractor”, which COMmES-tOthe...-..s..cocsssessersTWEE ET Cr OM seve easssce.asbaceecexs “IT said,’ Enright told the prop man witheringly, “that I wanted frogs and lots of them. And what do I hear? One single frog.” “I put four dozen in there yesterday,” said Props. “And, boy, did they holler last night.” “But you are directing the picture,” he added. “You tell ‘em to croak.” Page Nineteen