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Joe E. Brown Collection [DVD]

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Overview

Synopsis

Earthworm Tractors
Joe E. Brown was an ideal choice for the character of Alexander Botts, the brash, arrogant "natural born salesman" created for The Saturday Evening Post by William Hazlett Upton. As a representative for the Earthworm Tractor company, Botts tries to convince old-fashioned lumberman Guy Kibbee to buy his newfangled products. Several disastrous slapstick sequences later (including an hilarious setpiece in which Botts unwittingly tows away Kibbee's entire house!), Botts closes the deal, winning the hand of Kibbee's daughter June Travis in the process. Despite the character's unremitting cockiness, Joe E. Brown manages to make Alexander Botts immensely likeable. Earthworm Tractors was the next-to-last film on Joe E. Brown's Warner Bros. contract, and (with rare exceptions like 1938's The Gladiator) his last truly worthwhile vehicle of the thirties. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Riding on Air
A lesser but no less amusing Joe E. Brown vehicle, Riding on Air was adapted from a series of Saturday Evening Post stories by Richard Macaulay. Brown and Vinton Hayworth play Elmer Lane and Harvey Schumann, two rival small-town newspaper reporters who spend half their time fighting over stories (including a juicy murder yarn) and the other half battling over heroine Betty Harrison (Florence Rice). Elmer finally gains the upper hand when he stumbles upon a gang of airborne smugglers; commandeering the crooks' plane, our hero goes on a wild and crazy ride before the aircraft is brought under control by a revolutionary new radio beam. He then settles the hash of local swindler Doc Waddington, played by Brown's old Warner Bros. crony Guy Kibbee. Produced independently by David Loew, Riding on Air was released by RKO Radio. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Fit for a King
In this romantic comedy, a rookie reporter works for his uncle's newspaper and gets assigned to write a story about an elderly archduke. While interviewing him, the young journalist falls in love with the crown princess. He then exposes a conspiracy to kill her and her father. Mayhem ensues as he successfully thwarts the killers, and marries the girl who soon becomes queen. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

When's Your Birthday?
On the whole, Joe E. Brown's vehicles for independent producer David L. Loew were distinct retrogressions from his films at Warner Bros., but When's Your Birthday? still contains some very funny moments. This time, Joe plays Douglas Willoughby, a mild-mannered astrologer who through a series of incredible plot twists becomes a prizefighter. Though he's a most unprepossessing figure in the ring, Douglas manages to box his way up to the championship -- but refuses to don gloves unless the stars are "right." This gets him mixed up with several shady characters and also plants him at the apex of a romantic triangle, with Marian Marsh and Suzanne Kaaren as his two sweeties. Original prints of When's Your Birthday include a Technical animated opening-credits sequence, courtesy of the cartoonmakers of "Termite Terrace" at Warner Brothers. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Painted Faces
A circus clown creates trouble when he serves on a jury and refuses to convict an innocent young woman for murder. His vote causes a hung jury for five long days. In the end, it is discovered why he is so sure the girl is innocent---it was he who killed the man for abusing his adopted daughter. When the court and new jury hear this, the render him innocent and all is well. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Joe E. Brown
    Joe E. Brown - Alexander Botts
  • June Travis
    June Travis - Mabel Johnson
  • Guy Kibbee
    Guy Kibbee - Sam Johnson
  • Dick Foran
    Dick Foran - Emmet McManus
  • Image coming soon
    Carolyn Hughes - Sally Blair
Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.