Doubting Thomas (1935)
Year in and year out I find someone new to discover when it comes to over a century of movies. This year found me seeing my first Deanna Durbin movie and a couple extras for good measure. Doubting Thomas allowed me to see my first Will Rogers movie. I have often heard Rogers referred to in film books but had yet to see one of his handful of films. This title was actually released in the year of his tragic death due to a plane crash.
Having no prior knowledge of his acting style I found him incredibly low key till a gag near the fade out.
Practically every character in this small town tale has the acting bug. This doesn’t sit well with Rogers who has no use for the stage or the people upon it. His worst nightmare is about to take place when his wife played by Billie Burke has signed up for the town’s big production put on by Alison Skipworth.
When the stage group descends upon his home to go over their lines it allows Rogers to slyly drop insults and jabs at the various would be stars including Gail Patrick and Sterling Holloway.
After some laughs during the actual show John Qualen as a talent scout turns up to cut the would be stars down to size. All except for one surprising performer.
For 74 minutes this is a decent time filler but no classic. I’ll have to check out a couple more Rogers films to get a better understanding of his charm and the reasons why he was so popular back in the early part of the thirties.
David Butler directed this comedy and would do many other films of the light hearted variety. These include Shirley Temple films, Bob and Bing comedies and Doris Day musicals.
Billie Burke has one of those voices that is flighty but at the same time soothing as we all know her as the Good Witch Glinda in The Wizard of Oz.
This title I picked up as part of a Will Rogers Box Set so I’ll have no excuses at not having other titles at my fingertips to check out.