Earthworm Tractors (1936)

earthworm tractors 1936

I was not expecting this to turn out so well. Joe E.Brown carries the whole production and is a lot of fun to watch. There are some great sight gags and overall it is very entertaining.

Alexander Botts (Joe E.Brown) returns to Frozen Falls to marry Sally Blair (Carol Hughes). Her father says nothing doing until he’s successful. Sally says he has to sell big things. He sees an ad for Earthworm Tractors and tells her that’s what he’s going to sell. He leaves town to get started.

He impresses the head of the company with a letter claiming to be a master salesman and mechanic and gets hired. His first job is to go to Cypress City and seal a deal with Mr.Jackson the owner of a lumber company. On the way he gets splashed with mud by Mabel Johnson (June Travis) whose car is stuck. He has an idea how to get her out and that leads to a decent sight gag. He tells everyone to send a bill for the damages to his company.

Mabel says he should sell a tractor to her father even thought he’s thrown out every salesman that’s tried. Alexander convinces him to go for a ride in the tractor. That turns out to be a disaster. The machine finally stops when it runs over Mr.Jackson’s car. That gets him a right cross from Johnson (Guy Kibbee).

In his hotel room he gets a telegram. He’s fired. So is Healey who was there to help him. Healey says he doesn’t care since he got a job with a rival company. Jackson shows up and says he was so impressed with the tractor that he bought six of them. Alexander is rehired.

Mabel tells him her house is going to be moved outside of town. It’ll cost five hundred dollars. He decides to hook up the tractor to the house and move it for free. He doesn’t tell them. Johnson is reading the paper whose headline is about an earthquake in Tibet (he pronounces it “Tib-it”). That’s when Alexander starts the tractor. Johnson thinks it’s an earthquake. Mabel opens the door and spots Alexander. When he finally stops he discovers he moved the house to the wrong place.

Mabel tells him to keep trying but he keeps getting tossed out of Johnson’s office. During a peaceful time at the lake Alexander is on a swing. He tells Mabel he’s going to go back home and marry Sally. He doesn’t have a clue how Mabel feels about him. She dumps him in the water. He still doesn’t get it.

He goes back home and finds out Sally has gotten married. He heads back to Cypress City. Mabel’s gone to Chicago to be with her uncle.. He heads to Chicago to find her. He doesn’t have her uncle’s first name and parks himself in a hotel phone booth and calls every Johnson in the phone book asking if they have a niece named Mabel. There’s a good, quick sight gag with one call.

The harried switchboard operator’s shift finally ends as Alexander is finally down to the letter Z. Her replacement is Mabel. Alexander follows her back to Cypress City. He doesn’t get why she’s mad that he came back after finding out Sally was already married. There’s another wild tractor ride to come before this one wraps up. If you like the older comedies than check this one out.

Flash Gordon fans will recognize Carol Hughes as Dale Arden in 1940’s “Flash Gordon Conquerors The Universe.”




About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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