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Earthworm Tractors

(1936 b 69')

En: 5 Ed: 4

A salesman tries to win a girl by selling tractors to her father with comic results.

Emmet McManus (Dick Foran) calls on Sally Blair (Carol Hughes); but she is waiting for Alexander Botts (Joe E. Brown), who says he is a "natural-born" salesman. Sally tells Alexander not to sell a little gadget but something big. So Alexander decides to sell tractors and writes to the company. George Healey (Gene Lockhart) meets Alexander at a hotel to hire him as a mechanic to drive a tractor. George drinks shoe polish by mistake, and Alexander goes out to sell. He tries to help Mabel Johnson (June Travis) by getting a taxi to pull her car out of the mud; but a lamp post falls into a window. Alexander talks his way out of it, and Mabel takes him to her father Sam Johnson (Guy Kibbee) to sell him a tractor. Alexander offers to get his truck out of the swamp. With Sam he tries to drive the tractor; but he destroys the truck, and the tractor takes off with Sam. Alexander gets a ride with Jackson (William B. Davidson), whose car is also smashed. Alexander and George are fired; but Jackson tells Alexander that he bought six tractors. Alexander tells Mabel he lost his job, but he is rehired as a salesman. Mabel tells him her father owns timberland and could buy many; but Sam throws him out three times. Mabel tells Alexander their house is being moved for $500. While they are home, Alexander pulls the house with a tractor. Sam thinks it is an earthquake. Alexander moves the house to the wrong street, and Sam slugs him again. Alexander tells Mabel he is going to marry Sally, and Mabel dumps him.

Alexander takes flowers to Sally but discovers that she is married to Emmet. Alexander goes back and learns Mabel went to Chicago. He spends all day calling all the Johnsons in Chicago and then finds her; but she goes home. George tells Alexander he is meeting Mabel and tries to sell her father. Alexander uses signs to sell Sam but learns he is fired. The executive Henderson (Joseph Crehan) thinks Alexander is Johnson and tries to sell him. Sam announces that as road commissioner he will decide which tractors to buy. Alexander tries to explain to Mabel. Alexander takes off in a tractor with Sam. Mabel tries to warn them of dynamite as explosions occur. Alexander goes across a rickety bridge. An explosion buries the tractor; but Sam says his hearing is cured, and he will buy 14 tractors. Alexander can't hear until Mabel calls him darling.

In tough times perhaps nothing is more difficult than selling. So Depression audiences would find release in this farce of a bragging salesman creating mayhem with tractors.

Copyright © 2001 by Sanderson Beck

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