Down to Earth (1932)

73 or 79-80 mins | Comedy | 4 September 1932

Director:

David Butler

Cinematographer:

Ernest Palmer

Editor:

Irene Morra

Production Designer:

William Darling

Production Company:

Fox Film Corp.
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HISTORY

This film was a sequel to Will Rogers' first talking picture, the 1929 Fox film They Had to See Paris , in which he, Irene Rich and Theodore Lodi played the same roles as in this film (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 ; F2.5616). In the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, Homer Croy notes that in the earlier film, the love story revolved around Opal, the Peters' daughter, while in this film, Opal and her husband Clark have gone to live in another town, and the love story concerns the son Ross. According to a pressbook for the film, Theodore Lodi, whose full name was Theodore Lodjinski, was a general of the Imperial Russian Army before the revolution. The pressbook also states that the film finished five days under schedule, and that Rogers wrote personal checks to technicians and staff assistants to make up for their lost salaries because of the early finish. In the film, Will Rogers whistles the song "Jubilo," a song that he sang repeatedly in the later 1932 Fox film, Too Busy to Work (see below). Other films with the same title made by Paramount in 1917 and Columbia in 1947 have no connection with this ... More Less

This film was a sequel to Will Rogers' first talking picture, the 1929 Fox film They Had to See Paris , in which he, Irene Rich and Theodore Lodi played the same roles as in this film (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 ; F2.5616). In the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, Homer Croy notes that in the earlier film, the love story revolved around Opal, the Peters' daughter, while in this film, Opal and her husband Clark have gone to live in another town, and the love story concerns the son Ross. According to a pressbook for the film, Theodore Lodi, whose full name was Theodore Lodjinski, was a general of the Imperial Russian Army before the revolution. The pressbook also states that the film finished five days under schedule, and that Rogers wrote personal checks to technicians and staff assistants to make up for their lost salaries because of the early finish. In the film, Will Rogers whistles the song "Jubilo," a song that he sang repeatedly in the later 1932 Fox film, Too Busy to Work (see below). Other films with the same title made by Paramount in 1917 and Columbia in 1947 have no connection with this film. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
2 Sep 32
p. 4.
International Photographer
1 Sep 32
p. 36.
Motion Picture Herald
23 Jul 32
p. 42.
New York Times
2 Sep 32
p. 19.
Variety
6 Sep 32
p. 21.
DETAILS
Release Date:
4 September 1932
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 1 September 1932
Production Date:
began 14 April 1932
Copyright Claimant:
Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
11 July 1932
Copyright Number:
LP3220
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
73 or 79-80
Length(in feet):
7,240
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

Pike Peters, a nouveau riche Oklahoma oil man, is uncomfortable with his family's new luxurious life style and has an especial dislike for the many guests that attend his wife's parties and the uppity servants attending him. His one source of happiness is his son Ross's engagement to Julia Pearson, a pleasant girl of simple tastes. When Julia decides to postpone the wedding and break their engagement because her father has gone bankrupt, wealthy and spoiled Jackie Harper attempts to capture Ross for herself. Julia asks to work as Pike's secretary and he is delighted. Failures of businesses in which Pike had invested lead him joyfully to fire his servants and approach Hank Cameron, head of the local bank, for a loan. Concerned that Pike would not be a good investment because of his family's extravagant spending, Cameron accepts Pike's luncheon invitation so that he can observe his family's lifestyle. When she learns about the invitation, Idy, Pike's wife, rehires the servants and prepares an extravagant lunch to show up Cameron's wife, who earlier snubbed her. Cameron subsequently refuses the loan, and Pike goes to Chicago to attempt to get help from bankers there. He runs into his old pal, the former Grand Duke Michael of Russia, who has just started work as a doorman of an exclusive hotel. Pike tries to help him park a car and, unfamiliar with the gear shift, crashes it into scaffolding which causes a shower of bricks to fall on the car. Mike is discharged, and the woman who owns the car vows revenge. After failing to get a loan, Pike brings Mike ... +


Pike Peters, a nouveau riche Oklahoma oil man, is uncomfortable with his family's new luxurious life style and has an especial dislike for the many guests that attend his wife's parties and the uppity servants attending him. His one source of happiness is his son Ross's engagement to Julia Pearson, a pleasant girl of simple tastes. When Julia decides to postpone the wedding and break their engagement because her father has gone bankrupt, wealthy and spoiled Jackie Harper attempts to capture Ross for herself. Julia asks to work as Pike's secretary and he is delighted. Failures of businesses in which Pike had invested lead him joyfully to fire his servants and approach Hank Cameron, head of the local bank, for a loan. Concerned that Pike would not be a good investment because of his family's extravagant spending, Cameron accepts Pike's luncheon invitation so that he can observe his family's lifestyle. When she learns about the invitation, Idy, Pike's wife, rehires the servants and prepares an extravagant lunch to show up Cameron's wife, who earlier snubbed her. Cameron subsequently refuses the loan, and Pike goes to Chicago to attempt to get help from bankers there. He runs into his old pal, the former Grand Duke Michael of Russia, who has just started work as a doorman of an exclusive hotel. Pike tries to help him park a car and, unfamiliar with the gear shift, crashes it into scaffolding which causes a shower of bricks to fall on the car. Mike is discharged, and the woman who owns the car vows revenge. After failing to get a loan, Pike brings Mike home. To show off her titled guest, Idy gives a lavish reception; however, the woman who vowed revenge in Chicago turns out to be Mrs. Cameron's sister, Mrs. Phillips, and she tells everyone that Mike was a doorman. When Pike learns that Ross has agreed to marry Jackie so that her father will help Pike get out of his financial straits, he abruptly ends the party and angrily calls his guests parasites and then admonishes Ross. Idy, greatly embarrassed, vows never to speak to Pike again, but Julia says she is proud of him. A week later, Ross and Julia, now married, visit Pike and Mike, who live together in the modest home in which Pike and his family lived before they became wealthy. Idy comes for the wedding supper, but will not speak to Pike; however, he involves her in an argument, and soon her anger dispels. Pike predicts that they will get rich again in a few years and then will have to go through the same thing again. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.