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Four Movies Made by Will Rogers to be Released

November 3, 1990

OOLOGAH, Okla. (AP) _ Will Rogers, who never met an outlet for his humor that he didn’t like, including the movies, will begin playing to modern audiences come spring when four of his comedies are released on video.

Officials from 20th Century Fox and CBS-Fox Video announced the release of the four video cassettes Friday during the Will Rogers Days celebration that commemorates the Oklahoma native’s birth.

Rogers, who died in 1935 in an Alaska plane crash, made 75 movies, 21 with sound.

The four movies to be released are ″Ambassador Bill,″ ″A Connecticut Yankee,″ ″Mr. Skitch″ and ″Doubting Thomas.″

James Griffiths, senior vice president for 20th Century Fox, said they were among 2,000 classics the company has stored in its California movie library.

″To flood the market at any point in time wouldn’t be good for the films,″ he said. ″But sometimes we need a kick in the butt to remind us what we have here.″

He got the kick from Rogers’ son, Jimmy, who said he has regretted since ″Dad went to the happy hunting ground″ that his father’s career as an actor is frequently forgotten.

″Nobody remembers him as an actor,″ Rogers said. ″You hear very little about his career in the movies. If you ask dad what his career was, I think he would have said he’s an actor.″

Some of Rogers’ movies now are shown at the Will Rogers Memorial in Claremore, and Jimmy Rogers said he can tell people still like them.

″You go in there when there’s quite a group of people watching and I tell you, there’s a lot of laughter,″ Rogers said. ″They’re funny. They’re great stuff.″

Mindy Pickard, a spokeswoman for CBS-Fox Video, said the movies being released were selected because they were timeless.

She said ″Doubting Thomas″ is a ″classic battle of the sexes″ and ″Ambassador Bill″ is a political satire.

″They’re all comedies. They all hold up,″ she said. ″We picked films that had relevancy to us today.″

Griffiths said he anticipated more movies would be released in the future.

Rogers was famous for many aphorisms, including his oft-cited - and oft- misquoted - epitaph:

″I joked about every prominent man in my lifetime, but I never met one I didn’t like.″

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