Film: 3509

Feature Comedy | 1920 | Silent | B/W

Clip:

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Synopsis:

Settlers set out for West. Children play as parents prepare to leave, packing the covered wagon. Small boy playing saxophone, pony standing next to him. Woman polishes wooden saucepan stand. Men in plaid shirts stand in front of a tractor (Ford). Man leans against dressing table with huge mirror. Large man in plaid shirt sits in an armchair beside a wagon and looks through an early version of a Viewmaster. The camera focuses on what he is viewing, a landscape. Two men lift the mirrored bureau into the wagon. The woman watches. Close up of man chewing and spitting out tobacco. He sits on the back of a white horse. He is Joe Jackson (Will Rogers), a laid back dude asked to decide whether Mrs. Wingate should take the bureau or not. He advises the man to take the bureau and leave her .... Three men including Will Rogers stand around a wooden cage of chickens. Close up of chickens in coop, they are all roosters which is Will Roger's idea of a good empire! Cattle wait to leave, lying by the banks of the river. Joe meets the saxophone playing boy. He takes a bite of chewing tobacco and returns it to Joe who in close up is astounded by the missing chunk. Close up of young lad chewing and spitting tobacco. He then plays his saxophone. The heroine, Molly Wingate powders her face sitting in the back of a covered wagon. She wears a bonnet. Checks her reflection in the hand held mirror. The wagon train are waiting for the "Palm Beach" boys, they turn up, galloping into frame. Molly Wingate notices them first. Pioneers see them and all start waving and jumping up and down. Joe Jackson goes to greet their leader, Bill Bunran (a heavily made up Will Rogers). He leads the one covered wagon to join the others, using his hat to beckon them on. Molly paints her lips and looks demure for the arrival of Bill. He is introduced to her and visibly impressed. The wagon train welcomes the arrival of the extra wagon, waving and cheering. Hundreds of people (!) climb out of the wagon to be greeted. Bill "chats up" Molly. Joe tells him to chase up loose stock. Shot of cow by river. Packing the wagon. Plaid shirt man with hand held stereoscope, cleans it until he can see through it properly. Joe and young boy start the wagon train. Jed, the saxophone playing boy, cracks a whip and they are off. Bill rides along side Molly. General shots of wagon train moving. Close up of Molly in her wagon. Joe on his horse. Bill courting Molly. Bill chases a runaway cow. Inter titles suggest they are crossing mountains but there are shots of wagons on flat land near a lake. Wagon train has set up camp, washing, drying, women carrying boxes and wood. Will Rogers and colleague find the skull of a bull with a message "Have courage, we got through OK, Brigham Young". Inter title makes a joke about the fact that the Mormons got through with all their wives so they should make it though with their "light load". Mrs. Wingate is having second thoughts. Her and her husband sit in front of their covered wagon. He brings out a bicycle, she sits on the back and they ride off. Joe, his horse and his sidekick are down at the lakeside. Joe smells the water and tuns his nose up in disgust. "It is the Mississippi" he cries. They decide to go north and cross at the mouth. Shots of covered wagon pulled by oxen, men on horse back. Man (Joe) takes horse into river. Includes close up of him and horse swimming across river. Another man (John) rides from the river bank into the river. Him and Joe meet in the middle and shake hands. They circle one another laughing. They share a drink from a bottle. Then two men ride round in the water. The wagon train arrives at a fort. The two men leave the river and arrive at the trading post. Their horses are lead away. Two women leave the store, in the background. (They are Jim's wives!). Close up of two Indian looking women. He calls his family and children of all ages run out from everywhere dressed in Indian clothing. Will Rogers (Joe) sneers at them, in close up. They run away. Meanwhile Jim is counting his offspring by the tens with his hands. Landscape of hills. Signpost in centre of frame, Close up of sign saying: To Los Angeles and To San Francisco. Part of the wagon train heads for Los Angeles. The other to San Francisco. Sign (close up) reading "Los Angeles City Limits, 296 Miles to court house". Will Rogers looks closely at sign. Bill's wagon arrives at Oakland Bay near San Francisco and stops. Shots of people pointing across bay. Bill rides in and the settlers gather round him. Close up of him on horse back surrounded by men pointing to left of screen. He rides off, into the water to see if he can ford it. Him and his horse hit deep water with a big splash, Bill disappears. Panic on shore, men and women pointing. Bill surfaces, bedraggled. Three men dive into the water, and swim out to save him. His head pops up out of the water. The men find where Bill went down and start diving for him. They grab him and save him from drowning. Back on shore he is soaking and shaken up. Will Rogers (Bill) wearing swimming costume (with Y on front) and cowboy hat sits on the back of his horse. He sets off across bay with an ox behind him and the wagons. They float on the water. Shot of cow walking in water. The Los Angeles settlers have set up camp. Men with guns shooting at moving bushes. Iris in on moving bushes. The camp site is surrounded. Women cluster in terror by covered wagon. Man in plaid shirt still looking through hand held stereoscope. Joe gives Molly a knife to use if the Indians attack. Attackers approach camp with branches over them for camouflage. They attack the wagon, discarding their trees. The attackers are real estate agents. Well dressed city man in a suit and cap and a man with heavy growth, a hat and waistcoat. City man gets rural man to sign a contract to buy land in Los Angeles. Everyone runs around with building plans, shaking hands, making deals. Real estate agents are offering cigars. Close up of city man in blazer, bow tie and cap selling more land. Real estate agentsare chased off. Joe goes to shoot at them but is stopped. A car pulls a covered wagon as the pioneers walk towards the camera. Car is a jalopy with soft top roof and leather seats. Quite a big car for the time. Settlers stand in a group with their pieces of paper (land deals). The estate agents have driven off with their wagons as payment. Real estate agent laughing. Tries to climb onto horse. Falls off and into a pond surrounded by reeds. He is drowning and calls for help. The settlers hear him and Joe pulls him out, all covered in mud. The estate agent agrees to sell him another lot of land. Iris in to white horse. Joe sees his horse and pushes estate agent back into pond. He uses his foot to push his head further in.


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