Going To Congress
 
Series: Will Rogers Distribution: Pathé  Director: Rob Wagner  Cinematography: Thomas J. Crizer
Production: R-11 Type: Silent short Producer: Hal Roach  Editor: Robert Doran
Released: 25 May 1924 Length: 2-reels Titles: Will Rogers

UNAVAILABLE ON DVD

A group of guys sit around a table discussing politics. In the light of recent government scandals, they suggest some candidates for their votes. One man, Alfalfa Doolittle (Will Rogers) is mentioned, but others shout down the suggestion on account of him being too lazy to do the job. More men discuss the situation in a grocery store where Doolittle is in attendence. They ask him if America will ever recognise Russia? "Not unless they shave", comes the reply. One of the men uses a booth to telephone Doolittle and suggests he be the man to run for Congress. Not realising he is being mocked, Doolittle excitedly tells the other men in the store of the conversation he just had.
Out on the campaign trail with his manager Will Stayes (Jack Ackroyd), Doolittle rallies a crowd and pitches his politics. After addressing a group of 'colored' people, people offer their babies for him to kiss, but he cuts it short when a black baby is presented. On an open-air stage, an opponent signals what the country needs, with Doolittle offering that what the country needs is rain - and he will personally see that it happens if he is elected. The crowd agree with him, much to the dismay of his political rivals. Alfalfa Doolittle wins the election and returns home to his family (wife Molly Thompson; daughter Marie Mosquini) as they prepare him for office with his new clothes.
Will Stayes shows up at the house and they leave for the train ride to Washington D.C. On the train Doolittle is questioned by fellow passengers over his policies. Eventually they arrive in Washington D.C. to a crowd of waiting people but they are more interested in talking to a movie star who is also getting off the train. Doolittle is largely overlooked by everybody until a bystander (Blanche Mehaffey) spots him. She kisses him, stealing his watch in the process. The next person Doolittle sees is a woman (Vera White) who asks him the time. The film ends with Doolittle walking up the steps to Congress.

Favourite bit
It's almost impossible to pick a favourite part from such a dreadful film, but I'll nominate the scene at the end when Doolittle goes to kiss the girl but looks behind him first to ensure his family aren't looking.

Facts
Production R-11 - Will Rogers series.
Copyrighted May 12, 1924.
Filming dates
January 19-30, 1924.
Trivia
This was the ninth film in the series to be released.
What the experts say
"Tedious. Simply mindnumbingly tedious. And you don't have to wait around too long for the next intertitle card to pop up on the screen either, to continously slow down the pace of the film. Boring isn't quite the word!" ~ Lord Heath.

Will Rogers
Alfalfa Doolittle
Marie Mosquini
Doolittle daughter
Molly Thompson
Sarah Doolittle
Jack Ackroyd
Will Stayes, campaign manager
Lassie Lou Ahern
Girl kissed at campaign stop
William Gillespie
Politician
Richard Daniels
Cobbler
Sammy Brooks
Train passenger with pipe
Chet Brandenburg
Train passenger with cigar
Marvin Loback
Train passenger
Blanche Mehaffey
Watch thief
Vera White
Woman who asks the time
Chris Lynton
Politician
Silas D. Wilcox
Political opponent
Earl Mohan
Bull Wyoming
Charlie Hall
Farm boy in crowd
   
UNIDENTIFIED CAST

INTERTITLE CARDS

Acknowledgements:
Tommie Hicks (help; identification of Marvin Loback)
Sammy Brooks, Chet Brandenburg, Earl Mohan*, Chris Lynton*, Vera White, Richard Daniels and Blanche Mehaffey were my own observations. (*confirmed by Jesse Brisson)
The IMDb lists Charlie Hall as being "farm boy in crowd" - it's hard to say whether that it is him or not (personal opinion)

This page was last updated on: 26 May 2017