Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: TBD

The Story of Will Rogers Details


Will Rogers Jr. stars as his own father in this slow, sentimental biopic. The film begins with Rogers' days on his father's ranch in Indian Territory (later Oklahoma). We see Will court his future wife, Betty (Jane Wyman), just before he strikes out on his own as a rodeo performer. Attempting to break into vaudeville with a roping act, Will gets nowhere until he starts cracking extemporaneous jokes about current events. Using the newspapers as his "material," Will rises to the pinnacle of show business in the 1910s and '20s as a star comedian in Flo Ziegfeld's Follies. He matures into a devoted family man, a rancher, a film star, an aviation enthusiast, and America's unofficial goodwill ambassador. During the darkest days of the Depression, Rogers works long and hard on behalf of poverty-stricken farmers in his own home state and elsewhere. In 1935, Rogers joins his old pal Wiley Post (Noah Beery Jr.) for an airplane trip to Alaska -- from which he never returns. The Story of Will Rogers sticks to the facts, but the film is surprisingly dull and pedantic considering the director (the usually vigorous Michael Curtiz) and the fascinating subject matter. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


Will Rogers, Jr.
as Will Rogers
Jane Wyman
as Betty Rogers
Carl Benton Reid
as Clem Rogers
James Gleason
as Bert Lynn
Slim Pickens
as Dusty Donovan
Noah Beery, Jr.
as Wiley Post
Mary Wickes
as Mrs. Foster
Steve Brodie
as Dave Marshall
Pinky Tomlin
as Orville James
Margaret Field
as Sally Rogers
Richard Kean
as Mr. Cavendish
Jay Silverheels
as Joe Arrow
William Forrest
as Flo Ziegfeld
Eddie Cantor
as Himself
Monte Blue
Art Mix
Carol Nugent
as Young Mary
Dub Taylor
as Actor
Paul MacWilliams
as Dead-Eye Dick
Tony Epper
Carol Nugent
as Young Mary
Paul MacWilliams
as Dead-Eye Dick
Dub Taylor
as Actor


Michael Curtiz
Robert Arthur
Stanley Roberts
Frank Davis
Victor Young
Composer (Music Score)
Folmar Blangsted
Edward Carrere
Art Director
Milo Anderson
Costume Designer