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Too Busy to Work (1932)

A depression-era tramp named Jubilo goes looking for the wife that left him. While on his journey, he meets an assortment of characters.


John G. Blystone (as John Blystone)


Barry Conners (screenplay), Philip Klein (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
Will Rogers ... Jubilo
Marian Nixon ... Rose
Dick Powell ... Dan Hardy
Frederick Burton ... Judge Hardy
Charles Middleton ... Chief of Police
Louise Beavers ... Mammy
Constantine Romanoff ... Axel
Douglas Cosgrove ... Sheriff
Jack O'Hara Jack O'Hara ... Under Sheriff
Bert Hanlon Bert Hanlon ... Pete
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Barbara Bedford ... Molly Hardy (scenes deleted)


A depression-era tramp named Jubilo goes looking for the wife that left him. While on his journey, he meets an assortment of characters.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

cow | remake | See All (2) »









Release Date:

2 December 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jubilo See more »

Filming Locations:

Lone Pine, California, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Fox Film Corporation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (re-release)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Remake of Jubilo (1919) See more »

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User Reviews

The plot is all over the place in this one...and that's why it's not even close to being Rogers' best.
1 June 2014 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

I have seen quite a few of Will Rogers' films and would consider "Too Busy to Work" among the least of his films. Most of the problem is that it looks almost like three sort of films all combined into one--with no clear and distinct tone or theme. It's quite odd and I cannot recall another Rogers film like it.

When the film begins, Jubilo (Rogers) is a bum and he's been on the road for many years. Now, inexplicably, he's decided to go look for his wife and daughter. It seems that the wife left him 18 years ago...and NOW he decides to look them up for some unknown reason.

When Jubilo arrives as his daughter's home, he learns that his ex-wife has died and the daughter lives with her step-father, the judge. You learn that Jubilo is a bum who hates to work and is a nice fellow despite this. The daughter (Marian Nixon) takes an instant liking to Jubilo and invites him to stay as a hired hand--not knowing it's her father.

So far, this is a reasonably good film--a man coming to visit his daughter and deciding exactly what to tell her--if anything. However, two other plot elements arise--and they have no place in the film. The first is about a robbery where the judge's son (Dick Powell) is implicated even though he's innocent. What's shocking about this is that first Jubilo recommends to the young man that he lie his head off to the police. Then, later in the film when the gang comes looking for the guy, Jubilo gets into a gun battle and shoots the gang boss!! Huh?! I thought this was a comedy! Another plot, and this one was disturbing, was when Jubilo met the judge. Jubilo appeared to be threatening the judge--threatening to expose him as a home wrecker. Huh?! Again, I thought this was supposed to be a comedy. How all this works out is just fine--but overall it's a very dissatisfying melange--one that should have been a lot better. The writing is simply the problem with this one despite some strong characters.

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