steamboats in movies

Steamboat Round the Bend - The Cast


Will Rogers steamboat round the bend

Unusually pensive expression on Will Rogers' face in this still of him at the pilot wheel. He was probably only in character as Dr. John's more soulful self but it makes you wonder if he had any misgivings about the flight he would soon embark upon with Wiley Post that would end so tragically for them both. It's the most sober of all still of Rogers from STEAMBOAT ROUND THE BEND that I've collected so far.

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This was the last movie for Will Rogers. He died in an airplane crash shortly before the release of Steamboat Round the Bend.

steamboat round the bend

Dr. John (Will Rogers): "Hey, Looky that! Says Captain . . . says Captain on it!"

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Will Rogers looking into the wrong end of the telescope in the pilot house of the PRIDE OF PADUCAH. Irvin S. Cobb as Cap'n Eli and Vester Pegg as the pilot Mink are feigning great amusement.

captain Eli

Latest from THE movie . . . pretty flattering of Cobb actually, he didn't always look this good.

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Irvin S. Cobb as Cap'n Eli seems to be listening to somebody on another boat or on shore while he holds a speaking trumpet. Could be that Cobb was listening to instructions from director John Ford.

The twin smokestacks on the Sacramento River steamer which played the PRIDE OF PADUCAH were added to the boat to make it resemble a Mississippi River style boat. The pilot house and other details are very reminiscent of the DELTA QUEEN's which was in the same fraternity (or should it be "sorority"?) of Sacramento River boats.

Photo Courtesy of Murphy Library at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
Steamboat Collection Photographs

Cap'n Eli

Irvin S. Cobb, Cap'n Eli of the PRIDE OF PADUCAH evidently really fishing or just posing for a publicity still during shooting of STEAMBOAT ROUND THE BEND on the Sacramento River.

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Stepin Fetchit on the deck of the CLAREMORE QUEEN in Steamboat Round the Bend!

Stepin Fetchit

Stepin Fetchit as Noah, Will Rogers as Dr. John Pearly and former prize fighter John Lester Johnson in his uncredited role as Uncle Jeff in the scene where the CLAREMORE QUEEN was approaching the steamboats lined up for the race.

Uncle Jeff is holding the lead line like he's fixin' to take some soundings.

the new moses

Another STEAMBOAT ROUND THE BEND classic still . . .

Berton Churchill as THE NEW MOSES preaching Hellfire and Brimstone at the racing steamboats just before Will Rogers lassoed him and pulled him aboard the CLAREMORE QUEEN so Moses can travel with them to Memphis to testify in Duke's behalf about the murder he was about to be hanged for.

Looks like the Smith Bros. Cough Drops boys there in their beards . . . the disciples all look like a bunch of lunatics from ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST (or a Hare Krishna gathering?) For more about Berton Churchill, click here - characteractors.blogspot.com.

Note that some of the ladies are dressed in retro-Puritan costumes with strange bonnets and aprons. The tiny lady in the lower right looks about 4 1/2 feet tall.

"GLORY be! Halle-LU-jah!" as Moses shouted as he stoked the fires aboard the CLAREMORE QUEEN to get to Memphis in time, gathering speed with crates of combustible POCAHONTAS cure-all bottles.

round the bend

Roger Imhof as "Breck's Pappy" (on the left pointing at George Washington) comments during the tour of Dr. John's Floating Museum (conducted by Will Rogers as Dr. John):

"Friends! That certainly is a fine man. All my life I've thought about him and what he's done for our country here! I sure would like to have my old woman see him if she can get away from her plowin'!"

Steamboat Round the Bend

Publicity still, evidently from the "happy ending" of the 1935 film after Will Rogers and his crew had won the PRIDE OF PADUCAH from Irvin. S. Cobb in the steamboat race and saved Rogers' nephew Duke from the gallows with the aid of the evangelist called "The New Moses" who had witnessed Duke's fight with the man he was accused of murdering.

The prop department forgot to darken the inside of the bowl of Rogers' corn cob pipe which is in bright mint condition, so it had obviously never been smoked by Rogers or anyone else.

Anne Shirley looks so attractive in that dress. For most of the movie she was dressed in either boy's clothes or in an old Civil War era frock with a skirt that was too short and her legs covered with absurd pantalettes. The actress was born Dawn Evelyn Paris in New York in 1918, so she was 17 when she made STEAMBOAT ROUND THE BEND. She changed her name after playing the character Anne Shirley in ANNE OF GREEN GABLES made in 1934, the year before she played Fleety Belle here.

Will Rogers was a big fan of aviation but was grounded from flying while he made this movie for fear that something might happen to him before the movie was finished but after the movie was wrapped up he and Wiley Post flew up to Alaska where both men were killed in the crash of Post's plane at Point Barrow on August 15, 1935.

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DR. JOHN, WILL ROGERS SELLING SI JENKINS A BOTTLE OF THE POCAHONTAS REMEDY ABOARD THE PRIDE OF PADUCAH IN THE OPENING SCENE OF STEAMBOAT ROUND THE BEND.

SI JENKS, WAS A CHARACTER ACTOR BEST KNOWN FOR HIS WESTERN SIDE KICK ROLES. HE WAS BORN HOWARD JENKINS IN NORRISTOWN, PA IN 1876 AND WORKED IN VAUDEVILLE WITH HIS WIFE UNTIL 1924 WHEN HE BEGAN PLAYING BIT PARTS IN SILENT MOVIES. THE FIRST NAME "SI" WAS PROBABLY SHORT FOR "SILAS." TOM SAWYER'S UNCLE'S NAME WAS SILAS PHELPS WHO WITH AUNT SALLY PHELPS APPEARED IN BOTH ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN AND TOM SAWYER DETECTIVE.

JENKS APPEARED IN OVER 200 MOVIES, HIS LAST CREDITED ROLE WAS AS JEFF COREY, RIDING SHOTGUN ON A STAGECOACH IN A 1954 LONE RANGER EPISODE. HOWARD JENKINS LIVED UNTIL 1970 WHEN HE WENT TO THE LAST ROUND UP IN THE SKY AT THE RIPE OLD AGE OF 93, HIS LAST RESIDENCE WAS WOODLAND HILLS.

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Attached latest . . . close up of Rogers and Irvin S. Cobb discussing terms of the steamboat race indoors in a waterfront building a few minutes before the race was to start.

I knew that the PRESIDENT had been dismantled and only a very little salvaged and left as evidence that she ever existed. There's not enough left to "restore" her to anything like a complete steamboat. What little salvage there is would fit indoors in a museum. I saw her at Davenport, Iowa in the early '90's when she was a floating casino and the gambling was only allowed when she was out running on the Mississippi. I didn't have time to take a trip on her and have never gambled anyway but think I took some photos of her from the landing.

Jim Hale remembered when she was still a true sidewheeler before they removed the paddlewheels and replaced them with propellers concealed under the paddle boxes under water.

en.wikipedia.org
President retired from service in 1999 and was reported, in 2004, to be located on the Yazoo River in Mississippi. At that time, she was for sale by Isle of Capri Casinos.

She was also located for a time at Treasure Island in Lake McKellar at Memphis, Tennessee.

In January 2009, President was located in Alton, Illinois, where she had been listed by the National Park Service as of November 2007.

She was disassembled and moved in pieces to St. Elmo, Illinois, near Effingham.

Although local businesspeople hope to re-assemble her as a non-floating tourist attraction and hotel, financing has yet to be secured while the vessel rusts as a heap of scrap metal.

FROM THE RACE . . . ROGERS AND COBBS BOATS HEADING AT US A PUBLICITY STILL THAT'S IN THE MURPHY COLLECTION

Photo Courtesy of Murphy Library at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse Steamboat Collection Photographs

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From this pose you'd think that Will and Moses were having a disagreement but they were actually pretty agreeable with each other as I recall. Lighting is unusual . . . the actors are pretty much in shadow with lots of light on the PRIDE OF PADUCAH which is in soft focus behind them.

DR. JOHN AND THE NEW MOSES EXCHANGE THOUGHTS AFTER DISEMBARKING FROM THE PRIDE OF PADUCAH Ain't you gonna stay ashore here with us, brother? The devil's pretty active around these parts. Nay, brother. The Lord's a-callin'me up the river. Gotta wrestle with the Captain of the MEMPHIS GIRL. He's backslid. Well, durn my britches! The MEMPHIS GIRL, huh? Say, IÕve got a nephew works on that boat. You need anybody to help you wrestlinÕ with the devil, he'll help you. He's the best wrestler in this whole country. His name's Duke. Duke's his name. Yes, sir. He's pilot of the boat. Thank you, brother. IÕll fetch him the word. You tell him to hurry on down here. I ain't any man to be kept waitin'. Good-bye, brother. Keep the faith.

Steamboat Round the Bend

Irvin S. Cobb as Captain Eli, sitting behind the wheel of the Pride of Paducah. Mink, the pilot standing at the wheel was played by Vester Pegg.

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A detail of Rogers and McGuire which you can also include in the SRTB pages if you like since it provides a good image of Will.

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8 x 10 press photo of STEAMBOAT ROUND THE BEND author Ben Lucien Burman. Rubber stamped on the back August 8, 1939 along with the initials N.E.A. which probably stood for National Education Association

Text of the caption which was printed under a cropped version of the photo in newspapers:

When a distinguished committee gave Ben Lucien Burman's most recent novel, "Blow for a Landing," the Southern Authors' Award for the best book of 1938, it was recognition of the authenticity of his writing.

For Burman - pictured above at the helm of the river steamer GORDON C. GREENE - actually has served as a cub pilot on the Mississippi.

(The steamboat that Ben was a cub pilot on was the TENNESSEE BELLE according to a note hand written by him preceding his autograph which he inscribed in a copy I have of his novel STEAMBOAT ROUND THE BEND].

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FANS OF STEAMBOAT ROUND THE BEND 1935 WITH ANNE AS FLEETY BELLE WOULD ENJOY SEEING HER IN THE ROLE WHICH LED TO HER CHANGING HER "HOLLYWOOD" NAME FROM "DAWN O'DAY" TO "ANNE SHIRLEY" (HER CHARACTER'S NAME IN "GREEN GABLES"). SHE WAS BORN "DAWN EVELYEEN PARIS" IN NEW YORK CITY IN 1918.

"ANNE SHIRLEY" WAS BORN WITH THE NAME "DAWN EVELYEEN PARIS" IN NEW YORK CITY IN 1918.

PHOTO OF HER IN "ANNE OF GREENE GABLES" WITH "MARILLA" AND "MATTHEW" (SISTER AND BROTHER WHO ADOPTED "ANNE" IN THE MOVIE)

cast of the 1934 movie

Anne Shirley . . . Anne
O.P. Heggie . . . Matthew
Helen Westley . . . Marilla

THE 1985 CANADIAN TV MINI SERIES WITH MEGAN FOLLOWS IS EXCELLENT WITH THIS GREAT CAST:

Megan Follows . . . Anne Shirley
Colleen Dewhurst . . . Marilla Cuthbert
Richard Farnsworth . . . Matthew Cuthbert

Anne of Green Gables (MOD)

When a childless Canadian couple goes to an orphanage to adopt a boy to help work their farm, they are surprised to learn their new child is a girl—Anne of Green Gables.

wbshop.com

Genre: Drama, Family, Romance
Director: Jr.
Writers: Sam Mintz
Cast: Anne Shirley, Tom Brown, O.P. Heggie, Helen Westley, Sara Haden, Murray Kinnell, Gertrude Messinger, Charley Grapewin, Hilda Vaughn, June Preston

She's talkative, imaginative, occasionally combative and regularly exhaustive, but redheaded orphan Anne Shirley works her way into the hearts of a Prince Edward Island farm couple - and she'll do the same with you.

A year after its top-notch film of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women, RKO scored another box-office hit with this equally admired version of Lucy Maud Montgomery's 1908 classic.

Adopted by elder siblings Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert (Helen Westley and O.P. Heggie), Anne isn't the able-bodied boy they requested from the orphanage, but they count their blessing anyway.

Over time, she endears herself to one and all, particularly best friend Diana Barry (Gertrude Messenger) and romantic interest Gilbert Blythe (Tom Brown).

Most moved by this experience was Anne Shirley, who changed her professional name from Dawn O'Day to that of her Anne of Green Gables title role, going on to renown as the Oscar®-nominated costar of Stella Dallas as well as leads in The Devil and Daniel Webster and Murder, My Sweet.

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Excerpts of dialogue between Doc and Rufe at Professor Marvel's museum in a tent with movie still taken during the scene:

DOC:

What's that you got there?

RUFE:

Why, ain't you heard? Why, Professor Marvel done skipped town owin' everybody. Left his whole show and the calliope and everything. They got a dead fish in here. They call it a whale. Why, the whole tent's just chuck full of things that'll give you the shivers. Come on in. Yes, sir. All the greatest folks in history, from John the Baptist plumb down to the king of England. There's Little Eva sittin' there. Old Uncle Tom's layin' around here somewheres.

There's been a heap of argument around town about this here whale. And Professor Marvel, now, he claimed that it's the very identical whale that swallowed Jonah.

DOC:

Well, it looks old enough to be. Say, wait a minute here, Rufe. You know, I got an idea. See what you think of this, Fleety. What do you say... You want to get your money out of this, don't ya?

RUFE:

Sure do.

DOC:

What do you say you let me take this on the CLAREMORE QUEEN and I'll soon have your money back. And we can get Duke that appeal lawyer too.

RUFE:

Well, I don't see how nobody can kick about that.





ADD TO PHOTO OF THE NEW MOSES

Scene 1

At the Bow on the main deck of the steamboat PRIDE OF PADUCAH THE NEW MOSES preaches against the Demon Rum

(THE NEW MOSES):

Repent, oh, ye sinners!

Oh, ye children of darkness...behold...the New Moses.

Fight down the demon rum!

(Moses singles out Efe from the crowd):

Brother... I was once a sinner like you.

I was a hog. I was a slave of the demon rum.

A child of hell! Yes, sir.

But I was saved by this ribbon.

It raised me from a hog to a man.

It can do the same for you.

Raise your right hand and take the pledge.

(Efe raises his right hand and in it is a bottle of whiskey)

Brother, what do I see in your hand?

Don't be a hog! Cast the enemy away!

(Efe hands the bottle to the man next to him who passes it along to others on its way overboard)

Bury demon rum in the waters of the mighty Mississippi! Fling it away, I say!

(Moses pins an abstinence ribbon to Efe's vest)

I swear that henceforth...liquor shall never touch my lips.

(EFE): Me too!

(MOSES): Bless you, brother. Bless you.





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