7 June 2009 | Solo-12
Irvin Cobb takes over for Will Rogers
Darryl Zanuck had intended this as a Will Rogers project but it was reassigned to Irvin S. Cobb after Rogers' death in a plane crash in 1935. The story has all the folksy elements of a Rogers film and is very enjoyable, but unfortunately Cobb can't rise to the Rogers charm. Cobb, an odd-looking man, was also a journalist and had appeared with Rogers in "Steamboat Round the Bend" so he was a natural choice for the part. He plays a grumpy, but very successful businessman who holds a grudge against his main competitor, who is also a former friend. When the friend dies suddenly, Cobb investigates the competing company and finds that his friend's son and daughter have been wasting all their money and are in danger of losing the company to some conniving executives. He does his best to straighten out the profligate kids and nurtures a romance between his son and the competitor's daughter. "Everybody's Old Man" did not match the box office success of any Will Rogers movies and Cobb only did one more "B" picture for Fox. An interesting sidebar is that Zanuck had produced "The Working Man" starring George Arliss for his previous boss, Jack Warner, in 1933, which was based on the same original story.