OETA will broadcast Will Rogers’ 1920s film by Peter C. Rollins at 8 p.m. on Aug. 14. Oklahoma’s favorite son comments on the political, economic, ecological, and social issues of his day, according to the filmmaker.
Will Rogers’ 1920s: A Cowboy’s Guide to the Times examines key issues of that turbulent decade. It includes the aftermath of World War I, the rise of motion pictures as a social force; impact of industrialism on American life; the new woman; the beginning of “the American Century,” according to Rollins.
All these topics are seen through the eyes of Will Rogers, a social commentator who represented the voice of America’s past, judging and critiquing the fads and frenzies of the present.
This film is an outgrowth of “the historian as filmmaker” movement that urged students of culture to make their own films rather than rely upon audiovisualists to produce them. Dr. Rollins, with other other historians, conducted all of the research, purchased all of the footage, and edited materials to a script he wrote.
It is truly an “historian-made film,” he said. It has received national and international recognition. The film was sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities and paid back to the endowment the funds given for the project, a rare follow-through. It has received numerous awards including a CINE Golden Eagle.
It is a very funny film and both entertaining and enlightening.
Dr. Rollins , who earned his PhD at Harvard, is Oklahoma State University Regents Professor Emeritus. He has been involved with Will Rogers history since 1972 when he worked on the Will Rogers Project at OSU, reprinting the entire writings of Will Rogers.
For information about Will Rogers and the Will Rogers Memorial Museum, visit the website www.willrogers.com.
For full information about the film, see www.petercrollins.com.
The film is also available in the Will Rogers Memorial Museum store and sells for $12.95.