The other day when writing about Will Rogers, I mentioned a 20-minute or so silent film he made in 1922, The Ropin' Fool, which he did specifically to preserve a record of his skills with a rope. (Earlier in his life, he had worked as a cowhand, and even traveled, I believe, to Argentina working with ranchers.)
It wasn't that he was a great roper, it was that he was beyond spectacular, almost impossibly so. I gave some examples, but those don't do his skills justice, in part because they're just words, and in part because it's still possible to think they're just exaggeration.
They're not exaggeration.
Here they are on film!
This isn't the full movie of The Ropin' Fool. But it's three minutes from the film. This may be what's shown in the Visitors Center at the Will Rogers State Historic Park, where I worked for three years in Pacific Palisades, California. Or perhaps its excerpts from this that are in a biographical film. I don't exactly remember, though I think the latter.
The narrator here is his son, Will Rogers Jr (who played his father in the enjoyable though not terribly accurate 1952 film, The Story of Will Rogers, with Jane Wyman -- the former wife of Ronald Reagan -- as his wife, Betty Rogers.)
This is just three minutes of tricks, but I feel confident you'll be in awe, and think that "tricks' is a word that doesn't do it justice. This, as I noted earlier, is a master at work.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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