Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Very loosely based on Booth Tarkington's novel The Plutocrat, Business and Pleasure stars Will Rogers as Earl Tinker, a newly rich Oklahoma razor-blade manufacturer. On the pretext of taking a vacation with his family, Earl journeys to far-off Syria, there to purchase the secret formula for Damascus steel. During the ocean voyage to the middle east, Earl's daughter Olivia (Peggy Ross) falls in love with struggling playwright Lawrence Ogle (Joel McCrea), while a worldly adventuress named Madame Momora (Jetta Goudal) apparently sets her sights on the bashful Earl, much to the dismay of his wife (Dorothy Peterson). In truth, however, Madame Momora is an "industrial spy" in the employ of Tinker's main competitor, and it is her job to prevent Earl from completing his business mission. But our dumb-like-a-fox hero manages to turn the tables with the use of a clever disguise and a few other dexterous diversions. Filmed before the 1931 Will Rogers vehicle Ambassador Bill, Business and Pleasure was released afterward in early 1932, thereby giving audiences the pleasant surprise of seeing Boris Karloff, newly famous thanks to his performance as The Monster in Frankenstein, popping up unbilled as a desert sheik.
boss [employer], business, daughter, escape, evidence, meeting, naivete, on-the-road, photography, playwright, prison, rescue, rival, trapped, traveling, wife, witness