Tag Archives: W.C. Fields

Edward F. Cline – Never Give a Sucker an Even Break (1941)

One of 1941’s trio of great satires about filmmaking in Hollywood (along with Sullivan’s Travels and Hellzapoppin’) and probably the craziest of the lot. W. C. Fields wrote the story himself (under the pseudonym Otis Criblecoblis) and the film, which is coincidentally about W. C. Fields peddling a script he wrote himself to a frustrated studio boss (Franklin Pangborn), is probably the purest expression of his comic sensibility, starting with the iconic title. Read More »

A. Edward Sutherland – It’s the Old Army Game [+commentary] (1926)

W.C. Fields headlines in this 1926 silent comedy classic, essentially a collection of some of Fields’ best routines stitched together with the thinnest of plots.

It’s the Old Army Game (1926)

Released: 11 Jul 1926 Rated: PASSED Runtime: 77 min
Director: A. Edward Sutherland Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Romance
Cast: W.C. Fields, Louise Brooks, Blanche Ring, William Gaxton Writers: J.P. McEvoy (play), W.C. Fields (play), William LeBaron (adaptation), Thomas J. Geraghty (scenario), J. Clarkson Miller (scenario), Ralph Spence (titles)

Plot: Druggist Elmer Prettywillie is sleeping. A woman rings the night bell only to buy a two-cent stamp. Then garbage collectors waken him. Next it’s firemen on a false alarm. And then a real fire. Read More »

Clyde Bruckman & W.C. Fields – Man on the Flying Trapeze (1935)

Ambrose Wolfinger wants the afternoon off (his first in twenty-five years) to go to a wrestling match. He tells his boss that he must attend his mother-in-law’s funeral. The afternoon is no joy. He tries to please a policeman, assist a chauffeur, chase a tire, and ends up getting hit by the body of a wrestler thrown from the ring. A series of mishaps leads his boss to send floral tributes to the house and notify the papers of the death (due to poisoned liquor). His shrewish wife, judgmental mother-in-law, and good-for-nothing brother-in-law add to his burdens. In the end he enjoys their fawning loyalty, a raise in pay, and his first vacation. Read More »

Leslie Pearce – The Dentist (1932)

Synopsis:
An unconventional dentist (W. C. Fields) deals with patients in slapstick fashion. Read More »

Clyde Bruckman – The Fatal Glass of Beer (1933)

Synopsis:
Fields relates the sad tale of his son who went astray in the city. Adapted from Fields’ 1928 Ear Carroll Vanities sketch “Stolen Bonds.” Read More »

Monte Brice – The Golf Specialist (1930)

At a Florida hotel, absconding miscreant J. Effingham Bellweather goes slapstick golfing with the house detective’s flirtatious wife and an incompetent caddy. Read More »

Erle C. Kenton – You’re Telling Me! (1934)

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Synopsis from Allmovie.com
W.C. Fields stars in a remake of his silent comedy So’s Your Old Man. Fields plays Sam Bisbee, an erstwhile inventor who is the laughingstock of his small town. Returning in defeat from a disastrous big-city demonstration of his latest invention, Sam makes the acquaintance of a beautiful young woman (Adrienne Ames) who happens to be an incognito foreign princess. After Bisbee tells her of how he’d like to be a success for the sake of his family, the princess decides to use her celebrity to Sam’s benefit. She arrives in his town and lets it be known of her high regard for the downtrodden Bisbee. Suddenly Sam is the town’s big shot, enabling him to merchandise his inventions and do right by his wife and daughter. Sam earns the respect he’s so long deserved–but he’s never completely convinced that the princess is who she claims to be, and keeps congratulating her on her “racket.” Based on a story by Julian Street, You’re Telling Me is climaxed by a sidesplitting recreation of W.C. Fields’ Ziegfeld Follies golf routine. ~ Hal Erickson Read More »