Rightly suspected of illicit relations with the Masked Bandit, Flower Belle Lee is run out of Little Bend. On the train she meets con man Cuthbert J. Twillie and pretends to marry him for "... See full summary »
Fields wants to sell a film story to Esoteric Studios. On the way he gets insulted by little boys, beat up for ogling a woman, and abused by a waitress. He becomes his niece's guardian when... See full summary »
Larson E. Whipsnade runs a seedy circus which is perpetually in debt. His performers give him nothing but trouble, especially Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy. Meanwhile, Whipsnade's son ... See full summary »
Edward F. Cline
A small country on the verge of bankruptcy is persuaded to enter the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics as a means of raising money. Either a masterpiece of absurdity or a triumph of satire, ... See full summary »
Professor Wong has invented a television machine and invites everyone to see it at China's International House Hotel. Every time Tommy Nash attempts to wed his fiancée Carol Fortescue he comes down with an illness, and when he breaks out in a rash the hotel is quarantined. Into this hotel flies Professor Quail in his auto-gyro. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
One of over 700 Paramount productions, filmed between 1929-49, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. It was released on DVD 9 November 2004 as one of of 5 titles in Universal's W.C. Fields Comedy Collection and again 4 June 2013 as one of 10 titles in Universal's W.C. Fields Comedy Favorites Collection; it has also enjoyed an occasional airing on cable TV on Turner Classic Movies. See more »
W.C. Fields reaches from bed to turn on the lamp on the nightstand. The lamp goes on before his hand reaches it. See more »
[Professor Quail enters during Rudy Vallee's song]
How long's this dogfight been going on?
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Paramount had the brilliant idea of featuring radio in the movies the previous year with The Big Broadcast. That film featured all kinds of radio stars the public only imagined and had an anarchic plot similar to International House.
I've often wondered if Paramount didn't mean to have this be The Big Broadcast of 1933 originally. Repeating from the cast of The Big Broadcast are Stu Erwin and Burns & Allen and Cab Calloway. Adding to the general hilarity are W.C. Fields, Franklin Pangborn, Rudy Vallee, Bela Lugosi, and the Paris Hilton of her day, Peggy Hopkins Joyce.
The slender thread of a plot this movie hangs on involves a Chinese inventor Edmund Breon who invents the seeing eye, radio you can see as well as listen to. Everyone wants to get their hands on this valuable patent. A lot of the musical guest stars get hooked into the film via the inventor testing out the device.
Bing Crosby made his feature film starring debut in The Big Broadcast and I wonder why his crooning rival Rudy Vallee was hired for this film. Rudy has a nice, but unmemorable number.
Of course what makes the film really go are Burns and Allen and W.C. Fields. They uplift any film they are in. George and Gracie's montypythonesque type dialog is timeless and priceless.
So is Fields of course, the eternal misanthrope. There was one bit of humor I caught in International House though that is rather dated. During that final chase scene through the International House lobby with Fields in an automobile, he pokes his head through the car roof and puts his top hat on. He then remarks something about this car used to belong to the Postmaster General.
As it turns out Herbert Hoover's Postmaster General was a rather fatuous gentlemen named Walter Brown. He liked to wear high silk hats and had a limousine designed with an extra tall roof so he could ride with his topper on. At government expense of course in the middle of the Depression. He was forever derided as High Hat Brown after that and even a year later after Hoover was out of office, W.C. Fields could wring a laugh or two with that crack from the Depression audience.
Still though, this should really be called The Big Broadcast of 1933.
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