Harold Hobbs doesn't much like that his lazy, sponging and unemployed brother-in-law Claude and his mother-in-law live with him and his wife, Hortense, especially as the in-laws seem to ... See full summary »

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Cast

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Harold Hobbs
Marjorie Beebe ...
Hortense Hobbs
Tom Dugan ...
Claude - Harold's Brother-in-Law
Aggie Herring ...
Harold's Mother-in-Law
Bud Jamison ...
Arresting Policeman
Tom Dempsey ...
1st Traffic Cop
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Storyline

Harold Hobbs doesn't much like that his lazy, sponging and unemployed brother-in-law Claude and his mother-in-law live with him and his wife, Hortense, especially as the in-laws seem to rule the roost ever since they moved in. To get his in-laws out of the house, Harold has regularly left a bottle of booze for Claude to be able to entertain prospective employers. When Harold learns that on all the other occasions the employers have not showed (he assumes there probably were no prospective employers) leaving Claude to consume the booze on his own, he decides to show Claude a lesson by spiking the bottle with castor oil. Complications ensue when Joe, Harold's friend, encourages him to skip work to attend the prize fight. What Joe doesn't tell Harold is that he tells his boss that Harold needs the day off to attend to the sudden death of his brother-in-law. Written by Huggo

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Short | Comedy

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10 February 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

His Perfect Day  »

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1.37 : 1
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Written for W.C. Fields, stars Lloyd Hamilton
18 February 2008 | by (San Francisco, United States) – See all my reviews

Since there is precious little Lloyd Hamilton available to see, 'Too Many Highballs' remains must viewing for classic comedy buffs, even though it seems to largely waste this original and idiosyncratic comic talent. It has its moments but pretty much exemplifies what happens when you plug a comedian into a film that was tailor-made, start-to-finish, for an entirely different comic and characterization.

'Too Many Highballs' was originally slated to be the fifth W.C. Fields short for Mack Sennett, but, after the producer and Fields clashed after the production of 'The Fatal Glass Of Beer', the project was given to Hamilton. The script comes across as a vehicle for the wonderfully misanthropic anti-protagonist of The Barber Shop and The Dentist. Fields and co-writer Clyde Bruckman remade the storyline - of a beleaguered family man who tells a whopper so he can ditch work and go to the fights - two years later in the Paramount feature The Man On The Flying Trapeze.

Hamilton was obviously a very funny and skilled comedian, but, like Fields, needed to have scripts tailored specifically to his character; perhaps the Sennett Studio had to grind out those two-reelers too fast to rewrite this one to fit Hamilton's courtly, world-weary, Zero Mostel-like persona. So 'Too Many Highballs' is a bit of an uneasy coda to Lloyd Hamilton's near 20 year career.


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