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 »
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Edward F. Cline
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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 »
The Great McGonigle's traveling theatrical troupe are staying at a boarding house. They are preparing to put on a production of "The Drunkard" (and do so during this movie). Cleopatra Pepperday puts up money for the show provided she can have a part ("Here comes the prince!"). Little Albert Wendelschaffer torments McGonigle all through lunch ("How can you hurt a watch by dipping it in molasses?"). In spite of being pursued by several sheriffs, McGonigle is able to keep going and see his daughter Betty happily married. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
One of my favorite things about this one is seeing W.C. juggle. He started out his show business career as a juggler, and in this movie you get to see some of his act. Even after a couple of decades of drink, he still does a creditable job, to say the least. The cigar box routine is a sight to remember.
It also contains one of the oddest-named characters in any movie, Cleopatra Pepperday, played wonderfully by Jan Duggan. The scene where she sings Gathering Up The Shells By The Seashore is wonderful. Or when she's rehearsing her "line" in the play, "Here comes the prince!" There is also a fascinating little cultural artifact within the movie -- a production of The Drunkard, a 19th century hit, no doubt popular when William Claude was a mere lad.
As per usual, W.C. Fields is incredible. The fascinating thing about him, to me, is the subtlety of his performance. It doesn't LOOK subtle, I'll grant you, but what strikes me is that there are many layers to his performing in movies. On the one hand, there are the huge gestures and loud, familiar voice, but on the other hand there are the muttered asides, the precise facial reactions, the absurd failure to accomplish the simplest tasks, like put his hat on his head without getting it caught on a cane. That's what I mean by subtle, you almost miss it and then you can't explain to yourself what it is that is so incredibly funny about what he's doing.
There's a bit of controversy about the scene where he kicks Baby LeRoy in the bottom, knocking him across the hall. There are many stories of W.C.'s working with Baby LeRoy. Apparently, on one occasion, Fields poured gin into Baby LeRoy's bottle, and when the child began throwing up and falling over, W.C. snorted, "I told you he was no trouper!"
I think it's awful that so many of W.C. Fields' films are not yet released on DVD. This is an oversight that should be rectified soon, we hope!
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