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The Old Fashioned Way (1934)

Passed | | Comedy | 13 July 1934 (USA)
The Great McGonigle and his troupe of third-rate vaudevillians manage to stay one step ahead of the bill collectors and the sheriff.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
The Great McGonigle / Squire Cribbs in 'The Drunkard'
Joe Morrison ...
Wally Livingston / William Dowton in 'The Drunkard'
...
Albert Pepperday
...
Betty McGonigle / Agnes Dowton in the 'The Drunkard'
Jan Duggan ...
Cleopatra Pepperday
Tammany Young ...
Marmaduke Gump
...
Mrs. Wendelschaffer
...
Dick Bronson
Samuel Ethridge ...
Bartley Neuville / Edward Middleton / The Drunkard in 'The Drunkard'
Ruth Marion ...
Agatha Sprague / Mary Wilson in 'The Drunkard'
Richard Carle ...
Sheriff of Barnesville
Larry Grenier ...
Drover Stevens in 'The Drunkard'
William Blatchford ...
Landlord in 'The Drunkard'
Jeffrey Williams ...
Mrs. Arden Renclelaw in 'The Drunkard'
Donald Brown ...
The Minister in 'The Drunkard'
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Storyline

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 <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 July 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Compagni d'allegria  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

W.C. Fields recreates his famous vaudeville juggling routine with the cigar boxes. See more »

Quotes

Dick Bronson: Mr. McGonigle, I've got to have some money.
The Great McGonigle: Yes, my lad, how much?
Dick Bronson: Two dollars.
The Great McGonigle: If I had two dollars, I'd start a number two company.
Dick Bronson: For two cents I'd quit.
The Great McGonigle: [to Marmaduke] Pay him off!
[Marmaduke gives him a two cent stamp]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits are in 2 parts; the first contain the actors and their character names in the film as a whole; The second contains the actors and their character names in the play, "The Drunkard." Five actors, therefore, are credited twice: W.C. Fields, Joe Morrison, Judith Allen, Samuel Ethridge and Ruth Marion. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Six of a Kind (1934) See more »

Soundtracks

After the Ball
(1892) (uncredited)
Music by Charles Harris
Played during the opening credits
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Gem
5 April 2006 | by (San Francisco, CA, United States) – See all my reviews

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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The Old Fashioned Way coming to DVD on 03/20/2007. dfc99
Fields could be a very touching actor enochsneed
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