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The Old Fashioned Way (1934)

Passed  -  Comedy  -  13 July 1934 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 642 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 7 critic

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), 11 more credits »
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Title: The Old Fashioned Way (1934)

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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'
Baby LeRoy ...
Albert Pepperday
Judith Allen ...
Betty McGonigle / Agnes Dowton in the 'The Drunkard'
Jan Duggan ...
Cleopatra Pepperday
Tammany Young ...
Gump
Nora Cecil ...
Mrs. Wendelschaffer
Jack Mulhall ...
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:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the end of the opening cast credits, there is "Also Cast of the original "DRUNKARD" Company." However, since the earliest production of "The Drunkard" premiered in New York City in 1843, the production referred to was undoubtedly the one in Los Angeles which premiered on 6 July 1933 at the Little Theatre Mart and ran for several years. The Cast list for the Los Angeles production is not available. See more »

Quotes

Sheriff Walter Jones: When is Cleo gonna act in this show?
The Great McGonigle: Oh, yes, yes, yes. She'll probably go on right after the epilogue.
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

References The Fatal Glass of Beer (1933) See more »

Soundtracks

Ring de Banjo
(1851) (uncredited)
Music by Stephen Foster
Played by the band at the opera house
See more »

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User Reviews

W. C. Fields-- A Universally Funny Man, by Nelson Donley
22 January 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

There is very little that hasn't been said about the great W. C. Fields. "The Old Fashioned Way" would have been prosaic had it starred anyone else other than WCF. Fields was one of the few comic actors in the history of cinema who could produce priceless jocularity out of a boring script. Unlike perhaps 99% of all the other comic actors of his and our time, Fields never had to work very hard for a laugh. His humor was brought about through subtlety. Watch him very closely and you will discover in essence what natural humor is all about: his mutterings; his facial gestures; his body language; the inflection of his voice; his slight of hands. W. C. Fields doesn't just look and act funny-- he IS funny.

I saw "The Old Fashioned Way" about 30 years ago for the first time and, except for the juggling act and Baby Leroy scene, thought it was pretty innocuous. Of course, I was only a teenager back then and actually thought that "Billy Jack" was the greatest dramatic movie of the 20th century. I'm also ashamed to say that I thought Chevy Chase was actually funny. Ugh! As my tastes matured, I began to realize that so many aspects of life are beyond our control, and all one could ever hope to do was to learn not to take life so seriously. That, I believe, is why W. C. Fields' sense of humor is timeless and continues to relate to future generations.

The next time you watch a W. C. Fields movie, look closely and you may find certain aspects of yourself within Fields' character. Why do you think Homer Simpson has lasted so long??? If you take what has been said in this review into consideration, you will cherish this film for years to come. Fix yourself a dry Martini and enjoy the movie.


8 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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