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Edward F. Cline
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The Whinneys share expenses for their trip to Hollywood with George and Gracie and thier great Dane. A clerk in Whinney's bank has put fifty thousand dollars in a suitcase, hoping to rob Whinney on the road, but instead Whinney takes another road and is himself arrested in Nevada. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
One of over 700 Paramount productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »
George Burns' character Name is shown onscreen as "George Edward", but "Edwards" is consistently spoken as his surname. See more »
SIX OF A KIND (Paramount, 1934), directed by Leo McCarey, might indicate a movie about a card game but actually is a road trip story featuring a combination of three popular screen teams of Charlie Ruggles and Mary Boland; George Burns and Gracie Allen; and W.C. Fields and Alison Skipworth. Ruggles and Boland are the central characters, Burns and Allen take the back seat as the secondary couple along for the ride, while the final twosome, Fields and Skipworth, arriving during the its final half, acquiring less screen time than the others, all gathered together for this one of a kind comedy.
The story revolves around J. Pinkham Whinney (Ruggles), a teller at the Second National Bank, and his wife, Flora (Boland) of twenty years, preparing for their two week vacation/ second honeymoon on a road trip to California. Flora, who has placed an advertisement in the Daily Morning Globe for another couple to accompany them and share expenses, acquires the company of George Edwards and Miss Gracie DeVore (Burns and Allen), along with their great Dane, Rang-Tang-Tang. To make matters worse, Pinky unwittingly has $50,000 of stolen bank money placed in his suitcase by fellow bank clerk Ferguson (Bradley Page) with the intention of taking back the cash at Whinney's first stop at Glen Falls Hotel in Glen Falls, and leaving town with his girlfriend, Goldie (Grace Bradley). With George and Gracie doing some back seat driving, Whinney ends up taking another route to Philipsburg, getting themselves lost, robbed by a couple of tramps (Walter Long and Leo Willis), and ending up in the small town of Nuggetville, Nevada, where the Whinneys register at the Palace Hotel run by Mrs. K. Rumford (Alison Skipworth). Because they are unable to pay for their rooms (having Whinney and George sharing one room and Gracie and Flora in another), Mrs. Rumford decides to take Whinney's suitcases as security. Going over the contents with "Honest John" Huxley (W.C. Fields), the town sheriff who is anything but honest, acting as her witness, she encounters $50,000 hidden inside. Further complications arise for Whinney when detectives (James Burke and Dick Rush), hired by the bank, enter the scene, suspecting him of stealing the money with plans of going away with Goldie which leaves Flora in a state of shock.
At 62 minutes, SIX OF A KIND has all the ingredients of a two-reel comedy in feature length form. With Ruggles and Boland doing what they do best, their scenes are nearly overshadowed by the annoying antics of Burns and Allen, whose very presence makes it totally impossible for the Whinney's to have a moment alone together. One scene finds Gracie taking Flora's picture as she stands by the ledge, causing her to fall over when told to move back, revealed in a harrowing predicament resting on a limb over the Grand Canyon. Another scene taking place in a store has George falling victim to Fields while attempting to buy a sweater. Nothing could really compare with the best known sequence of all with Fields attempting to play a game of pool and asked repeatedly by a character named Busby (Tammany Young), "How did you get to be called Honest John?"
While SIX OF A KIND is notable as a W.C. Fields film, this being his third and final opposite Alison Skipworth, whom he affectionately calls "Duchess" this time around, the movie was distributed on video cassette in 1996 as part of the Burns and Allen comedy collection, commemorating the 100th birthday of George Burns. A decade later, SIX OF A KIND was placed onto DVD, triple featured with other lesser known Burns and Allen 1935 releases, LOVE AND BLOOM and HERE COMES COOKIE, preceded with theatrical trailers. Out of the television markets since the 1980s, SIX OF A KIND was given a rare screening on Turner Classic Movies in June 2001 as part of its tribute to "Star of the Month" W.C. Fields. A silly comedy at best made credible by the six pack accompanied by a deuce with half a deck named Gracie. (***1/2 jokers)
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