IMDb > Man on the Flying Trapeze (1935)
Man on the Flying Trapeze
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Man on the Flying Trapeze (1935) More at IMDbPro »


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7.8/10   794 votes »
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Down 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Ray Harris (screen play) and
Sam Hardy (screen play) ...
View company contact information for Man on the Flying Trapeze on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
3 August 1935 (USA) See more »
Hard-working, henpecked Ambrose Wolfinger takes off from work to go to a wrestling match with catastrophic consequences. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
(5 articles)
"St Nick," Wc Fields, Cine las Americas, More
 (From MUBI. 23 April 2011, 6:56 AM, PDT)

The Forgotten: Fields Forever
 (From MUBI. 21 April 2011, 5:42 AM, PDT)

Mix Tape: "The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze" in It Happened One Night
 (From FilmExperience. 19 March 2011, 12:00 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Kukolaka Mishabob, we hardly knew ye See more (26 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

W.C. Fields ... Ambrose Wolfinger

Mary Brian ... Hope Wolfinger
Kathleen Howard ... Leona Wolfinger
Grady Sutton ... Claude Neselrode
Vera Lewis ... Mrs. Neselrode
Lucien Littlefield ... Mr. Peabody
Oscar Apfel ... President Malloy
Lew Kelly ... Adolph Berg
Tammany Young ... 'Willie' the Weasel

Walter Brennan ... 'Legs' Garnett
Edward Gargan ... Patrolman No.1
James Burke ... Patrolman No.2
Carlotta Monti ... Ambrose's Secretary
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Arthur Aylesworth ... Night Court Judge (uncredited)
Jack Baxley ... Court Officer (uncredited)
Mickey Bennett ... Office Employee (uncredited)

Billy Bletcher ... Timekeeper (uncredited)
Harry C. Bradley ... Passing Motorist (uncredited)
Eddy Chandler ... Motorcycle Policeman (uncredited)
David Clyde ... J. Farnsworth Wallaby (uncredited)
Heinie Conklin ... Street Cleaner (uncredited)
Keith Daniels ... Ticket Seller (uncredited)
Helen Dickson ... Miss Dickson (uncredited)
Sarah Edwards ... Motorcar Owner (uncredited)
Harry Ekezian ... Hookalakah Meshobbab (uncredited)
James Flavin ... Henry - Chauffeur (uncredited)
George B. French ... Clerk (uncredited)
Tor Johnson ... Tosoff - Wrestler (uncredited)

Florence Lawrence ... (uncredited)
Robert Littlefield ... Neighbor with Correct Time (uncredited)
Sam Lufkin ... Ticket Taker (uncredited)
Mickey McMasters ... Referee (uncredited)
Charles Morris ... Turnkey (uncredited)
Pat O'Malley ... Officer (uncredited)
Lorin Raker ... Ring Announcer (uncredited)
Joe Sawyer ... Ambulance Driver (uncredited)
Eddie Sturgis ... Bystander at Arena Gate (uncredited)
Albert Taylor ... Clerk (uncredited)

Rosemary Theby ... Helpful Passerby (uncredited)
Minerva Urecal ... Italian Woman in Ambulance (uncredited)
Michael Visaroff ... Homicidal Maniac in Cell (uncredited)
Dorothy Ward ... Information Girl (uncredited)

Directed by
Clyde Bruckman 
W.C. Fields (uncredited)
Writing credits
Ray Harris (screen play) and
Sam Hardy (screen play)

W.C. Fields (from a story by) (as Charles Bogle) and
Sam Hardy (from a story by)

Jack Cunningham  contributor to treatment (uncredited)
Frank Griffin  contributor to dialogue (uncredited)
John Sinclair  contributor to special sequences (uncredited)
Bobby Vernon  contributor to special sequences (uncredited)

Produced by
William LeBaron .... producer
Henry Herzbrun .... executive producer (uncredited)
Adolph Zukor .... executive producer (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Alfred Gilks (photographed by)
Film Editing by
Richard C. Currier (uncredited)
Art Direction by
Hans Dreier (uncredited)
A. Earl Hedrick (uncredited)
Music Department
Tom Satterfield .... composer: incidental music (uncredited)
Other crew
Adolph Zukor .... presenter
Dorothy White .... production secretary (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
66 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)
USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #945) | USA:TV-PG (TV rating)

Did You Know?

This was the last film directed by Clyde Bruckman. Although Bruckman's name appears on the credit, this film was actually directed by W.C. Fields, who took over after Bruckman had to quit early in the shoot due to the effects of his alcoholism. This is the only film on which Fields technically worked as his own director.See more »
Ambrose Wolfinger:My poor mother-in-law died three days ago. I'm attending her funeral this afternoon.
Ambrose's Secretary:Isn't that terrible, Mr. Wolfinger!
Ambrose Wolfinger:Yes, it's terrible. It's awful. Horrible tragedy.
Ambrose's Secretary:It must be hard to lose your mother-in-law.
Ambrose Wolfinger:Yes it is, very hard. It's almost impossible.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in W.C. Fields: Straight Up (1986) (TV)See more »
On the Banks of the Wabash, Far AwaySee more »


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23 out of 23 people found the following review useful.
Kukolaka Mishabob, we hardly knew ye, 9 August 2000
Author: fowler1 from nyc

Something's amiss if I'm posting the first and only comment on this important Fields comedy, and I think I know what it is: none of his mid-30s Paramount triumphs are available for viewing! Videotapes of Fields films ca. 1932-6 are seemingly nonexistent, and they're never on television (cah-mon, Turner Classic Movies, look alive here!) End result: many thousands of younger viewers -some of 'em already fans of 30s movies- are being cheated of their comedy birthright. (Of course, his later and equally-funny Universal jobs are readily available - witness the ever-spiraling reputation of THE BANK DICK, for starters.) And you can sing THE BANK DICK's praises morning, noon and night and get nothing but 'amens' from me, but a case can be made for mid-30s Fields-at-Paramount as his best and most fertile period, and TRAPEZE -which came at the end of that run- embodies every virtue inherent in the Great Man's work. When a Fields movie fires on all cylinders, it should almost seem a throwaway: meandering plot, disconnected bits of old vaudeville, sitcom surrealism and Falstaffian braggadocio loosely strung together with a nonchalant mean streak adding the sting in the tail. (Certainly, every fan of FAWLTY TOWERS needs to see this one!) Here, he plays Ambrose Wolfinger, a man as put-upon and abused in his fruitless search for middle-class contentment as BRINGING UP FATHER's Jiggs (complete with his very own harridan Maggie, played here by Kathleen Howard, whose baleful countenance could've cowed Groucho into meek silence!) The plot revolves around Fields' doomed attempts to sneak away from work to see his favorite wrestler, the aforementioned Mr. Mishabob, with neither his boss nor his wife ever being the wiser. That's it; that's the plot, thin enough to be rejected for an episode of LIFE OF RILEY. And as usual with Fields, this ludicrously threadbare conflict is the essence of his art, as we watch this browbeaten fellow struggle to maintain a sense of decorum as everyone and everything in his universe conspires to crush, defeat and deny him this one simple desire, with hilarious results. (Well, I told you about that mean streak, right?) The beauty of Fields and TRAPEZE is that, though he's essentially a small, petty, unlikable prig, everyone AROUND him is a thousand times worse - so horrid and poisonous that he becomes sympathetic and even heroic by comparison (with the exception of the one pearl of sentiment he allowed himself, the loving and understanding daughter who defends him by allowing him to think she needs HIS protection). There aren't very many comedies that deliver such richness of pleasure from such skeletal premises: in fact, most of them were made by Fields. Will someone please revive this gem before the last print falls to dust?

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