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17 user 5 critic

Mississippi (1935)

Passed | | Comedy, Musical | 22 March 1935 (USA)
Crosby plays a Philadelpia Quaker engaged to a Southern belle. He becomes a social outcast when he refuses to fight a duel. Fields then hires him to perform on his riverboat, promoting him ... See full summary »

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Alabam
...
Elvira
...
General Rumford
...
Major Patterson
...
Thrilled Passenger in Pilot House
...
Captain Blackie (as Captain Blackie Jr.)
...
Joe Patterson
...
Hefty
...
Miss Markham
The Cabin Kids
...
Rumbo
Libby Taylor ...
Lavinia
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Storyline

Crosby plays a Philadelpia Quaker engaged to a Southern belle. He becomes a social outcast when he refuses to fight a duel. Fields then hires him to perform on his riverboat, promoting him as "Colonel Steel...the notorious Colonel Steel...the singing killer." The plot then follows a predictable course, but there are plenty of scenes featuring W.C. Fields. Written by Chris Wigert

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 March 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El cantor del río  »

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

Since Jan Duggan is credited in the opening set of credits, but not in the more comprehensive end set, the opening credits are listed first, followed by those in the end credits not yet in, as required by IMDb policy on cast ordering. See more »

Goofs

Commodore Jackson returns Captain Blackie's IOU, but it reappears in his pocket at 00:40:26; in the next shot it is empty again. See more »

Quotes

Commodore Jackson: Never mind what I told you! You do as I tell you!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Maltin on Movies: Black Swan (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Viva La Company
(uncredited)
Traditional
In the score at the party
See more »

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User Reviews

 
W.C. Fields steals it
14 October 2016 | by See all my reviews

Songs written by Rodgers and Hart and the talents of Bing Crosby, Joan Bennett and W.C. Fields were reasons enough to watch 'Mississippi'. While it won't go down there as one of my personal favourites any time soon, it is very undervalued and impossible not to like.

The pacing occasionally rambles and there are a few jokes that can be seen as racially insensitive, some of the stereotypes are blatant and not for the easily offended. However, there is also so much to like about 'Mississippi', and if the questionable jokes were excised perhaps it would not only be an even better film but a better regarded one too, rather than the somewhat forgotten film it's become.

'Mississippi' is a very good-looking film, not spectacularly lavish but it certainly doesn't look cheap either. It's beautifully shot, efficiently edited and has lovingly designed costumes and settings. The Rodgers and Hart score is great, all the songs very pleasant and hummable with one song a classic and not a weak link among them. The best of the lot is "It's Easy to Remember", couldn't a song title be any more apt for a song as unforgettably wonderful as this one. For me it is one of the best Crosby sang on screen, and should have been a bigger hit.

Apart from a few questionable jokes/asides, there is a very light-hearted, witty and very funny script, with a lot of Fields' dialogue bringing much joy and laughter. While rambling a little in the pacing sometimes, it is hard not to be charmed by the story, which hits the tone that it wanted and needed just right. There is one particularly memorable scene where Fields draws five aces in a poker game. Edward Sutherland directs in a way that gets the job done while also never falling into clunk, heavy-footedness or lead.

Crosby here is in a different role to usual, and it actually suits him perfectly. He has fun, he's charming and he is at ease, one of his better early-career performances. Joan Bennett is lovely as the love interest, but it is a splendid W.C. Fields who steals the film. Bagging the best lines, Fields attacks the character with gusto and just looks as though he's having a whale of a time, it's just delightful to watch.

Overall, an undervalued film made especially enjoyable for "It's Easy to Remember" and Fields' performance. 8/10 Bethany Cox


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