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Wide Open Faces (1938)

Passed | | Comedy | 18 April 1938 (USA)
Criminal from all over the country converge on the Lakeside Inn in Willow Springs where bank robber Duke Temple (Stanley Fields) has stashed $100,000. Wilbur Keeks (Joe E. Brown),soda jerk ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Wilbur Meeks
...
Betty Martin
...
Auntie Martha
Lyda Roberti ...
Kitty Fredericks
Alan Baxter ...
Tony
Lucien Littlefield ...
P. T. 'Doc' Williams
...
Sheriff
...
L.D. Crawford
Barbara Pepper ...
Belle
Joe Downing ...
Stretch
Stanley Fields ...
Duke Temple
Garry Owen ...
Pineapple
Dick Rich ...
Fingers
Walter Wills ...
Hardcastle
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Storyline

Criminal from all over the country converge on the Lakeside Inn in Willow Springs where bank robber Duke Temple (Stanley Fields) has stashed $100,000. Wilbur Keeks (Joe E. Brown),soda jerk at the town drugstore, who had aided in the capture of Temple, tries to prevent the crooks from wrecking the inn. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

18 April 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Drôle d'équipe  »

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Runtime:

| (TV premiere)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Trivia

Star Lyda Roberti died one month after shooting completed. This was her last film. See more »

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User Reviews

 
It's okay, but where are the laughs?!
18 April 2011 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

During the early to mid-1930s, Joe E. Brown was a hot commodity at Warner Brothers. He was a top start and he commanded top money to make a long string of agreeable comedies. However, in a bone-headed career move, Brown was convinced to sign with tiny David Loew Productions and his career was in a tailspin. I've seen four of the six Loew films with Brown and most of them are adequate but no more--the best of which was the first, "When's Your Birthday?". The final two, this film and "The Gladiator" are on the same disk.

Despite the unimpressive pedigree (Loew only made these six films), the film does feature a few interesting supporting characters. First and foremost, Jane Wyman co-stars in this one (before she gained fame at Warner). You've also got Sidney Toler (later to play Charlie Chan in a bunch of films), Berton Churchill (a great character actor known for his blustering rich-guy characters) and Barbara Pepper (a name you probably won't recognize though she later played Mrs. Zipfel on "Green Acres"). So, at least Brown had some good support--other than the inexplicably cast Lyda Roberti (whose presence in any film is cause to question the sanity of Hollywood, as she could barely speak English).

I as VERY concerned with the long, long list of writers for the film. Usually would indicate a film that has a poor script--one that needed a lot of re-writes. Well, we'll see....

The movie begins with Brown playing Wilbur Meeks--a rather typical character for him because Meeks is a bit of a blow-hard. You see, after a big-name wanted criminal is apprehended, Meeks takes credit for his--even though he really is just a boob who just happened to be in the right place at the time. As a result of his dumb luck, he becomes fat-headed and brags about his supposed part in all this--so much so that the gangsters friends wonder if perhaps Brown knows something about the hidden loot.

In the meantime, Wyman and her aunt move into the abandoned mansion where the mobster was headed. He was going to look for SOMETHING there. It's pretty much a cinch that sooner or later the gang will show. And, when they do, the home has been turned into an inn and so the crooks pose as guests. And before long, they are chasing Wyman and Brown. Can they...blah...blah...blah....

The bottom line is that this is a decent enough film but they forgot that it was supposed to be a comedy--though Toler's character is MILDLY amusing. If you ignore the lack of comedy, then it's an adequate movie---and nothing more--due to a poor script.


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