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You Can't Cheat an Honest Man (1939)

Approved | | Comedy | 18 February 1939 (USA)
Larson E. Whipsnade runs a seedy circus which is perpetually in debt. His performers give him nothing but trouble, especially Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy. Meanwhile, Whipsnade's son ... See full summary »

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Larson E. Whipsnade
...
The Great Edgar
...
Charlie
...
Rochester (as Eddie Anderson)
...
Mortimer
...
Victoria Whipsnade
...
Phineas Whipsnade
James Bush ...
Roger Bel-Goodie
...
Mr. Bel-Goodie
Mary Forbes ...
Mrs. Bel-Goodie
...
Corbett
Arthur Hohl ...
Burr
...
Princess Baba
Blacaman ...
Blacaman
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Storyline

Larson E. Whipsnade runs a seedy circus which is perpetually in debt. His performers give him nothing but trouble, especially Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy. Meanwhile, Whipsnade's son and daughter, Phineas and Vicky, attend a posh college. Vicky turns down her caddish but rich suitor Roger Bel-Goodie, but changes her mind when she learns of her father's financial troubles. Will Vicky marry for money or succumb to the ventriloqual charm of Edgar Bergen? Will Whipsnade's Circus Giganticus make it over the state line one jump ahead of the sheriff? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 February 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A mí no me engaña nadie  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While posing as a bearded lady, W.C. Fields uses the alias "Gerdie Schicklgruber," when talking to two policemen who are hunting for him. This was a jab at Adolf Hitler, whose real last name was supposedly Schicklgruber. In fact, although Hitler's Austrian father had been born Alois Schicklgruber, he had adopted his stepfather's last name, changing it first to Alois Hiedler, and later to Hitler.) See more »

Goofs

Miss Sludge's cigarette changes length from scene to scene. It's also full length and unlit when she hits W.C. with it. Also, the fan in the background is on in some scenes of the ping-pong game, and off again - during the fast cuts. The sound of the ball bouncing in the fountain sometimes doesn't match the video - you hear it clinking in the cone when it's hovering at one point. See more »

Quotes

Charlie McCarthy: Why, you double-crosser, you! You, you, you cad! You, you, you Whipsnade!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Edgar Bergen's dummy Charlie McCarthy is credited as Himself. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Real McCoys: You Can't Cheat an Honest Man (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

The Irish Washerwoman
(uncredited)
Traditional
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Best Comedy of 1939
18 March 2001 | by (San Fiego, CA. USA) – See all my reviews

1939 is considered to be one of the best years for filmmaking in Hollywood, and indeed it is,"Wuthering Heights","Wizard of Oz", "Gone With The Wind","Dark Victory","Ninotchka" just to name a few, all came out in that year. But one film seldomly mentioned along with these is, "You Can't Cheat an Honest Man," a fabulous comedy written by "Charles Bogle" is one W.C. Fields' greatest comedies. This one involves Fields (as Larson E. Whipsnade) as a crooked carnival operator, being constantly pestered by Charlie McCarthy, while trying to stay one step ahead of the sheriff. But it is all just an excuse to show Fields doing some of his best comedy routines. No real coherent plot, it dosen't need one! The barbs passed between McCarthy and Fields has them both in their prime. With Edgar Burgen doing some routines that made him famous. Mortimer Snerd even makes an appearance.And who can forget that ping-pong match! Watch then agree, that this is one of the best comedies of the time and deserving of being placed on the list of classics of 1939. Best Line: "Someone stole the cork from my lunch."


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