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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
Edgar Bergen ...
The Great Edgar
Charlie McCarthy ...
Charlie
...
Rochester (as Eddie Anderson)
Mortimer Snerd ...
Mortimer
Constance Moore ...
Victoria Whipsnade
...
Phineas Whipsnade
James Bush ...
Roger Bel-Goodie
Thurston Hall ...
Mr. Bel-Goodie
Mary Forbes ...
Mrs. Bel-Goodie
Edward Brophy ...
Corbett
Arthur Hohl ...
Burr
Princess Baba ...
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
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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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Legend has it that on the set of You Can't Cheat an Honest Man (1939), a stagehand was cleaning out W.C. Fields' dressing room and accidentally bumped into a table on which Fields had placed a bottle of whiskey. He caught the bottle before it hit the floor, but the cork had popped out and he couldn't find it. He placed the bottle back on the table and left. Later Fields came back to the dressing room, and a few minutes after-wards stormed out, roaring "Who took the cork out of my lunch?" See more »

Quotes

Whipsnade: You know, getting married is like buying a new horse... going into a strange saloon...
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in W.C. Fields: Straight Up (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Camptown Races
(uncredited)
Written by Stephen Foster
Sung with substitute lyrics by circus hands
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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