MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 1,887 this week

You Can't Cheat an Honest Man (1939)

Approved  |   |  Comedy  |  18 February 1939 (USA)
7.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,078 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 10 critic

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), 6 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 12 Sep 2013
 
a list of 35 titles
created 01 Mar 2014
 
a list of 44 titles
created 03 Apr 2014
 
a list of 49 titles
created 07 Jul 2014
 
a list of 28 titles
created 2 weeks ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: You Can't Cheat an Honest Man (1939)

You Can't Cheat an Honest Man (1939) on IMDb 7.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of You Can't Cheat an Honest Man.

User Polls

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Six of a Kind (1934)
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When a respectable middle-class couple take a cross-country trip by auto, they share expenses with a decidedly oddball couple, none of whom know the car carries embezzled funds.

Director: Leo McCarey
Stars: Charles Ruggles, Mary Boland, W.C. Fields
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Hard-working, henpecked Ambrose Wolfinger takes off from work to go to a wrestling match with catastrophic consequences.

Directors: Clyde Bruckman, W.C. Fields
Stars: W.C. Fields, Kathleen Howard, Mary Brian
Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Rightly suspected of illicit relations with the Masked Bandit, Flower Belle Lee is run out of Little Bend. On the train she meets con man Cuthbert J. Twillie and pretends to marry him for "... See full summary »

Director: Edward F. Cline
Stars: Mae West, W.C. Fields, Joseph Calleia
The Bank Dick (1940)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Henpecked Egbert Sousè has comic adventures as a substitute film director and unlikely bank guard.

Director: Edward F. Cline
Stars: W.C. Fields, Cora Witherspoon, Una Merkel
It's a Gift (1934)
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A henpecked New Jersey grocer makes plans to move to California to grow oranges, despite the resistance of his overbearing wife.

Director: Norman Z. McLeod
Stars: W.C. Fields, Kathleen Howard, Jean Rouverol
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A formal tailcoat that gets passed from one owner to another affects each life in a significant way.

Director: Julien Duvivier
Stars: Charles Boyer, Rita Hayworth, Ginger Rogers
The Dentist (1932)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An unconventional dentist deals with patients in slapstick fashion.

Director: Leslie Pearce
Stars: W.C. Fields, Marjorie Kane, Arnold Gray
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

When David's father dies, his mother remarries. His new stepfather Murdstone has a mean and cruel view on how to raise a child. When David's mother dies from grief, Murdstone sends David to... See full summary »

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Freddie Bartholomew, Frank Lawton, Edna May Oliver
Mississippi (1935)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young pacifist after refusing on principle to defend her sweetheart's honor and being banished in disgrace, joins a riverboat troupe as a singer, acquires a reputation as a crackshot ... See full summary »

Directors: A. Edward Sutherland, Wesley Ruggles
Stars: Bing Crosby, W.C. Fields, Joan Bennett
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Tillie and Augustus Winterbottom are thought to be missionaries when they arrive to find Phineas Pratt trying cheat the Sheridans out of her father's inheritance, including a ferry ... See full summary »

Director: Francis Martin
Stars: W.C. Fields, Alison Skipworth, Baby LeRoy
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Child film star Jane Powell, fed up with her every move being stage managed by her stage mother, runs away and joins the U.S. Crop Corps, a small army of young folks staying at youth ... See full summary »

Director: S. Sylvan Simon
Stars: Edgar Bergen, Charlie McCarthy, Bonita Granville
Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Director: Andrew L. Stone
Stars: Eleanor Powell, Dennis O'Keefe, C. Aubrey Smith
Edit

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
Edit

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
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

W.C. Fields became a big hit on radio, especially on Edgar Bergen's radio program, where he had a long-running "feud" with Charlie McCarthy. This film was an attempt to capitalize on the popularity of that feud by having it carried on in a movie. See more »

Quotes

Whipsnade: [sings in shower] I'd rather have two girls / At twenty-one each / Than one girl at forty-two!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Soundtracks

Chicken Reel
(uncredited)
Traditional
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Very familiar material bolstered by Edger Bergen and Charlie McCarthy.
8 April 2010 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

W.C. Fields made several films that were essentially the same stories with a few variations. While I love Fields films, I am not a huge fan of these derivative tales. They are derivative but still mildly entertaining---and far from his best work. "Poppy", "The Old Fashioned Way" and "You Can't Cheat and Honest Man" all share many story elements--many. Each have Fields playing the leader of a two-bit circus or acting troop. Each has a grown daughter who Fields dotes upon. Each has Fields on the verge of bankruptcy. And, in each, the daughter faces a crisis. Because of this, even if this film is done well, it's still very familiar.

Fortunately for "You Can't Cheat and Honest Man", there is one major difference that sets it apart. Because of the success of Fields and Charlie McCarthy on the radio, the folks at Universal decided to add Edger Bergen and his dummies to the movie to give it a bit of punch. Bergan's humor was quite welcome and made this film less sentimental than the two previous incarnations...and a bit funnier.

Overall, it's worth seeing. However, if at all possible, try watching one of Fields' best films first to see just how good he can be with a more original story. "It's a Gift" is probably his best, though "The Bank Dick" and "You're Telling Me" are all wonderful Fields films. They are similar in that in each W.C. appears to fall on his face but by the end has become HUGELY successful, but otherwise each is very unique and better suited for his great personality.


4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
You egregious tartuffle! ilikeflix
Is An Edgar Bergen / Charlie McCarthy Scene Chopped Out? OldFilmLover
Lucy? MikeyParks
Discuss You Can't Cheat an Honest Man (1939) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?