7.2/10
1,339
21 user 10 critic

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:
...
...
...
...
Rochester (as Eddie Anderson)
...
Mortimer
...
...
James Bush ...
...
Mary Forbes ...
...
Corbett
...
...
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:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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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 »

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

Whipsnade: You kids are disgusting! Staggering around here all day, reeking of popcorn and lollipops.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are shown on canvas screens, on loops and ropes, to mimic the circus tent being raised when the circus comes to town. We see the first screen get hauled up with ropes, and there are dummies showing the stars of the show. See more »

Connections

Follows Sally of the Sawdust (1925) 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

 
Step Right Up
12 February 2006 | by See all my reviews

This has probably become Feild's most underrated film. It has a few clumsy scenes, probably the most questionable racial "jokes" (through, given the milieu, probably quite true to life), and a lot of screen time goes to Edgar and Charlie.

Still, it is quite a wonderful film; and it retains the fundamental wacko universe that defines top Feilds. Some of the circus stuff is pretty amazing too, and they get a fine performance from the Lion tamer.

I think the ending probably must have looked so bad in the editing room they just said the hell with it and went for the sort of non ending with Mortimer. No matter, it's a jem, and if not "A" grade W.C., it's very close.


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