IMDb > You Can't Cheat an Honest Man (1939)
You Can't Cheat an Honest Man
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You Can't Cheat an Honest Man (1939) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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7.3/10   1,009 votes »
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Writers:
George Marion Jr. (screen play) &
Richard Mack (screen play) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for You Can't Cheat an Honest Man on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
18 February 1939 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
Larson E. Whipsnade runs a seedy circus which is perpetually in debt. His performers give him nothing but trouble... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
NewsDesk:
(5 articles)
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"St Nick," Wc Fields, Cine las Americas, More
 (From MUBI. 23 April 2011, 6:56 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
W.C. Fields at less then his best, but still Fields. See more (15 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

W.C. Fields ... Larson E. Whipsnade
Edgar Bergen ... The Great Edgar
Charlie McCarthy ... By Himself

Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson ... Rochester (as Eddie Anderson)
Mortimer Snerd ... By Himself
Constance Moore ... Victoria Whipsnade
John Arledge ... 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 ... By Himself
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ernie Adams ... Eddie - Circus Attendant (uncredited)
Dorothy Arnold ... 1st Debutante (uncredited)
Irving Bacon ... Jailer (uncredited)
Lulu Mae Bohrman ... Wedding Guest (uncredited)
Ralph Brooks ... Wedding Guest (uncredited)
Eddy Chandler ... Highway Patrol Officer (uncredited)
Dora Clement ... Woman (uncredited)
Jack Clifford ... Riding Master (uncredited)
Richard Clucas ... Little Boy (uncredited)
Charles Coleman ... Robinson - Bel-Goodie's Butler (uncredited)
Evelyn Del Rio ... Little Girl Who Cries (uncredited)
Drew Demorest ... Barker (uncredited)
Dick Dickinson ... Contortionist (uncredited)
Jan Duggan ... Mrs. Sludge (uncredited)
Eddie Dunn ... Cop (uncredited)
Billy Engle ... Circus Attendant (uncredited)
Jack Gardner ... Ticket Seller (uncredited)
Grace Goodall ... Screaming Spinster / Wedding Guest (uncredited)
Jennifer Gray ... 3rd Debutante (uncredited)
Bobby Hale ... Circus Attendant (uncredited)
Ted Hardy ... Russian Circus Performer (uncredited)
Sam Harris ... Wedding Guest (uncredited)
Leyland Hodgson ... Butler (uncredited)
Otto Hoffman ... Mayor (uncredited)
Lloyd Ingraham ... Mayor / Wedding Guest (uncredited)
Frank Jenks ... Jerry - Assistant (uncredited)
Si Jenks ... Hillbilly (uncredited)
Tiny Jones ... Spectator (uncredited)
Jack Kenney ... Barker (uncredited)
Joe King ... Policeman (uncredited)
Ivan Lebedeff ... Ronnie (uncredited)
Ethelreda Leopold ... Blonde at Party (uncredited)
Jimmie Lucas ... Barker (uncredited)
Kathryn Marlowe ... 2nd Debutante (uncredited)
Eric Mayne ... Wedding Guest (uncredited)
Frank Melton ... First Yokel (uncredited)
Harold Miller ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Edmund Mortimer ... Wedding Guest (uncredited)
James C. Morton ... Judge (uncredited)
Ray Moyer ... Fire Eater (uncredited)
Byron Munson ... Ping-Pong Player (uncredited)
Charles Murphy ... Lon - Roustabout (uncredited)
Frank O'Connor ... Cop with Judge (uncredited)
George Offerman Jr. ... Western Union Man (uncredited)
David Oliver ... Man Cheated at Window (uncredited)
George Ovey ... Circus Attendant (uncredited)
Lee Phelps ... Sheriff (uncredited)
June Preston ... Little Blond Girl Singing and Dancing (uncredited)
Ralph Sanford ... Truck Driver (uncredited)
Harry Stafford ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Grady Sutton ... Chester Dalrymple (uncredited)
Ferris Taylor ... Deputy Sheriff (uncredited)
Don Terry ... Ping-Pong Player (uncredited)
Walter Tetley ... Boy with Candy Cane (uncredited)
Edward Thomas ... Bel-Goodie Butler (uncredited)
Lelah Tyler ... Society Woman / Wedding Guest (uncredited)
Minerva Urecal ... Screaming Spinster at Circus (uncredited)
Dale Van Sickel ... Wedding Guest (uncredited)
Russell Wade ... Wedding Guest (uncredited)
Beryl Wallace ... Girl (uncredited)
Delmar Watson ... Boy with Slingshot (uncredited)
Florence Wix ... Wedding Guest (uncredited)
Bill Wolfe ... Ticket Buyer / Brentwood - World's Smallest Giant (uncredited)
Edward Woolf ... Thin Man (uncredited)
Bill Worth ... Elwood - World's Largest Midget (uncredited)
Arthur Yeoman ... Barker (uncredited)
Duke York ... Minor Role (uncredited)

Directed by
George Marshall 
Edward F. Cline (uncredited)
 
Writing credits
George Marion Jr. (screen play) &
Richard Mack (screen play) &
Everett Freeman (screen play)

W.C. Fields (story) (as Charles Bogle)

Henry Johnson  contributor to screen play construction and special sequences (uncredited)
Lew Lipton  contributor to screen play construction and special sequences (uncredited)
Manuel Seff  contributor to screen play construction (uncredited)
James Seymour  contributor to screen play construction (uncredited)

Produced by
Lester Cowan .... producer
 
Original Music by
Frank Skinner (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Milton R. Krasner (director of photography) (as Milton Krasner)
 
Film Editing by
Otto Ludwig (film editor)
 
Art Direction by
Jack Otterson 
 
Set Decoration by
Russell A. Gausman (set decorations) (as R.A. Gausman)
 
Costume Design by
Vera West (gowns)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Vernon Keays .... assistant director
Edward F. Cline .... second unit director (uncredited)
Vernon Keays .... second unit director (uncredited)
Edward Sedgwick .... second unit director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Charles H. Clarke .... associate art director
 
Sound Department
Bernard B. Brown .... sound supervisor
Robert Pritchard .... technician
 
Music Department
Charles Previn .... musical director
Sam Perry .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Paul Van Loan .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Franz Waxman .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
 
Other crew
David Lipton .... unit publicist (uncredited)
Cliff Work .... production assistant (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
79 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Certification:
USA:Approved (PCA #5101)

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:I'm taking on the personality of a Mexican jumping bean. First the contortionist gets rheumatism. Then the sword-swallower gets tonsilitis. Hope nothing happens to that fan dancer... not 'til I get rid of this cold, anyway.See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Chicken ReelSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
11 out of 15 people found the following review useful.
W.C. Fields at less then his best, but still Fields., 22 May 2001
Author: bobc-5 from Annandale, VA

When counting out change for a customer buying tickets at his debt-ridden circus, Fields leads the customer to believe that he not only has counted out too much, but accidentally given him change for a 20 rather than a 10. The customer grabs the money and runs without bothering to point out the mistake. I think you can guess what actually happened.

This is really the only relevance of the title to a movie which is basically a series of skits showcasing W.C. Fields and Edgar Bergen, occasionally together, but usually in individual routines. Although W.C. is always a pleasure to watch, this is certainly not one of the better movies in which to do that. First of all, the Bergen routines grow tiresome quickly. There's only so much I can take of watching a ventriloquist who moves his lips while everyone pretends that his wooden dummies are alive. Second, Fields' routines never reach the level of inspired zaniness which his best films are able to achieve.

Finally, Fields never really imbues his character with any humanity until the final scenes. It his ability to do so which makes his best movies so special ("It's a Gift", "The Bank Dick", "You're Telling Me", etc.). Without it, all you have is a run-of-the-mill hit-or-miss comedy.

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