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Never Give a Sucker an Even Break (1941)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 1,416 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 16 critic

Fields wants to sell a film story to Esoteric Studios. On the way he gets insulted by little boys, beat up for ogling a woman, and abused by a waitress. He becomes his niece's guardian when... See full summary »

Director:

(as Edward Cline)

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play), 1 more credit »
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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
The Great Man
Gloria Jean ...
His Niece
Leon Errol ...
His Rival
Billy Lenhart ...
His Heckler (as Butch)
Kenneth Brown ...
His Heckler (as Buddy)
...
Mrs. Hemogloben
Susan Miller ...
Ouilotta Hemogloben
Franklin Pangborn ...
The Producer
Mona Barrie ...
The Producer's Wife
Charles Lang ...
The Young Engineer
Anne Nagel ...
Madame Gorgeous
Nell O'Day ...
The Salesgirl
Irving Bacon ...
The Soda Jerk
Jody Gilbert ...
The Waitress
Minerva Urecal ...
The Cleaning Woman
Edit

Storyline

Fields wants to sell a film story to Esoteric Studios. On the way he gets insulted by little boys, beat up for ogling a woman, and abused by a waitress. He becomes his niece's guardian when her mother is killed in a trapeze fall during the making of a circus movie. He and his niece, who he finds at a shooting gallery, fly to Mexico to sell wooden nutmegs in a Russian colony. Trying to catch his bottle as it falls from the plane, he lands on a mountain peak where lives the man- eating Mrs. Hemogloben. When he gets to the Russian colony he finds Leon Errol (father of the insulting boys and owner of the shooting gallery) already selling wooden nutmegs. He decides to woo the wealthy Mrs. Hemogloben but when he gets there Errol has preceded him. The Mexican adventure is the story that Esoteric Studios would not buy. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Approved
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 October 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gib einem Trottel nie eine Chance  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the diner scene, the waitress (Jody Gilbert) exclaims: "Baloney Mahoney Malarkey, you...Kabloona!", to which WC Fields responds "I haven't been called that for two days." "Kabloona" is the Inuit (Eskimo) word for "white man." See more »

Goofs

When the ladder of the fire truck lifts the car into the air, a shadow on the front of the building reveals the rigging and crane that actually did the lifting. See more »

Quotes

His Niece: Why didn't you ever marry?
The Great Man: I was in love with a beautiful blonde once, dear. She drove me to drink. That's the one thing I'm indebted to her for.
See more »

Connections

Edited into In Society (1944) See more »

Soundtracks

OCHI TCHORNYA (DARK EYES)
(uncredited)
Arranged from Russian ballad by Harry Horlick, Gregory Stone
Sung by Gloria Jean
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A sad and funny sign-off
12 February 2002 | by See all my reviews

Fields adds a commentary on the indignities of old age to his repertoire. Often more somber than his reputation -- and all the funnier because of it -- Fields here plays a version of himself trying to sell a script to a movie studio. So we see a drawling, slow-moving older fellow in the humiliating position of pitching an idea to a producer who isn't necessarily honored or interested. Fields's script is, of course, ridiculous, just as his ideas in real life must have seemed crazy to many a studio executive. We "see" the script played out as the producer reads it, giving Fields a chance to go through his paces -- delightful, as usual, even if his obviously failing health makes it melancholy at the same time. Leaving the meeting with his tail between his legs, Fields is lovingly embraced by his niece, Gloria Jean, who contrary to what you might think, is wonderful. Her love for her uncle, and all his eccentricities, is endearing throughout. What can one say about the Keystone Kops-like windup, except that they probably had to tack a conventional finish onto a very unusual movie? This was Fields's final full-length performance, as if he knew the end was near. A sad and funny sign-off by the best comedian in movie history.


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