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W.C. Fields and Me (1976)

W.C. Fields is an American original, the curmudgeonly master of wit and good, mean fun.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
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Carlotta Monti
...
Studio Head Bannerman
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John Barrymore
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Melody
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Agent Dockstedter
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Florenz Ziegfeld
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Ludwig
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Gregory LaCava
Milt Kamen ...
Dave Chasen
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Gene Fowler
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Claude Fields
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Ingenue
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Storyline

W.C. Fields is an American original, the curmudgeonly master of wit and good, mean fun.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

On screen he played a child-hating, dog-kicking, acid-tongued old swindler, it was no act. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

11 January 1978 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Frenesi de Glória  »

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Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The red Pacific Electric interurban rail car (1058) seen in the film had in reality been rescued from the scrapper and was fitted with an internal-combustion engine, rubber tires and a steering mechanism. It appeared in several period Los Angeles-area films, but this movie shows it off to its best advantage. In a happy twist of fate, in 2001 it was refitted with its historic steel wheels and electric traction motors and controls to operate on a new rail line serving San Pedro, CA. See more »

Goofs

The siren of the ambulance transporting W.C. Fields to the hospital is a modern electronic version, not the air driven type that would have been in use in the forties when he last lived. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Rocks the Movies: The 1970s (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Steiger and Hiller give W.C. an even break...
25 April 2009 | by See all my reviews

Carlotta Monti, a would-be Hollywood hopeful in the 1930s, met rascally, alcoholic, volatile comedy actor W.C. Fields at a movie wrap-party and was later invited out to his spread, supposedly to talk about a part in his next picture; there wasn't one, but she spent the next fourteen years with him anyway, playing his loving--though seemingly platonic--mistress who also acted as Fields' personal stenographer, script girl, cook, maid, and mother-figure-cum-warden. Based on Monti's memoir, and with her advisory assistance, this biography of Fields seems pretty truthful and not a white-washed kiss-up job. Director Arthur Hiller and star Rod Steiger do not shy away from showing W.C. as an occasional heel, a heartless, self-confessed son-of-a-bitch. Yet, the movie's best moments are the quieter ones (Fields' brotherly relationship with a little person, his reunion with the son he hadn't seen in twenty years, his reaction after Carlotta discovers how lonely he is). Steiger, whose make-up job causes him to resemble a portly Van Johnson rather than Fields, is a bit shrill in places, and he gets off to a bad start; however, Steiger eases into the role with obvious relish, and his eagerness to showcase this incredible personality definitely comes through (his final scene in bed is a heartbreaker). Valerie Perrine as Carlotta is also too shrill (which can be blamed on Hiller's handling), but she matches up well with Steiger and doesn't take too much guff off him. The sequences set in and around the movie studio never quite achieve the magic we hope they'll reach (they're squashy and limp, due--partially at least--to David M. Walsh's terrible cinematography). However, the central relationship is nicely carried off, aided by a lovely Henry Mancini score and good character actors in support. A forgotten film--yet another sitting on the shelf down at Universal--but worth seeking out, especially to see Steiger's work. **1/2 from ****


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