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The Pharmacist (1933)

Passed | | Comedy, Short | 21 April 1933 (USA)
A henpecked but stoic pharmacist tries to maintains his precarious balance while dealing with demanding customers and his dysfunctional family.


Arthur Ripley


W.C. Fields (story)




Complete credited cast:
W.C. Fields ... Mr. Dilweg
Marjorie Kane ... Priscilla Dilweg (as Babe Kane)
Elise Cavanna Elise Cavanna ... Mrs. Grace Dilweg
Grady Sutton ... Cuthbert Smith
Lorena Carr Lorena Carr ... Ooleota Dilweg


A hard-working, hen-pecked pharmacist, harried by a shrewish spouse, dysfunctional family, and demanding clientele, maintains his patience and a stoic optimism by imbibing frequent martinis. His termagant wife and self-absorbed daughters show little appreciation of his efforts to keep his precarious business profitable by selling bootleg liquor under the counter despite the suspicions of the local sheriff. Written by Gabe Taverney (duke1029@aol.com0

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Short


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


W.C. Fields and Mack Sennett argued bitterly over the title of this short. Fields had originally wanted to call it "W.C. Fields in a Drugstore". See more »


Dyspeptic customer: A person hasn't got any rights in this country anymore! The government even tells you what color stamps you gotta buy!
Mr. Dilweg: Yes, it's pretty tough. That's the Democratic Party for you. I've written to Washington about it.
Dyspeptic customer: What do you want to write to Washington for? He's dead!
See more »


Edited into W.C. Fields: 6 Short Films (2000) See more »

User Reviews

W. C. Fields' Short Subject Is Long On Laughs
24 June 2001 | by Ron OliverSee all my reviews

A MACK SENNETT Short Subject.

Caught between his frightful female relations on the second floor & the rather odd customers down in the shop, THE PHARMACIST in a small town reacts with predictably irascible behavior.

Initially conceived as a skit in 1925 for the Ziegfeld Follies by the inimitable W. C. Fields, THE PHARMACIST become one of a quartet of short subjects produced by Mack Sennett in the early 1930's. Fortunately, Fields was given full rein to control the film as he saw fit. The success of the shorts gave a new glow to Sennett's reputation, as many in Hollywood thought the old comedy master was washed-up with the end of the Silents. For Fields, this was the opportunity to paint large on a small canvas, going straight for the laughs (based on his unique personality) without any time wasted on character development or plot complexities.

Elise Cavanna plays Fields' ghastly wife & Babe Kane is his canary-munching daughter. (Looking enough alike to be sisters, these two actresses were actually only seven years apart in age.) Grady Sutton has a small role as the much-maligned Cuthbert.

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Release Date:

21 April 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Chemist See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mack Sennett Comedies See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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