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11 user 6 critic

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.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Mr. Dilweg
Marjorie Kane ... Priscilla Dilweg (as Babe Kane)
Elise Cavanna ... Mrs. Grace Dilweg
... Cuthbert Smith
Lorena Carr ... Ooleota Dilweg
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Storyline

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

Genres:

Comedy | Short

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

21 April 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Buy America  »

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(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In a very early example of product placement, there are signs depicting Baby Ruth and Butterfinger candy bars behind the counter. See more »

Quotes

His daughter: You don't love me, anymore!
Mr. Dilweg: [Raises stick threateningly] Of course I love ya.
Mrs. Dilweg: Don't you strike that child!
Mr. Dilweg: She's not gonna tell ME I don't love her.
See more »

Connections

Featured in America at the Movies (1976) See more »

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User Reviews

Very Good Fields Short With Some Hilariously Surreal Moments
8 June 2005 | by See all my reviews

This is the kind of short comedy that shows W.C. Fields's brand of humor at its most distinctive. Mixing the subtle and the outrageous, it offers plenty of good gags, and it is the kind of feature that improves the more carefully you watch it. It has some fine surreal moments that, at least if you enjoy Fields's style, can be quite hilarious.

As "The Pharmacist", Fields plays a character who is at the same time good-natured yet misanthropic. He lives and works in a ridiculous situation, giving Fields the chance to use his voice, facial expressions, and mannerisms in some very funny ways. A couple of the vignettes with the customers are so nicely done that it's easy to miss the many subtleties. (The fussy man asking for a stamp might be the best-remembered of them.)

As the wife and daughter, Elise Cavanna and Marjorie Kane are also very good, fitting their characters right into the world that Fields creates.

Fields excels in (among other things) throwing his viewers an occasional curve, and it's not always easy to catch everything, "The Pharmacist", like its companions "The Dentist" and "The Barber Shop", has a resourceful supply of material performed by one of the movies' most talented comedians.


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