7.5/10
1,080
32 user 10 critic

Man on the Flying Trapeze (1935)

Passed | | Comedy | 3 August 1935 (USA)
Hard-working, henpecked Ambrose Wolfinger takes off from work to go to a wrestling match with catastrophic consequences.

Directors:

Clyde Bruckman, W.C. Fields (uncredited)

Writers:

Ray Harris (screen play), Sam Hardy (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
W.C. Fields ... Ambrose Wolfinger
Mary Brian ... Hope Wolfinger
Kathleen Howard ... Leona Wolfinger
Grady Sutton ... Claude Neselrode
Vera Lewis ... Mrs. Neselrode
Lucien Littlefield ... Mr. Peabody
Oscar Apfel ... President Malloy
Lew Kelly Lew Kelly ... Adolph Berg
Tammany Young ... 'Willie' the Weasel
Walter Brennan ... 'Legs' Garnett
Edward Gargan ... Patrolman No.1
James Burke ... Patrolman No.2
Carlotta Monti ... Ambrose's Secretary
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Storyline

Ambrose Wolfinger wants the afternoon off (his first in twenty-five years) to go to a wrestling match. He tells his boss that he must attend his mother-in-law's funeral. The afternoon is no joy. He tries to please a policeman, assist a chauffeur, chase a tire, and ends up getting hit by the body of a wrestler thrown from the ring. A series of mishaps leads his boss to send floral tributes to the house and notify the papers of the death (due to poisoned liquor). His shrewish wife, judgmental mother-in-law, and good-for-nothing brother-in-law add to his burdens. In the end he enjoys their fawning loyalty, a raise in pay, and his first vacation. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Come to the crowning of America's comedy King! (Print Ad- Daily Times, ((Rochester Penna.)) 5 October 1935)

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. Its earliest documented telecast took place in Seattle Monday 13 April 1959 on KIRO (Channel 7); in Grand Rapids it first aired 23 November 1959 on WOOD (Channel 8), in St. Louis 31 December 1959 on KMOX (Channel 4), in Detroit 8 February 1960 on WJBK (Channel 2), in San Francisco 5 March 1960 on KPIX (Channel 5), and in Cleveland 17 September 1960 on WJW (Channel 8). It was released on DVD 20 March 2007 as one of 5 titles in Universal's W.C. Fields Comedy Collection Volume 2 and again 4 June 2013 as one of 10 titles in Universal's W.C. Fields Comedy Favorites Collection; it has also enjoyed an occasional airing on cable TV on Turner Classic Movies. See more »

Goofs

At breakfast, Fields takes several bites from a piece of burnt toast. In the next shot the toast is shown in its original uneaten condition. See more »

Quotes

Adolph Berg: [after throwing Wolfinger to free himself from a wrestling hold] Did I hurt yuh?
Ambrose Wolfinger: How could you hurt anybody throwing them on their head?
[In pain]
Ambrose Wolfinger: Oh, dear! Oh. oh. oh!
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Connections

Referenced in The Great Man: W.C. Fields (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away
(1897) (uncredited)
Music and lyrics by Paul Dresser
Sung a cappella by W.C. Fields, Walter Brennan, Tammany Young and Lew Kelly
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User Reviews

The Best of Fields
7 June 2001 | by rsyungSee all my reviews

I consider this title, along with "It's A Gift", to be the best work of W.C. Fields entire career. He isn't a carnival huckster or a flim-flam man here...no top hat and double breasted suit. He's just a lower middle-class husband dealing with a lazy brother-in-law, shrewish wife and meddlesome mother-in-law. He's a classic case of what we would call today "passive-aggressive", a brow-beaten man who appears to have given up on asserting himself with his family, deferring to everyone around him, but still managing to do what he wants. I only wish he and Kathleen Howard(playing his wife) had done more than two movies together. They play off of each other wonderfully. So many hilarious set-pieces, but the breakfast table scene, with that "delightful verse by Gertrude Smotten," still ranks as my favorite.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 August 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Flying Trapeze See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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