7.5/10
1,006
31 user 9 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 »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The Great McGonigle and his troupe of third-rate vaudevillians manage to stay one step ahead of the bill collectors and the sheriff.

Director: William Beaudine
Stars: W.C. Fields, Joe Morrison, Baby LeRoy
It's a Gift (1934)
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A henpecked New Jersey grocer makes plans to move to California to grow oranges, despite the resistance of his overbearing wife.

Director: Norman Z. McLeod
Stars: W.C. Fields, Kathleen Howard, Jean Rouverol
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Rightly suspected of illicit relations with the Masked Bandit, Flower Belle Lee is run out of Little Bend. On the train she meets con man Cuthbert J. Twillie and pretends to marry him for "... See full summary »

Director: Edward F. Cline
Stars: Mae West, W.C. Fields, Joseph Calleia
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A hard-drinking, socially-awkward inventor wrecks his daughter's chances of marriage into a rich family and bungles his own chances of success by selling one of his more practical inventions.

Director: Erle C. Kenton
Stars: W.C. Fields, Joan Marsh, Buster Crabbe
Poppy (1936)
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Carny con artist and snake-oil salesman Eustace McGargle tries to stay one step ahead of the sheriff but is completely devoted to his beloved daughter Poppy.

Director: A. Edward Sutherland
Stars: W.C. Fields, Rochelle Hudson, Richard Cromwell
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Larson E. Whipsnade runs a seedy circus which is perpetually in debt. His performers give him nothing but trouble, especially Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy. Meanwhile, Whipsnade's son ... See full summary »

Directors: George Marshall, Edward F. Cline
Stars: W.C. Fields, Edgar Bergen, Charlie McCarthy
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

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: Edward F. Cline
Stars: W.C. Fields, Gloria Jean, Leon Errol
The Bank Dick (1940)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Henpecked Egbert Sousé has comic adventures as a substitute film director and unlikely bank guard.

Director: Edward F. Cline
Stars: W.C. Fields, Cora Witherspoon, Una Merkel
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Assorted wacky characters converge on a Chinese hotel to bid on a new invention, television.

Director: A. Edward Sutherland
Stars: W.C. Fields, Peggy Hopkins Joyce, Rudy Vallee
The Dentist (1932)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An unconventional dentist deals with a variety of eccentric and difficult patients in slapstick fashion.

Director: Leslie Pearce
Stars: W.C. Fields, Marjorie Kane, Arnold Gray
Mississippi (1935)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Crosby plays a Philadelpia Quaker engaged to a Southern belle. He becomes a social outcast when he refuses to fight a duel. Fields then hires him to perform on his riverboat, promoting him ... See full summary »

Directors: A. Edward Sutherland, Wesley Ruggles
Stars: Bing Crosby, W.C. Fields, Joan Bennett
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A small country on the verge of bankruptcy is persuaded to enter the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics as a means of raising money. Either a masterpiece of absurdity or a triumph of satire, ... See full summary »

Director: Edward F. Cline
Stars: Jack Oakie, W.C. Fields, Andy Clyde
Edit

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
Edit

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

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

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 »
Edit

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

Fields falls to the bottom of his cellar stairs ending up sitting on a revolver. He removes and raises the revolver with his right hand and switches it to his left hand. In the next shot the revolver is back in his right hand. See more »

Quotes

Ambrose Wolfinger: My poor mother-in-law died three days ago. I'm attending her funeral this afternoon.
Ambrose's Secretary: Isn't that terrible, Mr. Wolfinger!
Ambrose Wolfinger: Yes, it's terrible. It's awful. Horrible tragedy.
Ambrose's Secretary: It must be hard to lose your mother-in-law.
Ambrose Wolfinger: Yes it is, very hard. It's almost impossible.
See more »

Connections

Remade as Andy Plays Hookey (1946) 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
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Why Isn't This Film Available?
29 October 2000 | by pwp1000See all my reviews

I agree with Fowler of Metarie. This is one of W. C. Fields classic masterpieces. It is certainly on a par with the available later films such as "The Bank Dick" and "Its a Gift". It is a shame that this film isn't available on commercial video.

The scene where W. C.'s character in sent, unwillingly, to investigate the, "burglars singing in the cellar", is one of the funniest on film. He encounters the burglars, including a young Walter Brennan with hair, in the cellar with his friends stealing W. C.'s illegal cider and singing. W. C. admires the singing and enters into the festivities. This scene, from the point where he is browbeaten into going down to check the cellar, to the point point where he is arrested by the investigating cops for making cider without a license, is comparable to anything on film, including the famous "and-a two hard boiled eggs," scene from the Marx Brothers, "Night at the Opera", or Fields own back porch scene from "Its a Gift".

I remember seeing this film broadcast about twenty years ago. I have looked to no avail for it to be rebroadcast ever since. This is such a good movie it really needs to be available.


9 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 31 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed