16 user 7 critic

Poppy (1936)

Passed | | Comedy | 19 June 1936 (USA)
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.


Waldemar Young (screen play), Virginia Van Upp (screen play) | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
W.C. Fields ... Prof. Eustace P. McGargle
Rochelle Hudson ... Poppy
Richard Cromwell ... Billy Farnsworth
Catherine Doucet ... Countess Maggi Tubbs DePuizzi (as Catharine Doucet)
Lynne Overman ... Attorney Eddie G. Whiffen
Granville Bates ... Mayor Farnsworth
Maude Eburne ... Sarah Tucker
Bill Wolfe Bill Wolfe ... Egmont
Adrian Morris Adrian Morris ... Constable Bowman
Rosalind Keith ... Frances Parker
Ralph Remley Ralph Remley ... Carnival Manager


Poppy, daughter of carnival medicine salesman Professor McGargle, falls in love with the Mayor's son. Countess Maggie Tubbs DePuizzi is claimant to the Putnam estates, but McGargle and lawyer Wiffen plot to make Poppy claim the fortune. Wiffen and the Countess double-cross the Professor, but kindly Sarah Tucker notices a resemble between Poppy and the deceased Mrs. Putnam. It turns out that McGargle adopted the girl, she is the rightful heir, the purported Countess is only a showgirl, and every one has a happy ending. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Passed | See all certifications »





English | French

Release Date:

19 June 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Filha do Saltimbanco See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


W.C. Fields broke a vertebra during the filming and was in such pain that he fainted after walking out of camera range after filming the final scene. See more »


Professor Eustace McGargle: What will you have?
Dog (Ventriloquism): Milk as usual in a saucer.
Professor Eustace McGargle: He wants a little milk, he'll have it in a saucer. Stand up, Alcibiados.
Dog (Ventriloquism): Oh, my feet are sore. I've been walking all morning.
Bartender: What kind of a dog is he?
Professor Eustace McGargle: He's a cross between a Manchurian yak and an Australian dingo.
Bartender: Well, that's funny. There's some folks right down the road here got a dog exactly like him, but he can't talk.
Professor Eustace McGargle: Well, naturally, I've devoted a lot of time to this dog. Taught him everything he knows.
Bartender: Is he for sale?
Professor Eustace McGargle: Well, for a price.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film opens with a shot of a flower blooming, with the title "Poppy" emerging from the flower as it blooms. The flower motif continues through the rest of the opening credits. See more »


Referenced in Hollywood Mouth (2008) See more »


Pop Goes the Weasel
(1853) (uncredited)
Music anonymous
Arranged by Charles Twiggs (1859)
Played by W.C. Fields on a homemade string instrument
See more »

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User Reviews

"My Little Plum"
6 June 2011 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

During his career W.C. Fields was on the legitimate stage long before he was ever in Hollywood and was a star of the Ziegfeld Follies for many seasons. In his stage career Fields only did two book shows, the second and better known of them is Poppy. And he did both silent and sound versions of that role.

This version of Poppy has Fields with daughter Rochelle Hudson as part of a traveling carnival that stops in one of the small towns where she falls for the son of the mayor Granville Bates. The son is played by Richard Cromwell. She falls hard too, but Fields see an opportunity for a really big con by passing her off as the daughter of one of the town's leading citizens who left and married a carnival man years ago and left a daughter unaccounted for.

There's a rival claimant in Catherine Doucet who was a cousin of the heiress and she's being stage managed by Lynne Overman as shrewdly as Fields is doing for his daughter. I can't say more, but some unexpected facts come to everyone's attention in the end.

The original story of Poppy was written by Dorothy Donnelly who collaborated with many folks, most prominently Sigmund Romberg as a lyric writer. The original show on Broadway had a full blown score with a bunch of composers all writing songs with lyrics by Donnelly and she wrote the book as well. None of which were used in this film.

Fields is a bit more serious in this part than he normally is, still there are enough Fields type situations to satisfy his fans. What was interesting is that he was being equally matched by Doucet and Overman in chicanery.

Poppy is a much dated old fashioned story, but with W.C. Fields even a somewhat muted Fields it still rates a look.

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