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?


"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on March 7, 1938 with W.C. Fields reprising his film role. See more »


Countess Maggie Tubbs DePuizzi: Do you croquet?
Professor Eustace McGargle: Ah, no I don't. I used to do a little tatting on the train.
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 »


Version of Sally of the Sawdust (1925) See more »


(1936) (uncredited)
Music by Friedrich Hollaender (as Frederck Hollander)
Lyrics by Sam Coslow
Played during the opening credits and Sung by an unidentified chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

POPPY (A. Edward Sutherland, 1936) **1/2
18 May 2007 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

I left this one for last from the films in the W.C. FIELDS COMEDY COLLECTION VOL. 2 because it's always been reported that his contribution is swamped by the plot; I ended up enjoying it more than I had expected to and, in fact, consider this an underrated star vehicle.

It's true that the sentimental narrative, romantic subplot and even a couple of songs get in the way of the comedy highlights, but Fields himself is in fine form here (he originated the role of Professor Eustace McGargle on stage and had already appeared in a Silent version of the Dorothy Donnelly play called SALLY OF THE SAWDUST [1925] - directed, of all people, by D.W. Griffith and, for this reason, making it one of the very few Fields Silents released on DVD!). Incidentally, the star was seriously injured during the making of POPPY - not that his performance is effected in any way. Here, also, we're treated to the same kind of period atmosphere as in THE OLD FASHIONED WAY (1934): Fields, however, is a sideshow performer instead of the manager/lead actor of a theatrical troupe and has exchanged the awkward golf practice of YOU'RE TELLING ME! (1934) for the game of croquet - at which he's equally inept (besides playing an instrument called the kadoola to replace his memorable juggling act in THE OLD FASHIONED WAY). As in MAN ON THE FLYING TRAPEZE (1935), too, here we get various instances of Fields' unique and hilarious shriek whenever he takes a fall.

Among the film's best gags/lines are the following: the 'talking' dog scam; Fields berating a hot dog vendor for 'seeking his advise' in the sale of two half-eaten loaves, after the latter insulted him by suggesting that Fields couldn't afford to pay for them; he keeps running into a cadaverous fellow he swindled and who relentlessly asks for his money back; Fields mistaking a helpful gesture as to his presumed wife's distinctive features (the man indicated a mole under her ear, but Fields thought he meant she had sideburns!); his remark about the horse he was fleeing on dying out on him right in front of the police station. By the way, the last line of the film, "Never give a sucker an even break", gave the name to one of Fields' most famous vehicles (also included in the set and which I watched earlier this week).

Now I need to pick up the four remaining Fields films that are available on DVD - the afore-mentioned SALLY OF THE SAWDUST, SIX OF A KIND (1934), David COPPERFIELD (1935) and THE BIG BROADCAST OF 1938 (1938) - all but the first of which have been issued as part of some collection or other. Incidentally, there are still enough unreleased Fields movies from the Talkie period to compile yet another Universal set; so, let's hope they deliver sooner rather than later...

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