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Never Give a Sucker an Even Break (1941)

Passed | | Comedy, Musical | 10 October 1941 (USA)
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 (as Edward Cline)

Writers:

John T. Neville (screen play), Prescott Chaplin (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
W.C. Fields ... The Great Man
Gloria Jean ... Gloria
Leon Errol ... The Rival
Billy Lenhart Billy Lenhart ... Butch (as Butch)
Kenneth Brown Kenneth Brown ... Buddy (as Buddy)
Margaret Dumont ... Mrs. Hemogloben
Susan Miller ... Ouilotta Hemogloben
Franklin Pangborn ... The Producer
Mona Barrie ... The Producer's Wife
Charles Lang ... Pete Carson
Anne Nagel ... Madame Gorgeous
Nell O'Day ... The Salesgirl
Irving Bacon ... The Soda Jerk
Jody Gilbert ... The Waitress
Minerva Urecal ... The Cleaning Woman
Edit

Storyline

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 her mother is killed in a trapeze fall during the making of a circus movie. He and his niece, who he finds at a shooting gallery, fly to Mexico to sell wooden nutmegs in a Russian colony. Trying to catch his bottle as it falls from the plane, he lands on a mountain peak where lives the man- eating Mrs. Hemogloben. When he gets to the Russian colony he finds Leon Errol (father of the insulting boys and owner of the shooting gallery) already selling wooden nutmegs. He decides to woo the wealthy Mrs. Hemogloben but when he gets there Errol has preceded him. The Mexican adventure is the story that Esoteric Studios would not buy. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The great nose-piece takes you to Hollywood for the howls of a lifetime! (original poster) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 October 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Great Man See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title came from dialog in the final scene of W.C. Fields' big stage hit (and later film) "Poppy". See more »

Goofs

During the ice cream parlor scene, when WC Fields blows the foam off the ice cream soda, part of it lands on his hand. In the subsequent close up shot, when he picks the soda up, his hand is clean. See more »

Quotes

The Great Man: You're about to fall heir to a kitten's stocking.
Heckler: What's a kitten's stocking?
The Great Man: A sock on the puss.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film opens with W. C. Fields' credit as star over a cartoon caricature of him. Then the chest of the character expands to bloated proportions, and the title of the film is printed on Fields' huge cartoon chest. See more »

Connections

References The Bank Dick (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

OCHI TCHORNYA (DARK EYES)
(uncredited)
Arranged from Russian ballad by Harry Horlick, Gregory Stone
Sung by Gloria Jean
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Classic Fields at his Best
23 May 2005 | by emanuel-13See all my reviews

Without doubt, "Never Give a Sucker an Even Break" is Fields at his absolute best. The "plotline" is so completely beyond belief that it provides the nearly perfect vehicle for Fields' unique and irreverent style with its constant stream of sight gags and one-liners. His mumbled verbal interactions with Madame Hemoglobin (Margaret Dumont) and the "tiny waitress" in the café (Jody Gilbert) are as memorably irreverent as anything he had done previously and are worth listening to closely to fully appreciate. The constantly changing scenes and situations in this film provide ample opportunity for his verbal and visual "charms" to be fully utilized, and in my opinion this is his finest and most consistently funny effort.

If you haven't seen this film, give it a viewing or two. If you are a true Fields fan, you'll enjoy it as much as or more so than any of his other more well-known offerings.


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