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Reiterating the list from the last Fields words, with updates

The Paramounts

Tillie and Gus – 1933

You’re Telling Me – 1934

The Old Fashioned Way – 1934

It’s a Gift – 1934

Man on the Flying Trapeze – 1935


Poppy – 1936

The Universals

You Can’t Cheat an Honest Man – 1939

My Little Chickadee – 1940

The Bank Dick – 1940

Never Give a Sucker an Even Break – 1941


Added to the group are now You’re Telling Me (1934), and Man on the Flying Trapeze (1935).

Both appear to be derived from fine grains of decent quality. Nice gray scales on both. Audio seems a bit better on Trapeze, but keep in mind these were shot on film, more than 25 years ago.




Both, while being essential parts of the Fields canon, which isn’t really that large, both are B Fields, with Trapeze (imho) being the better of the two.



A couple more to go from Kino, and they’ll have preformed et another serve to the cinephile community.

Image – 3.75

Audio – 4

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from DVD – Absolutely

Works up-rezzed to 4k – Yes

Recommended

RAH
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Patrick McCart

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These are both deeply underrated Fields comedies. Universal at least found them to be worth including in their second DVD set released back in the 2000s (only need Poppy and International House out of those two sets).

You're Telling Me! is a remake of Fields' silent So's Your Old Man (which is still MIA - Kino released excellent Blus of Running Wild and It's the Old Army Game). One scene that sticks in my mind is a clever use of foreground and background action with some nosy townspeople looking into a train window from afar. One other highlight is an expanded re-do of Fields' "Golf Specialist" routine.

Man on the Flying Trapeze was allegedly ghost-directed by Fields himself due to problems with Clyde Bruckman's alcoholism at the time. One of his more nuanced comedies that happens to have some genuinely touching moments. The routine with the traffic cop is a highlight, plus you get a fairly unlikable character played by Grady Sutton (who also appeared in You Can't Cheat an Honest Man and The Bank Dick, plus a ton of other 30s and 40s films).
 

Paul Penna

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I've always felt The Man on the Flying Trapeze bedroom scene was the best of the always funny henpecked Fields/harridan wife encounters. Kathleen Howard was so perfect. “Funny thing, them calling you at this hour… from the MATERNITY HOSPITAL!!!”
 

Josh Steinberg

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I think the exact same line was used in Its A Gift, which is perfectly fine because the sound of Kathleen Howard bellowing those words was comedic perfection.

What I love most about You’re Telling Me is just how much comeuppance Fields is able to dish out (via his friend the “Princess” who actually is a Princess) at Kathleen Howard - the ending shot of “Trapeze” is wonderful in that regard but in You’re Telling Me it just goes on and on and on, and her character deserves every second of it.

When I’m in the mood for a Fields film with his female partner as an equal collaborator type, the ones with Alison Skipworth are at the top of the list for me, and when it’s Fields against a female partner or antagonist, there’s no one better than Howard for that part. She plays it so well that Fields seems completely justified in whatever the situation is, and no matter how crazed or shrill she gets, she never crosses into parody or caricature. She makes it easy to believe you’re watching a real person rather than a drunken husband’s exaggeration of one, and you just feel bad for Fields for getting stuck with her. She is as valuable to the Fields onscreen persona as Margaret Dumont was to Groucho Marx.
 

Josh Steinberg

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Certainly not forgetting Mrs. Wiggs. Of the Universal-controlled titles that’s probably the one in most dire need of a new transfer - the master used on the DVD was created from a less than stellar element back in the VHS era and it shows! It’s Fields doing some comedy but in a dramatic setting, foreshadowing his later turn in David Copperfield. He’s barely in it despite second billing but makes each moment count.

I’ll happily take upgraded editions of each and every Fields appearance.

Six Of A Kind is another one on DVD from a VHS master that could use an update. Has one of my all time favorite exchanges from one of his films:

Alison Skipworth: Why do you drink so much?
W.C. Fields: Because I like it.
Skipworth: Everything you like to do is wrong.
Fields: According to you, everything I like to do is either illegal, immoral or fattening.
 

Paul Penna

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You're Telling Me has what to me is the best film version of Fields’s golf routine, better than his 1930 short. I first saw it in the YTM version in a 200-foot Super-8 sound reel I got around 1975. It was one of those times when I thought I was actually going to die laughing.
 

Robert Harris

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You're Telling Me has what to me is the best film version of Fields’s golf routine, better than his 1930 short. I first saw it in the YTM version in a 200-foot Super-8 sound reel I got around 1975. It was one of those times when I thought I was actually going to die laughing.
Wonder what percentage of the modern audience has even a clue who he was.
 

B-ROLL

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Wonder what percentage of the modern audience has even a clue who he was.
I believe an image similar to this one

1650091700454.png
Is still popular in college dorm rooms ... as to whether any one under 25 has seen Fields projected on big screen ... I doubt many have ...:cool:
 
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Matt Hough

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I believe an image similar to this one

View attachment 134301 Is still popular in college dorm rooms ... as to whether any one under 25 has seen Fields projected on big screen ... I doubt many have ...:cool:
My gosh, that brings back memories! I had that poster, the Marx Bros., and Marilyn Monroe (a still from The Misfits) in huge posters on my wall in college (late 60s, early 70s). Of course, that was a lifetime ago.
 

TJPC

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I also was swept up in the late '60s nostalgia craze. I remember an all night showing of movies by WC Fields, Mae West, and The Marx Brothers at my University. This sparked an enduring love of these performers. Then I discovered Eddy Cantor, and I was set for life!
Today is better. The only way to enjoy these performers at home then except, for occasional TV showing, was through an LP recording of excerpts from the movies.
 

Matt Hough

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Today is better. The only way to enjoy these performers at home then except, for occasional TV showing, was through an LP recording of excerpts from the movies.
Yes, I had those LPs with choice bits from the films of Fields, West, and the Marxes and played them constantly.
 

Josh Steinberg

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Wonder what percentage of the modern audience has even a clue who he was.

Probably not as many as I’d like.

I was lucky. When I was in middle school, my mom briefly dated a kind older gentleman who took note that I was into films of all kinds and vintages. As we talked about the Marx Bros (whom I had been introduced to thanks to a WPIX airing of A Night At The Opera), he had asked if I had seen any W.C. Fields films, and I had not. Those were the days when you were at the mercy of what the local video stores carried, and I think it took us a few rounds of phone calls and a bit of driving before we located “It’s A Gift” - and I had never laughed so hard. The Bank Dick and Never Give A Sucker An Even Break soon followed, and not long after that we happened upon a repertory 35mm screening of My Little Chickadee. I’ve been hooked ever since. That relationship wasn’t built to last but he gave me his copy of “A Flask of Fields” (a book of frame enlargements from the films created before the home video era) that I cherished - I wish I still had it.

I went to film school in the early aughts and I was very disappointed that none of my peers knew who Fields was. I have occasionally pulled out my tapes and DVDs to do show them to interested parties. It’s been a long while since I’ve had that chance but in my experience, Fields has played better with my contemporaries than his vaudevillian-turned-film-comedian peers like the Marx Brothers.
 

mackjay

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THE MAN ON THE FLYING TRAPEZE is the movie that made me a Fields fan. I caught the middle of it on local TV once, back in the late 70s. It took a long time to determine which film it was. And for many more years, there was no commercial video of it in any format. A friend gave me a bootlegged VHS at some point. It remains one of the most enjoyable of all his films, even if it doesn't reach the heights of NEVER GIVE A SUCKER, IT'S A GIFT, or THE BANK DICK. The banter with poor put-upon Fields and his wife, mother-in-law and brother-in-law is comedy gold (Kathleen Howard at her best).