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Robert Harris

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Robert Harris
Those familiar with the career of one W.C. Fields, a spurious name if I ever heard one, will know that he had his cinematic roots back in 1915. He worked with Griffith on a couple of products in 1925, and by the early '30s was perfecting his persona in both shorts and small parts in sound features.

If one surveys his feature career for the films for which he's known today, you'll find them running from 1933 during his Paramount period - Tillie and Gus (1933), You're Telling Me and The Old Fashioned Way and It's a Gift (1934), Man on the Flying Trapeze and Poppy (1936) then to his move across town to Universal, where he wrote and starred in what are probably his best works, beginning in 1939 with You Can't Cheat an Honest Man, My Little Chickadee and The Bank Dick in 1940, and finally Never Give a Sucker an Even Break in 1941.

My Little Chickadee arrived 6/21. Bank Dick and Never Give are due 11/9, which only leaves You Can't Give... among the missing - but if Kino continues its yeoman-like work toward releasing the classics, we're bound to see it soon.

As a Blu-ray, The Bank Dick looks far better than okay. Obviously derived from a dupe, and a bit on the course side (grain), it's fine from a normal seating distance, with no real problems to report.


A wonderful film with Fields in to form.

Image – 3.5

Audio – 4

Pass / Fail – Pass

Highly Recommended

RAH
 

brynmill

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mark bale
Old home video (laserdisc at least) offered very poor sound quality. The old "laserdisc newsletter" said it sounded like the Bank Dick soundtrack was recorded underwater
 

sbjork

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Stephen
Watching it now, and there are some small scratches and some speckles as well, but always on a frame-by-frame basis, rather than running through multiple frames. So it really only stands out if you freeze frame -- in motion, at a distance, it's all barely visible.

It's not as pretty as the stellar restoration of My Little Chickadee, but it's still a nice upgrade over SD.
 

Josh Steinberg

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If I’m remembering the Kino post about this new round of Fields titles, this and It’s A Gift are from HD masters Universal made about a decade ago, while The Old Fashioned Way is coming from a raw scan that Universal performed in 2017 that was color corrected and cleaned up by Kino this year.

So I guess what I’m saying is, this should be as bad as it gets and it sounds pretty darned good to me.

I’m thrilled to be getting these in HD. My Fields titles are among my most frequently revisited titles in my collection and I had practically given up hope on getting anything better than a DVD - I was just happy that the DVDs are all in reasonably presentable shape.
 

Patrick McCart

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This is one of my all-time favorite comedies and I've already preordered along with It's a Gift and The Old Fashioned Way, coming the same day from Kino. They've already confirmed Man on the Flying Trapeze, You're Telling Me!, and You Can't Cheat an Honest Man for early 2022.

If you haven't seen this before, you're in for a real treat. Even if Fields' sort of humor isn't your thing, at least marvel at the stacked cast made up of the best 30s character actors - especially Franklin Pangborn and Grady Sutton (plus some guy named Shemp).
 

Josh Steinberg

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This isn’t my very favorite Fields film but I recognize why it is for many people - there’s a lot to love here and not a wasted moment of screen time.

It’s A Gift is probably my all time favorite of the bunch. You Can’t Cheat an Honest Man is pretty good, but not as funny as Fields and McCarthy were on radio (seek out those broadcasts if you’ve never heard them!). Tillie and Gus doesn’t get mentioned very often these days but I have a real soft spot for it.
 

Paul Penna

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This is one of my all-time favorite comedies and I've already preordered along with It's a Gift and The Old Fashioned Way, coming the same day from Kino. They've already confirmed Man on the Flying Trapeze, You're Telling Me!, and You Can't Cheat an Honest Man for early 2022.
Oh that's good news about the those last three really being in the queue. You know, I've seen all of these so many times over the past - oh, five decades! - that I can play back practically every scene in my memory, but that only makes the anticipation of seeing them play out for real while I'm watching them yet again all the sweeter.
 

Josh Steinberg

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Looking forward to hearing it - getting the Fields films in HD would have been enough but it’s even more of a gift that they’re actually getting new bonus material.
 

moviepas

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Those familiar with the career of one W.C. Fields, a spurious name if I ever heard one, will know that he had his cinematic roots back in 1915. He worked with Griffith on a couple of products in 1925, and by the early '30s was perfecting his persona in both shorts and small parts in sound features.

If one surveys his feature career for the films for which he's known today, you'll find them running from 1933 during his Paramount period - Tillie and Gus (1933), You're Telling Me and The Old Fashioned Way and It's a Gift (1934), Man on the Flying Trapeze and Poppy (1936) then to his move across town to Universal, where he wrote and starred in what are probably his best works, beginning in 1939 with You Can't Cheat an Honest Man, My Little Chickadee and The Bank Dick in 1940, and finally Never Give a Sucker an Even Break in 1941.

My Little Chickadee arrived 6/21. Bank Dick and Never Give are due 11/9, which only leaves You Can't Give... among the missing - but if Kino continues its yeoman-like work toward releasing the classics, we're bound to see it soon.

As a Blu-ray, The Bank Dick looks far better than okay. Obviously derived from a dupe, and a bit on the course side (grain), it's fine from a normal seating distance, with no real problems to report.


A wonderful film with Fields in to form.

Image – 3.5

Audio – 4

Pass / Fail – Pass

Highly Recommended

RAH
Don't forget he appeared in 4 more features before he passed and a short that was never assembled for release and might have gone in the 1946-47 Universal Pictures vault clean out and destruction of many silents.
 

sbjork

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Stephen
This isn’t my very favorite Fields film but I recognize why it is for many people - there’s a lot to love here and not a wasted moment of screen time.

It’s A Gift is probably my all time favorite of the bunch. You Can’t Cheat an Honest Man is pretty good, but not as funny as Fields and McCarthy were on radio (seek out those broadcasts if you’ve never heard them!). Tillie and Gus doesn’t get mentioned very often these days but I have a real soft spot for it.
Just a guess, but I think that part of the reason why it's so beloved is because of how utterly unrestrained Egbert Souse is in this film. It's Fields with all the gloves off. He's so enjoyably good, being so enjoyably bad. And yes, the whole thing moves like a runaway freight train.
 

Robert Harris

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Robert Harris
Don't forget he appeared in 4 more features before he passed and a short that was never assembled for release and might have gone in the 1946-47 Universal Pictures vault clean out and destruction of many silents.
I’m familiar with the features - used to have a print of Sensations - but not the uncompleted film. Info, please.
 

Angelo Colombus

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Would like to see a new release of a collection of his shorts which Criterion did 20 years ago. My favorites are The Fatal Glass of Beer and The Dentist.


5165CCA718L._SY445_.jpg
 

Patrick McCart

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Would like to see a new release of a collection of his shorts which Criterion did 20 years ago. My favorites are The Fatal Glass of Beer and The Dentist.


5165CCA718L._SY445_.jpg
These are now owned by Cohen Media (via the Rohauer Collecion) and have newer remasters, plus The Dentist and The Fatal Glass of Beer are included on the Flicker Alley/Cinemuseum Mack Sennett Collection Blu-ray set. Criterion Channel had all but The Dentist a few months ago and they looked good. Kino is now distributing Cohen, so hopefully it's a future release. The Sennett set is excellent and both Fields shorts even have original Paramount opening/closing titles.
 

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