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Blu-ray Review A Few Words About A few words about…™ You Can't Cheat an Honest Man – in Blu-ray (1 Viewer)

Robert Harris

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Let's take a quick look at the feature films actually starring W.C. Fields, and what's available or coming shortly on Blu-ray via Kino. Those released thus far are in BOLD.

My presumption (hope) is that akin to their release of the West films, the rest of Fields will arrive in due time.

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
- announced for April 19, 2022
Poppy - 1936


The Universals


You Can't Cheat an Honest Man - 1939 - announced for April 19, 2022
My Little Chickadee - 1940
The Bank Dick - 1940
Never Give a Sucker an Even Break - 1941


With his move from Paramount to Universal, after dealing with illness, his return gave the studio reason to try for something special, inclusive of bringing in a then unknown commentary artist, one Michael Schlesinger, to record a commentary, that they had no idea would not be heard for over eighty years.

This commentary was recently discovered in the Universal vaults under the title "Unknown," and has been added to the new Blu-ray release by Kino.

And it's a terrific commentary, facts mixed with fun, which it should be as Mr. Fields was rumored to be sitting nearby during the recording.

Those who aren't purchasing this strictly for the wonderful commentary will want to know how it looks.

It fairs far better than most of the Paramount titles of the era. Probably struck from a fine grain, it works nicely even in projection.

For those seeking accuracy I've left out The Big Broadcast as I don't consider part of the Fields pantheon.


Image – 4

Audio – 4.25

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from DVD – Absolutely

Works up-rezzed to 4k - Yes

Highly Recommended

RAH
 

moviepas

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He guested in at least 4 more films near his end and one unassembled film, The Laziest Golfer. No idea who filmed those sequences etc or if footage exists. In 20th-Foxes Tales of Manhattan he had an extended section which turned up on a Fox documentary DVD 20 or so years ago. That late 30s Big Broadcast seems to be a major role for Fields against others in that film. The found commentary track was not stored in the Universal film vault in LA that consumed other film, TV and recording masters for the former record side of Universal in that vault fire in June 2008???????
 

Robert Harris

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He guested in at least 4 more films near his end and one unassembled film, The Laziest Golfer. No idea who filmed those sequences etc or if footage exists. In 20th-Foxes Tales of Manhattan he had an extended section which turned up on a Fox documentary DVD 20 or so years ago. That late 30s Big Broadcast seems to be a major role for Fields against others in that film. The found commentary track was not stored in the Universal film vault in LA that consumed other film, TV and recording masters for the former record side of Universal in that vault fire in June 2008???????
It was in the nitrate vault, mis-marked as negative.
 

Angelo Colombus

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Big fan of W.C. Fields and have the two Universal dvd box sets and the new Kino Blu-ray releases. Have pre-ordered this funny film and i would add Million Dollar Legs (1932) and International House (1933) to Robert's list.
 

David Weicker

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I realize that he was a co-star in International House and Six Of A Kind, and one of many in If I Had A Million, but I would consider him the star of Million Dollar Legs
 

bujaki

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Is there an audio rating on the prehistoric commentary recorded by the great Michael Schlesinger's grandfather?
 

aPhil

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I realize that he was a co-star in International House and Six Of A Kind, and one of many in If I Had A Million, but I would consider him the star of Million Dollar Legs
Fields really seems to be the star of International House -- He just shows up last among the hotel “guests”. I really want to see it on Blu-ray. Really great film.
Bela Lugosi chasing W.C. Fields is classic.
 

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