Matt Hough

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While its narrative is discombobulated to the point of absurdity, Edward Cline’s Never Give a Sucker an Even Break contains the quintessential W.C. Fields in his last starring movie role.



Never Give a Sucker an Even Break (1941)



Released: 10 Oct 1941
Rated: Passed
Runtime: 71 min




Director: Edward F. Cline
Genre: Comedy, Musical



Cast: W.C. Fields, Gloria Jean, Leon Errol, Billy Lenhart
Writer(s): John T. Neville (screen play), Prescott Chaplin (screen play), W.C. Fields (original story)



Plot: A filmmaker attempts to sell a surreal script he has written, which comes to life as he pitches it.



IMDB rating: 7.2
MetaScore: N/A





Disc Information



Studio: Universal
Distributed By: Kino Lorber
Video...


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atcolomb

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Happy that some of his films are being released on Blu-ray and on this one a commentary too. Not one of his best but it's a good film with some nice laughs.
 
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PMF

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Nice to see that the W.C. Fields films are finally gaining speed on Blu and getting that even break; long overdue.


Thank you, Matt, for a great review. :thumbs-up-smiley:
 
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Astairefan

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Nice to see that the W.C. Fields films are finally gaining speed on Blu and getting that even break; long overdue.


Thank you, Matt, for a great review. :thumbs-up-smiley:
I'll agree in being glad that we are getting some W. C. Fields on Blu-ray, but I'd be wary of saying the W. C. Fields movies are gaining speed, as the Kino Insider has indicated the two silents were poor sellers (which is why they are in the "While Supplies Last Sale"), and they said (on the other forum) that the early sales numbers on Never Give A Sucker An Even Break are not that good, either. So, at this point, our main hope is that Criterion did indeed get most of the rest (although the Insider was unsure recently). IF anything is left for Kino to get, then Universal would pretty much have to provide the HD masters for them to even try.
 
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PMF

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I'll agree in being glad that we are getting some W. C. Fields on Blu-ray, but I'd be wary of saying the W. C. Fields movies are gaining speed, as the Kino Insider has indicated the two silents were poor sellers [...]
The “gaining speed” aspect may had been more informed by my recent purchases of the silents, that I just became aware of; inclusive of “Sally of the Sawdust”. Well, that’s three right there and now comes along “Never Give a Sucker an Even Break”.

Sorry to learn that the brave offering of silent W.C. Fields is currently a slow seller; but sincerely hope that the introduction of his more popular sound films will be the start of balancing the scales for Kino profits.

It’s only me - just one isolated consumer - but, nonetheless, “Never Give a Sucker an Even Break” is a definite purchase that Kino can count on. Let’s hope that the sound films of W.C. Fields fares better, for all.
 
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Malcolm R

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I just picked up the two silents with a recent Kino order. Disappointing on the sales, but aside from die-hard Fields' fans, it's probably a pretty hard sell. Not only are they old films, but they're B&W and silent. Pretty much 3 strikes to younger folks unless they're specifically classic film fans. And Sucker was released on DVD by Universal. For many, sadly, that would probably be "good enough," especially for an older film.
 
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Josh Steinberg

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I’ve got my copy of this and I’m very happy with it. It’s nice to have a new bonus feature (the commentary) to enjoy.

As far as the transfer - to me it looks like an HD version of the same master used on the DVD, but I thought it was a better-than-expected DVD back then so I’m totally fine with that. The very minor bits of age it shows (as Matt noted in his rather excellent review), in no way take away from the experience of watching it. Most pleasing to me is that it still looks like film. I’m a very happy camper and so glad that I preordered it.
 

timk1041

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Nice review. It's on my long list of titles to get. Gloria Jean did get along well with Fields. She talked about him quite a bit and this movie in her authorized biography "A Little Bit Of Heaven". Makes for excellent reading.
 

JoeDoakes

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This is definitely Fields at his furthest out. It is no wonder that this is his last starring role, as the Universal studio heads, lampooned in this film, probably recognized themselves in the title.
 
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Dennis Nicholls

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Classic reparte:

woman: an industrial accident - he drowned in a vat of whisky

Fields: ah death, where is thy sting?

I may not have remembered this correctly but Fields did say that line.

When Fields was my age, he was already dead a year.

When Margaret Dumont showed up, I expected Fields to wear a Groucho mustache.
 
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J. Casey

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Watched this over the weekend. It is obviously an older HD transfer (titles are windowboxed and them zoom in as the opening titles finish), but looks great. There are some negative (white) vertical scratches throughout the first reel which were also present on the previous DVD. The audio commentary by Eddy Von Mueller is full of background information. Also included is the Wayne & Shuster NBC TV special from the 1960's that was included on one of the DVD releases.
 

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