W.C. Fields The Movie Collection in December
Universal Pictures have announced the UK Region 2 DVD release of W.C. Fields The Movie Collection on 10th December 2007 priced at £69.99. This 10-disc collection features 17 films starring W.C. Fields, a man described as "the true king of American comedy in the 1930s and 40s". Fields made his Broadway debut in 1906 and went on to star in an incredible 38 films and wrote many more
The collection includes:
Million Dollar Legs (1932)
In one of the zaniest films to emerge from a major studio, W.C. Fields stars as the president of the backward and far away country of Klopstokia. In order to keep depression era Klopstokia afloat the president decides to draw upon his population of star athletes and enter the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles with hilarious results.
My Little Chickadee (1940)
When Flower Belle Lee is abducted by The Masked Bandit’ in a stagecoach hold-up, she shocks the whole town by becoming his lover and is ordered out of the town until she becomes respectable. A bogus marriage and a fire fight with some rampaging Native Americans are the least of Flower Belle’s problems in this cowboy comedy. Starring screen idol Mae West (Belle Of The Nineties) in her only collaboration with Fields, My Little Chickadee was Fields’ biggest grossing movie ever.
If I Had A Million (1932)
Based on a story by Robert Andrews (Great Day In The Morning), If I Had A Million is the story of a dying millionaire, played by Richard Bennett (The Magnificent Ambersons) who refuses to leave his fortune to his greedy relatives and instead selects several people at random from the phonebook, including husband and wife W.C. Fields and Alison Skipworth (Becky Sharp), and bestows upon them a cheque for a million dollars.
Tillie and Gus (1933)
Tillie (Alison Skipwoth - Becky Sharp) and Gus (W.C. Fields) play a husband and wife team of con artists summoned to a small town by their niece, played by Jacqueline Wells (The Black Cat), when her uncle dies. They gladly make the trip hoping for a large inheritance, only to find that it’s not at all that they bargained for,
Bing Crosby (White Christmas) plays a lovelorn singer in this musical comedy, featuring love triangles, duels, and barroom brawls. Confusion reigns supreme in this star studded comedy classic.
The Bank Dick (1940)
W.C. Fields plays serial competition winner Egbert Souse. When Egbert ‘foils’ a bank robbery while sitting on a bench, he becomes the bank’s new security guard. One dubious investment later and Souse finds himself desperately trying to get him and his colleagues out of a mess, under the watchful eye of J. Pinkerton Snoopington (Franklin Pangborn – Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm), the bank’s inspector.
Follow The Boys (1944)
This World War II era musical features cameo appearances from a number of the biggest stars of the day including Marlene Dietrich, Orson Welles and The Andrews Sisters. Unable to fight in the war itself, vaudeville performer Tony West, (George Raft – Scarface) organises a spectacular U.S.O. Show to entertain the troops.
Six Of A Kind (1934)
W.C. Fields, Charlie Ruggles (The Parent Trap), Mary Boland (If I Had A Million), Gracie Allen (Here Comes Cookie), Alison Skipworth (If I Had A Million), and the legendary comic genius George Burns (Many Happy Returns) are the titular six in this cross-country comedy. Ruggles and Boland play a sweet couple planning a trip to California who advertise for a couple to help them share the driving and expenses… and wish that they hadn’t.
International House (1933)
In this madcap comedy classic, a Chinese inventor is offering his revolutionary new television device, the Radioscope, to the highest bidder. Interested parties are invited to International House, an ultra-modern hotel in the bustling Chinese community of Wu Hu, to make their offer. When one of the guests is struck down with measles, the others find themselves quarantined, and are forced to watch variety performances broadcast on the Radioscope, including turns by Cab Calloway, Baby Rose Marie, and Rudy Vallee. Starring some of the decade’s biggest stars including George Burns, Gracie Allen and horror legend Bela Lugosi (The Black Cat).
You Can’t Cheat An Honest Man (1939)
W.C. Fields stars as circus manager and all-around flim flam man Larson E. Whipsnade. When he’s not trying to fleece his customers he busies himself trying to break the emerging romance between his daughter, played by Constance Moore (Buck Rogers) and famous ventriloquist Edgar Bergen as well as carrying on a feud with the with Bergen’s dummy.
The Old Fashioned Way (1934)
Set in the 19th Century, W.C. Fields plays the Great McGonigle, the manipulative manager of a theatrical troupe, infamous for forgetting to pay his actors and his bills. However, all is not what it seems, McGonigle, has a heart and does his best to secure the future happiness of his daughter, played by Judith Allen (This Day And Age), to ensure she doesn’t have to spend her life running from the law. Featuring a battle with Fields’ child star and regular collaborator Baby LeRoy (Tillie And Gus), and an extraordinary display of Fields’ famous juggling skills.
You’re Telling Me (1934)
Sam Bisbee (W.C. Fields) is a small town optician, equally obsessed with inventing numerous gadgets and drinking, to the despair of his wife and daughter. After a disastrous attempt at marketing his new puncture proof tire, Bisbee takes a train journey home only to find himself in the thrall of the lovelorn Princess Lescaboura (Andrienne Ames - Great White’s Scandals), saving his daughter’s doomed romance as well as Bisbee’s tire.
It’s A Gift (1934)
Often regarded as Fields’ best ever film, It’s A Gift is the story of ambitious grocer Harold Bisonette (Fields) and his social-climbing wife Amelia (Kathleen Howard – The Man On The Flying Trapeze). When Bisonette achieves his lifelong dream and buys an orange grove, Amelia is packed and ready to leave, until she realises that things are not all they seem.
The Man On The Flying Trapeze (1935)
Ambrose Wolfinger (Fields) is the henpecked husband to end all henpecked husbands. His overbearing second wife, meddling mother-in-law and feckless brother-in-law make his life a misery. Desperate for some peace, Wolfinger, takes a day off work to attend a wrestling match, only to be met by mishap after mishap and ends up being sacked from his job. Will Ambrose ever overcome his obstacles or can things only get worse for our poor hero? Find out in this timeless bittersweet movie classic.
The Big Broadcast of 1938 (1938)
In a dual role, Fields stars as the Bellows brothers, owners of The Gigantic ocean liner, which strangely gets extra propulsion from radio broadcasts. When The Gigantic is entered in a trans-Atlantic race with another liner, The Colossal, the brothers try all sorts of dirty tricks to sabotage the other ship. Starring future comedy star Bob Hope (My Favourite Brunette) in his first ever movie.
In 1883, travelling con-man Professor McGargle (Fields) and his daughter Poppy (Rochelle Hudson – Rebel Without A Cause) lead an impoverished existence until a felicitous meeting at a local fair could mean a life of luxury for Poppy. Based on Field’s 1920 highly successful Broadway show of the same name, Poppy shows W.C. Fields at his best.
Never Give A Sucker An Even Break (1941)
In his most surreal film, Fields attempts to sell a film script to the wonderfully named `Esoteric Studio’. The film comprises of an unbelievable adventure in which Fields takes an air trip, jumps out of the plane in hot pursuit of a bottle of booze, lands in the mountains and meets the even more wonderfully named Mrs Hemoglobin (Margaret Dumont – Duck Soup) all accompanied by his niece, the teenaged singing sensation Gloria Jean. Never Give A Sucker An Even Break is a perfect example of the surrealist style of comedy in fashion at the time, inspired by Oleson and Johnson’s Hellzapoppin’.