W. C. Fields

I found this excellent essay on Fields by Roger Ebert.   Fields is so mean-spirited that he’s a perfect fit for our current toxic environment.   As Ebert notes “in “The Bank Dick” Fields plays an alcoholic misanthrope who lies, cheats and steals and is rewarded with wealth and fame.”  (Except for the alcohol, that sounds like Trump except Fields is a lot more entertaining.)

The movies that I have seen don’t usually work as a coherent story line.  This is especially true of his last starring film Never Give A Sucker An Even Break.  It doesn’t matter.  The individual scenes are hilarious and Fields is always amusing.  It’s amazing how mean-spirited he can be.

I would start with The Bank Dick.  One of my favorite Fields scenes is in Never Give A Sucker An Even Break.  Fields is in a malt shop and looks right at the movie audience and says “This scene’s supposed to be in a saloon but the censors cut it out.”

The entire film is here.  The censor line is at 58:46.

This YouTube video has famous Fields quotes.

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