It's a Gift (17-Nov-1934)
Director: Norman Z. McLeod
Writers: Jack Cunningham; W. C. Fields
From a play: The Comic Supplement by J.P. McEvoy
|W. C. Fields
|The Bank Dick
Review by vitandus (posted on 30-Sep-2005)
This is the quintessential Fields film and a piece of americana that compares favorably with Huckleberry Finn. Here, the Great Man plays the character that Tom Sawyer would have become if he had married Becky Thatcher. A superb story well told, with laughs abounding.
Fields must have deeply feared success. After this film, he managed to get through David Copperfield and then went off on a six-month bender that almost killed him. He revived for a few final bows as the decade ended and then gave himself up to the booze -- dying miserably.
It is interesting to note that the first decades of the Twentieth Century saw three great humorists (at least) fall prey to the blandishments of dry gin -- Finley Peter Dunne, Robert Benchley, and Fields.
I guess whisky took over about 1940 -- taking out Walt Kelly and a number of other superb humorists. Very sad.
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