Sunday, June 16, 2013

W.C. Fields Forever

You're Telling Me (1934) is my new favorite W.C. Fields movie - it isn't so much better than the others I've seen, but it's one I hadn't seen, so it was fresh.

Fields is a drunk, awkward inventor (what else?) whose wife is ashamed of him and whose daughter is in love with a rich man's son (Buster Crabbe!). He loses his greatest invention, bullet proof tires, just when he's about to make his fortune. On his way home on the train he decides to drink iodine and die. At this low point in his life, he meets a real-life princess and thinks he talks her out of killing herself.

So of course, she shows up at his house and exerts her social influence. He thinks she's just a con artist, and takes it all in stride. But what a fairy princess. Think of it, if you are an old drunk failure ("if", hah!) and a beautiful rich woman takes you under her wing. It's a sweet thought - maybe what I liked most, the touch of a feminine sweetness to counteract all of Fields' misfortune.

It all ends up with the golf routine that he's done in so many other movies. So maybe not all that fresh, but wonderful for all of that.

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