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You're Telling Me!

USA 1934
produced by
William LeBaron, Emanuel Cohen (executive) for Paramount
directed by Erle C. Kenton
starring W.C. Fields, Joan March, Buster Crabbe (= Larry Crabbe), Audrienne Ames, Louise Carter, Kathleen Howard, Tammany Young, Dell Henderson, James B.'Pop' Kenton, Robert McKenzie, Nora Cecil, George Irving, Frederick Sullivan, Dorothy Bay, Elise Cavanna, Florence Enright, Isabel La Mal, James C.Morton, Eddie Baker, William Robyns, John M.Sullivan
screenplay by Walter DeLeon, Paul M.Jones, W.C. Fields, dialogue by J.P. McEvoy, based on the story Mr. Bisbee's Princess by Julian Street, music by John Leipold, Tom Satterfield

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Young Pauline Bisbee (Joan March) is in love with Bob Murchison (Buster Crabbe), who's a rich family's son while her roost are rather humble - and when Bob's snooty mother (Kathleen Howard) comes over to the Bisbee's place to discuss the whole thing and Pauline's mum (Louise Carter) has almost convinced her of the worthiness of her family, Pauline's dad Sam (W.C. Fields), a clumsy, unsuccessful and alcoholic inventor destroys the whole thing.

Sam is not a hopeless case though, he has just invented a tire that cannot be punctured and travels to New York to sell it to a big tire company - but a series of misunderstandings lead him to puncture all four tires of a policecar and having to escape the city in a hurry - by train, because he has mislaid his own car in the process. On the train, he meets Princess Lescaboura (Adrienne Ames), but mistakes her for a plain girl trying to commit suicide and thinks by talking to her he saves her from a big mistake by just talking to her. Suicide couldn't have been further from the Princess's mind, but she is touched by his gesture, and immediately takes a liking to his plain-talking ways, so she figures on repaying him and schedules an official visit to his village the very next day, where she is of course welcomed by the Murchisons - but she insists on making Sam her personal companion during the visit and sees to it that he gets to open a new golf course, just to impress the hell out of the Murchisons and get Pauline and Bob back together again.

Everything turns out fine, and in the end even the chairmen of the tire company show up and tell Sam they have found his car with the puncture-proof tires and offer him a large fortune for his invention.

 

So ok, this film is based on a horrendously silly, fairy tale-like story that isn't even tailored to lead W.C. Fields' needs all that well - but what Fields makes out of it is for the most part pretty hilarious, as the film works better seen as a series of comic setpieces than an actual plot-driven film, and a showcase for W.C. Fields' comic talents rather than a character study.

 

By the way, the lengthy scene at the golf course was a reenactment from an identical scene in Fields' short The Golf Specialist, while the film as such was a remake of Fields' earlier So's Your Old Man!.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
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Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
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... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
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Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD