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Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch

USA 1934
produced by
Douglas MacLean for Paramount
directed by Norman Taurog
starring Pauline Lord, Kent Taylor, Zasu Pitts, W.C. Fields, Evelyn Venable, Charles Middleton, Jimmy Butler, George P. Breakston, Virginia Weidler, Carmencita Johnson, Edith Fellows, Donald Meek, George Reed, Mildred Gover, Arthur Housman, Walter Walker
screenplay by William Slavens McNutt, Jane Storm, based on the play by Alice Hegan Rice, Anne Crawford Flexner, music by John Leipold

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Mrs Wiggs (Pauline Lord) is just an amazingly good person: She is dirt poor, yet she never complains and remains the epitomy of modesty. Her husband (Donald Meek) has gone up to the Klondike for some gold three years ago, and there's no word of him since, yet she doesn't complain about this either. Also, without complaining, she takes care of a half-dead horse and the five children of hers (Jimmy Butler, George P.Breakston, Virginia Weidler, Carmencita Johnson, Edith Fellows) - including the one (Breakston) that always coughs and will die eventually to add drama to the proceedings.

As mentioned above, Mrs Wiggs has enough worries of her own, which she bears without complaining, but that doesn't keep her from caring for others, like marrying her spinster neighbour (Zasu Pitts) off to a mail order man (W.C. Fields) and seeing to it that kind-hearted rich woman Lucy (Evelyn Venable) gets back together with her fiancé Bob (Kent Taylor). This all pays dividends when greedy and sour-faced landowner Bagby (Charles Middleton) shows up on her doorstep to demand back the land Mrs Wiggs' house is built on and Bob helps her to pay off her debts on the land.

And in the end, Mr Wiggs returns home as well, without Klondike gold, but still ...


One of these melodramas that's so cheesy it's unbearable.

Problem with this one is, there isn't a hint of subtlety in the whole story. Everyone's either so overwhelmingly kind-hearted it defies believability or as mean on the inside as he's mean-looking on the outside - there simply is no middle-ground according to this movie. What's even more annoying though is that the film doesn't even have a proper narrative to hand its cheesiness up on, instead just sails from one cliché to the next without ever even taking a shot at originality. And despite the presence of Zasu Pitts and W.C. Fields, the much-needed humour safe for a few self-contained jokes is sadly missing from the proceedings as well.

To tell you the truth, tere aren't many films I have enjoyed less than this one, even when taking the era it was made into account and treating it as nostalgia, it plainly sucks.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

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

out now on DVD