Cited as one of W C Fields’ “best and funniest comedies, it is undoubtedly one of the greatest, classic comedies ever made” (Tim Dirks, The Greatest Films). (Cert U)
Dir: Norman Z McLeod 65 mins USA 1934


Fields plays a misanthropic dentist, oblivious to his patients’ welfare and pain. Produced by the legendary Mack Sennett. (Cert U)
Dir: Leslie Pearce 21 mins USA 1938


Olive Oyl stows away on Popeye’s ship and, when she is discovered, Popeye plans to eject her. Mayhem ensues on board leading to mutiny and spinach on the high seas!! (Cert tbc)
Dir: Dave Fleischer 6 mins USA 1938

Programme Notes

Thursday, 18 December 2008

USA 1934 65 minutes

Harold, the owner of a general store, is plagued by his status-conscious wife Amelia (an early prototype for Hyacinth Bucket) and tormented by Baby Dunk (the little boy in the upstairs apartment). Added to his misery is the insurance salesman from downstairs Carl LaFong (“capital L, small a..”). His salvation comes in the form of an inheritance, which he uses to buy an orange farm in California – his dream. As so often happens, dream and reality are starkly contrasted, but happily, all comes right in the end.

A simple tale, but which brilliantly forms a vehicle for Fields’ talents and those of his supporting cast. The set pieces are hilarious, a model of comic artistry.

Harold Bissonette – W.C.Fields
Mrs Amelia Bissonette – Kathleen Howard
Baby Dunk – Baby LeRoy
Carl LaFong – T. Roy Barnes
Mr Muckle – Charles Sellon
Director – Norman Z McLeod
Screenplay – Jack Cunningham
Producer – William LeBaron

“W.C.Fields at his best,… this is one of his finest comedies. …watching Fields and the inimitable Baby LeRoy strut their stuff is comic gold.” Christopher Null,

THE DENTIST, USA 1938, Dir. Leslie Pearce, with Fields as a dentist whose surgery should be avoided!
MUTINY AIN’T NICE, USA 1938, Dir. Dave Fleischer. Fun on the ocean wave provided by Popeye and Olive Oyl


“I could not stop laughing!”

“Slow to start but got into cracking form – a classic!”

“W C Fields is just great but the sound was a bit tricky.”

“Predictable but still funny – reminded me of the films on TV when I was very young.”

“I found WCF hard to take! Ponderous and, as portrayed, not a character with much warmth.”

“Far too long. Some episodes funny, eg the coconut sequence. Many (of the) voices, especially the females and children, were unbearable!”

“So dated and unfunny – not even a curate’s egg! Humour is so much more sophisticated and clever now.”

“A lesson – we have reason to rejoice that film humour has improved so very much.”

“Tedious – hard to believe anyone found this funny, even in a depression.”

“Why didn’t I leave in the interval?”


A:4, B:10, C:8, D:4, E:2 to give 59%