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Never Give a Sucker an Even Break (1941)

Passed | | Comedy, Musical | 10 October 1941 (USA)
A filmmaker attempts to sell a surreal script he has written, which comes to life as he pitches it.

Director:

Edward F. Cline (as Edward Cline)

Writers:

John T. Neville (screen play), Prescott Chaplin (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
W.C. Fields ... The Great Man
Gloria Jean ... Gloria
Leon Errol ... The Rival
Billy Lenhart Billy Lenhart ... Butch (as Butch)
Kenneth Brown Kenneth Brown ... Buddy (as Buddy)
Margaret Dumont ... Mrs. Hemogloben
Susan Miller ... Ouilotta Hemogloben
Franklin Pangborn ... The Producer
Mona Barrie ... The Producer's Wife
Charles Lang ... Pete Carson
Anne Nagel ... Madame Gorgeous
Nell O'Day ... The Salesgirl
Irving Bacon ... The Soda Jerk
Jody Gilbert ... The Waitress
Minerva Urecal ... The Cleaning Woman
Edit

Storyline

Fields wants to sell a film story to Esoteric Studios. On the way he gets insulted by little boys, beat up for ogling a woman, and abused by a waitress. He becomes his niece's guardian when her mother is killed in a trapeze fall during the making of a circus movie. He and his niece, who he finds at a shooting gallery, fly to Mexico to sell wooden nutmegs in a Russian colony. Trying to catch his bottle as it falls from the plane, he lands on a mountain peak where lives the man- eating Mrs. Hemogloben. When he gets to the Russian colony he finds Leon Errol (father of the insulting boys and owner of the shooting gallery) already selling wooden nutmegs. He decides to woo the wealthy Mrs. Hemogloben but when he gets there Errol has preceded him. The Mexican adventure is the story that Esoteric Studios would not buy. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

IT'S FIELDS' FUNNIEST FILM...and funniest funsters! (original print ad) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 October 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Great Man See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the soda-shop scene, Fields turns to the camera and announces that the scene was supposed to have been filmed in a saloon "but the censor cut it out". He was telling the truth. See more »

Goofs

During the ice cream parlor scene, when WC Fields blows the foam off the ice cream soda, part of it lands on his hand. In the subsequent close up shot, when he picks the soda up, his hand is clean. See more »

Quotes

The Great Man: That's a hot one! You were shaving me and I was shaving you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film opens with W. C. Fields' credit as star over a cartoon caricature of him. Then the chest of the character expands to bloated proportions, and the title of the film is printed on Fields' huge cartoon chest. See more »

Connections

References The Bank Dick (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

BRIDAL CHORUS (HERE COMES THE BRIDE)
(1850) (uncredited)
from "Lohengrin"
Written by Richard Wagner
In the score when Fields returns to Mrs. Hemogloben
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Otis Criblecobis
22 September 2005 | by jotix100See all my reviews

W.C. Fields was a pioneer of the American cinema. As such, he was a true original who not only acted, but also wrote most of the material for his films. Mr. Fields left an important body of work for us to watch, laugh and admire.

His "Never Give a Sucker an Even Break" was his last film. The film, although a bit dated, still has some sparks thanks to Mr. Fields, playing the Uncle Bill of the story. The film, directed by Edward C. Cline, still has a lot of laughs.

The film is a satire about the movie industry that Mr. Fields knew so well. Mr. Fields takes us behind the cameras to show us the craziness that is associated with making films. Of course, it is somewhat exaggerated as we don't believe what goes on at some of the Esoteric Studios.

Aside from Mr. Fields, Gloria Jean plays his niece, the sweet voiced girl appearing in one of the films in production. Also, Leon Errol, Margaret Dumont and some old pros are seen doing their best.


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