Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

W.C. and that fatal glass of beer ....

THE FATAL GLASS OF BEER, a 1933 short - its all of 18 minutes! I saw this decades ago at the cinema and loved it - nice to finally catch it again in a collection of W. C. Fields shorts. 

The prodigal son of a Yukon prospector comes home on a night that "ain't fit for man nor beast."

W.C. Fieds (1880-1946) was one of those essential 1930s stars like The Marx Brothers, Mae West, Jean Harlow or Shirley Temple. The legendary comedian and misanthrope wrote and appeared in several shorts as well as popular movies like THE BANK DICK and NEVER GIVE A SUCKER AN EVEN BREAK. We love him as Micawber in Cukor's DAVID COPPERFIED in 1935 and of course with Mae West in MY LITTLE CHICKADEE.  

THE FATAL GLASS OF BEER is a hilarious from the word go, as we join W C as Mr Snavely in his shack in the Yukon wilderness - the recurring motif is he intoning "It ain't a fit night out for man or beast" as he looks out the door and a handful of snow is flung in his face - which happens about six times. As he tells the visiting Mountie who enquired about W.C,'s no-good son who is in jail: "the city is no place for women - but pretty men go there". Then he tells his wife he is going out "to milk the elk" as a hilarious scene of back-projected elks run wild as W.C. calls for his Lena. 
There is also a back-projected ski-run with one little dog whose feet do not touch the ground, and the water comes out of the pump as ice cubes. W. C. and his wife have soup and bread as the milksop son returns from the city prison and promises never to leave them again. On finding that he has no money left they both turf him out in the snow .... W.C.also confides that he ate one of the huskies: "he was mighty fine with mustard". Its written by Fields and directed by Clyde Bruckman. Now for THE DENTIST and THE BARBER SHOP

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