You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Bank Dick

Story is credited to Mahatma Kane Jeeves, Fields' own humorous nom de plume. It's a deliberate rack on which to hang the varied Fieldsian comedic routines, many of them repeats from previous pictures but with enough new material inserted to overcome the antique gags. A wild auto ride down the mountainside for the climax is an old formula dating back to the Mack Sennett days, but director Edward Cline [and 'collaborating director' Ralph Ceder] has refurbished the episode with new twists that make it a thrill-laugh dash of top proportions.

With:
W.C. Fields Cora Witherspoon Una Merkel Jessie Ralph Franklin Pangborn Grady Sutton

Story is credited to Mahatma Kane Jeeves, Fields’ own humorous nom de plume. It’s a deliberate rack on which to hang the varied Fieldsian comedic routines, many of them repeats from previous pictures but with enough new material inserted to overcome the antique gags. A wild auto ride down the mountainside for the climax is an old formula dating back to the Mack Sennett days, but director Edward Cline [and ‘collaborating director’ Ralph Ceder] has refurbished the episode with new twists that make it a thrill-laugh dash of top proportions.

Fields is the town’s foremost elbow bender who injects himself into any situation without invitation. The unexpected hero of a bank robbery, he is rewarded with the job of detective to guard against future holdups. He involves his prospective son-in-law as a temporary embezzler to buy wildcat mining stock, and then holds off the bank examiner via the Mickey Finn route. Repeat bank robbery again results in Fields’ accepting hero honors, the reward and sudden riches from a film directing contract.

Several times, Fields reaches into satirical pantomime reminiscent of Charlie Chaplin’s best efforts during his Mutual and Essanay days. Directorial guidance by Cline (graduate of the Keystone Kop school) smacks over every gag line and situation to the fullest extent.

Fields has a field day in tabbing the various characters. His own screen name, he is careful to explain, is pronounced Soo-zay, and not Souse, as it appears from English pronunciation.

The Bank Dick

Production: Universal. Director Edward Cline; Producer [uncredited]; Screenplay Mahatma Kane Jeeves [= W.C. Fields]; Camera Milton Krasner; Editor Arthur Hilton; Music Charles Previn (dir.); Art Director Jack Otterson, Richard Riedel

Crew: (B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1940. Running time: 69 MIN.

With: W.C. Fields Cora Witherspoon Una Merkel Jessie Ralph Franklin Pangborn Grady Sutton

More Film

  • Merger Angst Warner Media

    WarnerMedia Staffers Brace for Cuts, Cultural Shifts Amid Mega-Merger

    Story is credited to Mahatma Kane Jeeves, Fields’ own humorous nom de plume. It’s a deliberate rack on which to hang the varied Fieldsian comedic routines, many of them repeats from previous pictures but with enough new material inserted to overcome the antique gags. A wild auto ride down the mountainside for the climax is […]

  • Bob Iger arrives at the Oscars,

    Bob Iger: Disney Has 'Much Better' Chance of Closing Fox Deal Than Comcast

    Story is credited to Mahatma Kane Jeeves, Fields’ own humorous nom de plume. It’s a deliberate rack on which to hang the varied Fieldsian comedic routines, many of them repeats from previous pictures but with enough new material inserted to overcome the antique gags. A wild auto ride down the mountainside for the climax is […]

  • Brian Roberts, Bob Iger Battle Over

    Brian Roberts and Bob Iger Go Head-to-Head in the Battle for Fox

    Story is credited to Mahatma Kane Jeeves, Fields’ own humorous nom de plume. It’s a deliberate rack on which to hang the varied Fieldsian comedic routines, many of them repeats from previous pictures but with enough new material inserted to overcome the antique gags. A wild auto ride down the mountainside for the climax is […]

  • A View of a Sign at

    Disney Ups Fox Bid to $71.3 Billion, Outflanking Comcast

    Story is credited to Mahatma Kane Jeeves, Fields’ own humorous nom de plume. It’s a deliberate rack on which to hang the varied Fieldsian comedic routines, many of them repeats from previous pictures but with enough new material inserted to overcome the antique gags. A wild auto ride down the mountainside for the climax is […]

  • 'Izzy Gets the F--- Across Town'

    Film Review: 'Izzy Gets the F--- Across Town'

    Story is credited to Mahatma Kane Jeeves, Fields’ own humorous nom de plume. It’s a deliberate rack on which to hang the varied Fieldsian comedic routines, many of them repeats from previous pictures but with enough new material inserted to overcome the antique gags. A wild auto ride down the mountainside for the climax is […]

  • Quim Gutierrez32nd Goya Cinematographic Awards, Marriott

    Disney’s ‘Jungle Cruise’ Adds Spain’s Quim Gutiérrez (EXCLUSIVE)

    Story is credited to Mahatma Kane Jeeves, Fields’ own humorous nom de plume. It’s a deliberate rack on which to hang the varied Fieldsian comedic routines, many of them repeats from previous pictures but with enough new material inserted to overcome the antique gags. A wild auto ride down the mountainside for the climax is […]

  • Moviepass

    AMC Unveils Answer to MoviePass: $20 Subscription Plan

    Story is credited to Mahatma Kane Jeeves, Fields’ own humorous nom de plume. It’s a deliberate rack on which to hang the varied Fieldsian comedic routines, many of them repeats from previous pictures but with enough new material inserted to overcome the antique gags. A wild auto ride down the mountainside for the climax is […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content