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The W.C. Fields Comedy Collection: Volume 1 (The Bank Dick/My Little Chickadee/You Can't Cheat an Honest Man/It's a Gift/International House)

4.3 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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  • The W.C. Fields Comedy Collection: Volume 1 (The Bank Dick/My Little Chickadee/You Can't Cheat an Honest Man/It's a Gift/International House)
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  • The W.C. Fields Comedy Collection: Volume 2 (Poppy/Never Give a Sucker an Even Break/The Old Fashioned Way/You're Telling Me!/Man on the Flying Trapeze)
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Product Details

  • Actors: W.C. Fields, Edgar Bergen, Mae West, Joseph Calleia, Dick Foran
  • Directors: A. Edward Sutherland, Edward F. Cline, George Marshall, Norman Z. McLeod
  • Writers: Claude Binyon, Eddie Welch, Everett Freeman, Francis Martin
  • Format: Box set, Black & White, Dolby, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: Jan. 15 2013
  • Run Time: 373 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B0002MHDY2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #40,385 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Product Description

W.C. Fields is an American original, the curmudgeonly master of wit and good, mean fun. In this collection of madcap classics, the famously top-hatted Fields unleashes his unique comic zing, proving himself the king of the one-liner. This special DVD collection includes The Bank Dick, My Little Chickadee, You Can't Cheat an Honest Man, It's a Gift and International House. The W.C. Fields Comedy Collection is Fields at his finest, and a must-have for anyone who loves to laugh!


For anyone who loves classic comedy, the W.C. Fields Comedy Collection is absolutely essential. Film for film, this may be the best DVD showcase ever devoted to a single comedian, including all five of Fields's acknowledged classics in a sturdy, beautifully designed library-quality slipcase. One could easily lament the relative lack of bonus features (it would have been nice to have some vintage Fields radio shows and newsreel footage), but the inclusion of A&E's 1994 Biography documentary W.C. Fields: Behind the Laughter is sufficiently informative about Fields's life, career, irascible personality, and tragic alcoholism. That's all that's really needed when the films themselves are so timelessly entertaining, and they're all remarkably pristine in sound and image quality. The best way to appreciate Fields's evolving screen persona is to view these films in chronological order: In International House (1933), Fields was merely one of many Paramount stars of screen and radio (including Rudy Vallee, Burns & Allen, Bela Lugosi, Sterling Holloway, and manic bandleader Cab Calloway), but he handily steals the show, invading a Shanghai hotel in his airplane/helicopter and delivering the classic line (to Franklin Pangborn), "Don't let the posy fool ya!" It's one of Paramount's best all-star revues.

It's a Gift (1934) is a remake of Fields's 1926 silent It's the Old Army Game, and was the first sound feature devoted to Fields's inimitable talent. As beleaguered husband and would-be orange farmer, Fields revives vintage routines from Vaudeville and Broadway, and his first encounter with Baby LeRoy is comedy gold. You Can't Cheat an Honest Man (1939) features Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy and Fields's classic, still-hilarious ping-pong routine, while 1940's My Little Chickadee matches Fields (as "Guthbert J. Twillie") with Mae West, whose unforgettable on-screen banter with Fields shows no sign of their notorious off-screen animosity. In his raucous masterpiece The Bank Dick (also 1940), Fields is "Egbert Souse," lowly bank guard, unlikely hero, and manic driver in perhaps the greatest slapstick car-chase scene ever filmed. Despite the regrettable absence of Fields's final starring feature Never Give a Sucker an Even Break, this classy five-disc set is a veritable cornucopia of comedy, offering ample proof of Fields's comic genius through classic one-liners, physical routines, memorable costars, and perfect bits of business that never grow old. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Avec sa dégaine de loubarde, ses oeillades appuyées et sa silhouette à l'opposé des canons actuels (mais qui avait fait d'elle un sex-symbole de son temps) Mae West peut paraître démodée. Cependant, intelligente, rouée, à la répartie qui fait mouche, sympathique, Mae symbolise la revanche du petit peuple américain sur les aristocrates anglais d'abord et ceux qui, américains, se prétendent plus ou moins en descendre, celle aussi du vrai bon sens contre les conventions et les "bonnes" manières, enfin l'affirmation de la liberté (de ton, d'allure, de conduite dans la vie) par rapport aux standards figés des années 30.Si on les replace dans leur contexte, la plupart de ses films - dont elle écrit la plupart du temps le scénario et les dialogues - ont extrêmement bien vieilli et apparaissent même si décapants, si originaux qu'ils en deviennent "jouissifs". Ce coffret regroupe cinq de ses films les plus célèbres et permet dans de bonnes conditions techniques (excellents transferts, belle présentation, VO sous titrée français) de se familiariser avec une des figures les plus populaires et les plus originales de l'avant guerre américaine.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Mae West - The Glamour Collection" is a good addition to the film library of fans of the legendary blonde and for the general Hollywood collector.

The set includes 5 movies ranging from mediocre to great, "Night After Night" (1932)- in my opinion is the worst film of the bunch, "I'm No Angel" (1933) - is the funniest, "Goin' to Town" (1935) - is the most enjoyable, ""Go West, Young Man" (1936) - is mediocre West and "My Little Chickadee" (1940) - pairs West with the legendary W.C Fields.

"Night After Night" ** 1/2. This almost forgotten little film is a curiosity item because it is Mae West's screen debut. The film stars George Raft, who plays Joe, a former boxer and owner of a speakeasy who is interested in romancing an attractive and mysterious socialite, Miss Jerry Healy (Constance Cummings). Whatever one thinks of the film (I am not too enamoured with it as I find it a bit tedious to get through) there is no denying once West's Maudie Triplett enters the scene, she steals the show and despite her brief appearance here, delivers some of her classic dialogues ("Goodness had nothing to do with it, dearie.") The scene in the hotel bedroom with West and Alison Skipworth dealing with a hangover and an innocent misunderstanding is a hoot. This film may have been a star vehicle for the other actors but Mae West managed to steal the spotlight off them and several decades later, this film is remembered mostly for her presence.

"I'm No Angel" ****. This film is one of West's best features and it contains some of her wittiest dialogue. West plays Tira, a circus performer who hits the big time as a lion tamer.
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Format: VHS Tape
MY LITTLE CHICKADEE was originally released to mixed reviews, but by the 1970s a revival of interest in both W.C. Fields and Mae West sparked renewed attention to the film--and while it is somewhat uneven and does not give us either actor at their best, this single pairing of two of Hollywood's most legendary comics offers enough amusement to keep us watching right through to the end.
By every account available, Fields and West absolutely loathed each other. After Field's death West went to considerable effort to belittle both Fields and his contribution to this film, insisting that she herself wrote the story and the script and Fields was responsible for his personal material only. Ironically, her claims re this are hardly flattering to her talent, for the great weakness of CHICKADEE is the actual story itself, which is remarkable for its lack of imagination: Flower Belle becomes mixed up with an outlaw and is run out of town--and told she can't return until she can prove she is respectably married. The opportunity to do precisely that arrives in the form Cuthbert J. Twillie, an inept con-man who becomes her dupe.
Although uninspired, the plot does have the benefit of allowing both West and Fields to do their own thing both separately and occasionally together--and when it works, it goes off with a bang. Their meeting on the train, their wedding night, and West's unlikely stint as a schoolmarm (teaching the young about figures, of course) are all hilarious bits, and Margaret Hamilton gets in some good moments in the supporting cast. The film only sinks whenever it returns to the storyline of West and her bandit lover--so all in all, although not the best, it is well worth a watch, particularly for Fields and West fans. Recommended, but don't expect too much.
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By A Customer on Aug. 8 2001
Format: VHS Tape
This well-known film is corny but fun. The off-beat casting of the leads make MY LITTLE CHICKADEE a unique movie experience (which should have been better!) Contrary to popular belief, this is the one and ONLY film Fields and West ever made together; the result is a classic among corny movies! At the mellow age of 47, buxom Mae plays (in her ornate velvet finery) Flower Belle Lee, a vixen who, while traveling on a train, meets J. Cuthbert Twillie who's into "novelties and notions". Flower Belle eyes a doctor's bag full of dough and purrs "ummmmmm, what kinda notions ya got?". Scenes on the train are funny and one cannot deny that West and Fields each had "star quality". Hatchet-faced busy-body Margaret Hamilton plays Miss Gideon with her usual expertise (Mae took her aside one day on the set and commented "I liiike y'ur woik!" in her inimitable style which tickled the previous years' Almira Gulch to no end). Few mediocre films have received so much attention; the public was enthralled with the idea of watching these two legends playing opposite each other. The chemistry between Fields and West is good but many feel the lines and situations should have been funnier and I agree. Critics of the day were tolerant but not overly generous; Flower Belle was really a parody of Mae's sultry image and it was obvious that her glory days at Paramount were clearly over. The satire never really gets off the ground but it's such an honest mix of corn and manure that, at times, it's fairly aromatic!
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