Monday, January 02, 2006

Man on the Flying Trapeze (1935)

Bit of a surprising wrinkle in this one -- in all the W.C. Fields films I've seen so far (The Bank Dick, Never Give a Sucker an Even Break and part of It's a Gift), he's played the cheat. Lazy, shiftless, and always out for an easy buck, what I know as the prototypical Fields character is not a sympathetic one, and the humor often arises from the unshakability of his veneality in the face of disaster. So it was rather shocking to see him here essaying, with perfect serenity, the ultimate milquetoast. Maybe it was that disconnect between my expectations and the film itself, or maybe it was just that this film seemed to follow a (somewhat) logical procession rather than meandering hither and thither, but this may be the funniest Fields film I've yet seen. The parking ticket bit in particular just kills.

Grade: B+


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home