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Never Give a Sucker an Even Break

Never Give a Sucker an Even Break

W.C. Fields
Director: Edward F. Cline Cast: W.C. Fields
W.C. Fields
, Gloria Jean
Gloria Jean
, Margaret Dumont
Margaret Dumont
Edward F. Cline


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Available for Pre-Order. This item will be available on July 14, 2020


In Never Give a Sucker an Even Break, W.C. Fields heads to Esoteric studios to pitch a story idea to producer Franklin Pangborn. The producer wants to make a conventional romantic musical starring Fields' niece, teen-aged soprano Gloria Jean, but "The Great Man" has other ideas. As Pangborn sits in dumbfounded silence, Fields unravels an incoherent farrago which begins with him travelling to a Russian colony in Mexico -- by way of an airliner with an open observation platform. Fields dives from the plane when his precious flask of gin falls overboard; he lands safely at the mountaintop mansion of the formidable Mrs. Hemoglobin (Margaret Dumont). Playing a kissing game with Hemoglobin's beauteous daughter (Susan Miller), who has never seen a man before, Fields decides to make a quick exit when Mama wants to get in on the game too. Reunited with Gloria Jean in the Russian colony, Fields learns that Mrs. Hemoglobin is worth millions, so he climbs back up the mountain, ignoring such obstacles as a displaced African gorilla. Disposing of his rival Leon Errol, Fields is about to wed Mrs. Hemoglobin, but is talked out of it at the last moment by Gloria Jean. At this point in the narrative, producer Pangborn can stand no more. He tells Fields to take his nonsensical screenplay and vacate the premises. After a brief episode at a soda fountain ("This scene was supposed to be in a saloon, but the censors made us cut it out"), Fields drives off to new adventures with his niece -- but not before a zany slapstick car-chase finale, prompted by Fields' mistaken belief that he's rushing a corpulent middle-aged lady to the maternity hospital. W. C. Fields' original screenplay for Sucker (written under the fanciful pseudonym of Otis Criblecoblis) made a lot more sense than what ended up on screen, but Fields' extended absences from the studio, coupled with Universal's desire to reshape the film into a vehicle for their new star Gloria Jean, necessitated a complete restructuring of the plot. While hardly Fields' best or most representative film, Sucker is an excellent example of the sort of nonsensical "nut" humor in vogue in 1941 thanks to Olsen and Johnson's Hellzapoppin'. And, occasionally, the film stands still long enough to allow W. C. Fields to mutter a priceless aside or toss off a perfectly timed double-take.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/14/2020
UPC: 0738329248048
Original Release: 1941
Rating: NR
Source: Kl Studio Classics
Time: 1:11:00
Sales rank: 4,255

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
W.C. Fields The Great Man
Gloria Jean His Niece
Margaret Dumont Mrs. Hemoglobin
Leon Errol The Rival
Susan Miller Ouliotta Delight Hemogloben
Franklin Pangborn Producer, Esoteric Studios
Mona Barrie The Producer's Wife
Charles Lang The Young Engineer
Anne Nagel Madame Gorgeous
Nell O'Day Salesgirl
Irving Bacon Tom, soda jerk
Jo Gilbert Tiny, the waitress
Minerva Urecal Mrs. Pastrami, Cleaning Lady
Emmett Vogan Steve Roberts, Engineer
Carlotta Monti Receptionist
Bill Wolfe Himself
Claud Allister Bitter Englishman
Frank Austin Diner
Leon Belasco Pianist
Eddie Bruce Cameraman
Irene Colman Stewardess
Kay Deslys Mrs. Wilson
William Gould Doorman
Charles Lane Man
Jack Lipson Huge Turk
Charles McMurphy Officer
Frances Morris Nurse
Jean Porter Passerby
Victor Potel Mr. Clines, Russian Magistrate
Prince the Dog Actor
Marcia Ralston Stewardess
Jack Roper Joe
David Sharpe Ubiquitous Stunt Double
Kathrun Sheldon Spinster Passenger
Michael Visaroff Coachman, Russian Village
Billy Wayne Foreman Stage 6
Dave Willock Johnson, Assistant Director
Duke York Tough Assailant
Emil Van Horn Gargo Gorilla
Emma Tansey Old Lady
Harriette Haddon Redhead
Billy Lenhart Heckler
Ken Brown Heckler

Technical Credits
Edward F. Cline Director
Prescott Chaplin Screenwriter
Otis J. Criblecoblis Screenwriter
Russell A. Gausman Set Decoration/Design
Arthur D. Hilton Editor
John T. Neville Screenwriter
Jack Otterson Art Director
Charles Previn Musical Direction/Supervision
Richard H. Riedel Art Director
Frank Skinner Score Composer
Charles Van Enger Cinematographer
Vera West Costumes/Costume Designer

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