|Not Fields' best, but still very good.
Directed by Norman Z. McLeod
Produced by William LeBaron
Written by W.C. Fields and Jack Cunningham
Starring W.C. Fields, Baby LeRoy and Kathleen Howard
Plot Summary: Against his wife’s wishes, a grocery store owner (Fields) buys an orange farm with his uncle’s inheritance.
Significance: Considered one of the finest American comedies of the thirties - and of Fields’ career, this film was featured in the latest Sight and Sound Poll (#588 in 2012 critics' poll). Also, it was added to the U.S. National Film Preservation Board’s Film Registry in 2010.
Thoughts: Having loved Fields’ work in The Bank Dick, this film, which carries a solid reputation, was high on my watchlist. Fields has a simple comedic style of slapstick and verbal wit, but it’s fun watching him do comedy. There are several laugh-out-loud moments, such as a scene where he tries to go to sleep amidst constant interruption, or a scene where he attempts to wait on a customer who wants to buy kumquats. Fields’ image as a lovable everyman works so well here, even if this brief story isn’t airtight. (The film is only 68 minutes, but it’s very rushed after a lengthy introduction.) While the humor might be a little dated for some, I found the film to be quite funny and a fine entry in Fields’ filmography.