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The Bank Dick: The Criterion Collection
The Bank Dick The Criterion Collection
Actors: W.C. Fields, Cora Witherspoon, Una Merkel, Evelyn Del Rio, Jessie Ralph
Director: Edward F. Cline
Genres: Comedy
NR     2000     1hr 12min

W.C. Fields stars as an unemployed, henpecked drunk who spends most of his time at the Black Pussy Cat café. Things take a turn for the absurd when he unwittingly captures a bank robber and lands a job as a security guard....  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: W.C. Fields, Cora Witherspoon, Una Merkel, Evelyn Del Rio, Jessie Ralph
Director: Edward F. Cline
Genres: Comedy
Sub-Genres: Classic Comedies
Studio: Criterion
Format: DVD - Black and White,Full Screen
DVD Release Date: 08/22/2000
Original Release Date: 11/29/1940
Theatrical Release Date: 11/29/1940
Release Year: 2000
Run Time: 1hr 12min
Screens: Black and White,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 17
Edition: Criterion Collection
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

wdanthemanw | Geneva, Switzerland | 09/16/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The world of W.C. FIELDS is a very peculiar one ; it is filled with clouds of smoke and empty bottles, with terrible children deserving to be lashed to blood and with nightmarish wives and mother-in-laws. Always ready to help his fellow companions, our poor hero must also cope with heartless bankers and dishonest crooks (yes, they exist ! ).If you are a movie lover, this particular world deserves a royal place on your library's shelves, W.C. FIELDS playing, in my opinion, in the same league than Buster Keaton, Charles S. Chaplin, the Marx Brothers or Jerry Lewis. The League of the Champions of the Absurdness.Nevertheless, the price of this Criterion release, without bonus features, except for english subtitles, could discourage the average amateur. THE BANK DICK lasts only 74 minutes but offers two or three scenes worthy to appear in an anthology of the best comic scenes ever filmed. I specially loved the car chase, involving three cars, a motorcycle and a W.C. FIELDS destructing his car while driving at 70 miles per hour. But dialogs are also extremely funny, completing the pleasure that you are certainly going to have with one of the Masters of comic movies.A DVD dedicated to mother-in-laws."
NO synch problems on Criterion DVD
wdanthemanw | 09/10/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"First of all, this is one of the funniest movies ever made. There is not one scene that isn't hillarious. As for one reviewer's comment that the sound and picture are out of synch, this is almost certainly a problem with the player's DSP chip (see Sound & Vision magazine's article on this; Sony knows all about it).The Bank Dick stands tall, even amongst Fields' other brilliant movies, You're Telling Me and the sensational Its A Gift. Our hero, Egbert Souse (pronounced "Sue-Say") has a Married With Children existence--until he accidentally foils a bank robbery.The Bank Dick has my all time favorite Fields line: J. Frothingham Waterbury, a stock swindler, says "I want to show you I'm honest in the worst way!". Fields also paints a less than flattering picture of miserly bankers, the rich, and people who only treat you well when you have money. What makes this so funny, of course, is, its mostly true!"
Essential W.C. Fields DVD
wdanthemanw | 04/18/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The Bank Dick is pure Fields and the best of his feature films (with My Little Chickadee a close second). The comedy is timeless; most of the jokes, although written 60 years ago , are relevant today. Supporting cast is brilliant. A must have for all classic comedy fans."
W.C. Fields, the unlikely star, in one of his best movies
Matthew Horner | USA | 05/20/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I've seen "The Bank Dick" so many times, it's a little hard to review it. It's been on TV for decades and was probably one of the first movies I ever saw. I think I like it so much because it, as well as its star, W.C. Fields, is quite atypical of the Hollywood of the time [1940]. Indeed, the very fact that Fields became a star who commanded a fortune is a happy anomaly in movie history. He had a bulbous nose, he was overweight, and he is reputed to have been drunk much of the time, both on the set and off. He didn't like children or dogs. He drove the Hayes office, the self-censorship arm of the industry at the time, mad with his double entendres and with his characters who lied, cheated stole, and, worst of all, almost never paid for their sins. There are several reasons he was so successful, I think. The primary one is that he was relentlessly funny. Another is that he was always honest because, in his poking fun at everyone, he never forgot to include himself. Finally, he appealed then, as he still does today, to those who love to see hypocrisy satirized.Like all Fields movies, "The Bank Dick" barely has a plot at all. It simply careens from one improbably situation to the next. Fields is Egbert Souse of Lompoc, CA. He lives with his wife, mother-in-law and two daughters. They constantly henpeck and ridicule him. One day a movie company comes to town, and somehow Souse finds himself hired as the picture's director. This leads to his apprehending a bank robber, which, in turn, leads to his getting a job as a guard at the bank. Then, there is the character who comes along selling stock in a failed mine. One of the hapless buyers is souse's future son-in-law, who `borrows' the money from the bank for a few days, only to have a bank auditor show up moments later. You call this a plot? Well, forget about the story. It's all just an excuse for the wonderful physical comedy, the sharp, witty dialog, and Field's remarkable line deliveries. I should mention that Fields surrounded himself with some of the great character actors of his time. The cast of "The Bank Dick" includes Una Merkel, Cora Witherspoon, Frank Pangborn, Grady Sutton and Shemp Howard, who later became famous as one of the Three Stooges."