Fodder for the Fields fan
Pitz | chicago, il. USA | 02/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Though this disc contained nothing that I had not seen before, it was presented so well that it was a joy to watch and is a very good capsulation for the average viewer who might be curious about the man . Very well done and a bargain to boot.It contains the clearest copy of Fatal glass of beer that I've seen."
There are better ones out there
Snorre Smari Mathiesen | Norway | 01/24/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"THE GREAT MAN: W.C. FIELDS is yet another documentary covering the life and career of a comedian whose obsession in drink and hatred of children turned into the two elements within his humor which most people remember today. However, just like the earlier documentary STRAIGHT UP, one of the major points of THE GREAT MAN is to differ between the man and his myth. Sadly, the attempts run short due to a lack of material. Whereas STRAIGHT UP remains a gem due to the combination of interviews, rare home-movies as well as well known excerpts from Fields's movies, little of what THE GREAT MAN has to offer will be of much surprise to the fan, and I suspect the unaqcuainted would leave somewhat puzzled as to what this great man W.C. Fields was all about. We are offered no excerpts whatsoever from Fields's famous feature films, such as IT'S A GIFT, MAN ON THE FLYING TRAPEZE and THE BANK DICK, which is probably a copyright matter. There is some home-movie footage all right, but nothing that you won't find on STRAIGHT UP. A few excerpts of interviews are dropped in, including a few insights from Walter Matthau, but essentially THE GREAT MAN comes off as a rather deficient summary of a life which, irrelevant of whether one prefers to believe in the myths or not, should make for an extraordinary story. It should be stressed, though, that the makers of this documentary clearly do their best with the material available, and it works fair enough if one's seen Fields's best work already and is just curious about the main facts of his life. However, if you have not yet seen STRAIGHT UP, go for that one.
Also included here is the short film THE FATAL GLASS OF BEER, one of Fields's most well known as well as surrealistic films, and a rather unfunny, once banished animated short entitled CUPID GETS HIS MAN, in which we are served an uninspired imitation of Fields's mannerisms."