NEVER GIVE A SUCKER AN EVEN BREAK
(1941, Edward Cline) Fields dives from a plane sans parachute to retrieve his bottle of whiskey, lands on man-hating Margaret Dumont’s mountaintop, and teaches her virginal daughter his just-invented kissing game — but producer Franklin Pangborn isn’t buying his screenplay idea.
"A maelstrom of slapstick, song, blackout episodes, old gags, new gags, confusion.
That much of it is truly comic is testimony to the fact that Fields is one of the funniest men on earth. Whether he is offering a cure for insomnia ("Get plenty of sleep"), refusing a bromo
("couldn't stand the noise"), nasally vocalizing ("chickens have pretty legs in Kansas"), meticulously blowing the head off an ice cream soda, Fields is a beautifully timed exhibit of mock pomposity, puzzled ineffectualness, subtle understatement and true-blue nonchalance."
– James Agee
“HAS TO BE SEEN TO BE BELIEVED, AND EVEN THEN IT PROABLY WON’T BE.
It's constructed like one of his tallest stories, drunkenly veering
from improbability to improbability, and produced with loving carelessness.”
– Time Out (London)