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What did you rate 'The Old-Fashioned Way' (1934)?


W.C. Fields plays The Great McGonigle, head of a discontented vaudeville troupe and target of sheriffs and bill collectors from all over. This is top drawer Fields with a funny supporting cast that includes Fields's infant nemesis Baby LeRoy and Jan Duggan as a rich widow hoping to make it on the stage. Joe Morrison is unusually good in the thankless role of juvenile lead. He makes his best impression in his opening scene as he casually and playfully romances the girl.

I rated this excellent comedy a 9. What did you rate it? And what do you think of it?

... Justin

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Prior to the release of this DVD set I was only familiar with Field's Universal films. However THE OLD FASHIONED WAY has become my favorite of the Paramounts -- I like it even better than IT'S A GIFT.

There's a tad-more pathos in his role here and less reliance on " the bottle ", so prominent in most of his films.

I like the insertion of THE DRUNKARD in the film -- it's played straight and that makes it all the more interesting, set against the comedy situations. The supporting performances were all excellent.

I'd give it a 8 or 9 -- just finished watching it for a second time and liked it even more!

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Over the last couple of months I viewed 14 feature length sound comedies starring Fields, which is just about all of them. To my surprise it turned out that The Old Fashioned Way was my very favorite, the main competition coming from the much better known It's A Gift and The Bank Dick. (Out of competition I must always mention The Fatal Glass Of Beer, Fields' funniest, but that's a short).

The Old Fashioned Way feels like a labor of love: Fields trying to capture everything he can from his vaudeville days, including his famous juggling act. And besides that of course it's just very funny. I gave it a 9, but that could turn into a 10 just like that!

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I quite liked it when viewing it for the first time last night (at 46) and gave it a 9/10.

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