in about 100 words or less
US 72m, B&W
Director: Edward F. Cline; Cast: W. C. Fields, Cora Witherspoon, Una Merkel, Evelyn Del Rio, Franklin Pangborn, Shemp Howard, Richard Purcell, Grady Sutton
W. C. Fields is the continually tipsy and henpecked Egbert Sousé (accent grave over the ‘e’!), who becomes a bank security guard after he inadvertently trips up a would-be bank robber. The fake French pronunciation of his name is a repeat of the same gag used in It’s a Gift (1934), where he constantly has to remind people his family name Bisonette is correctly pronounced “Bee-So-Nay”. As with Fields’ earlier films, The Bank Dick is filled with ridiculous names such as J. Pinkerton Snoopington, and preposterous sounding phrases such as: “Don’t be a luddy duddy, don’t be a moon calf, don’t be a jabbernowl. You’re not those, are you?” Despite the familiar jokes, well-worn characters and the outrageous plot, The Bank Dick remains a wonderfully silly vehicle for Fields’ then well-honed comedic skills (Klaus Ming August 2011).