ming movie reviews

in about 100 words or less

The Bank Dick (1940)

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).


4 comments on “The Bank Dick (1940)

  1. Anthony Lee Collins

    One sure way to crack my father up was to say, “Accent grave over the ‘e’!”

    Or “Did I come in here last night, and did I spend a twenty dollar bill?” “Yes.” “Oh, thank goodness. I thought I’d lost it.”

    Plus all the physical bits, like walking up the stairs on the wrong side of the bannister (I think this is the film where he does that.)

    Some of my earliest memories are of going to see WC Fields movies with my father.

  2. Klaus

    Same here, some of my earliest movie memories are W.C. Field’s movies on late night television – watching with my Dad.

  3. Hoosier X

    The family in this movie is hilarious. I love that scene where the little daughter says: “You want me to bounce a rock off his head?” And the mother says: “Respect your father, dear. How big a rock?”

    Una Merkel, Shemp Howard, Franklin Pangborn. They’re all hilarious.

    And then there’s Grady Sutton! “What in the world is an Og Oggilby?”

    • Klaus

      Indeed! This movie is brilliant.

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This entry was posted on 08/12/2011 by in 1001 List, 1940s, All and tagged .
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