in about 100 words or less
US 104m, B&W, Silent
Director: A. Edward Sutherland; Cast: W. C. Fields, Louise Brooks, Blanche Ring, William Gaxton, Mary Foy
It’s the Old Army Game begins as a day in the life of Elmer Prettywillie, the owner of a drug store in Florida, whose customers seem to be more bother than they are worth. Elmer’s fortunes seem to take a turn for the better when a realtor asks if he can use the store to sell New York real estate. Essentially remade into It’s a Gift (1934), this original silent version of one of his most popular films, contains many of the critical elements of Fields’ later work. It also includes an unnecessary romantic subplot featuring a radiant Louise Brooks as his pretty young clerk, who, like Garbo, draws our attention in every scene in which she appears (Klaus Ming January 2015).