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W.C. Fields and Me (1976)

W.C. Fields is an American original, the curmudgeonly master of wit and good, mean fun.

Director:

Arthur Hiller

Writers:

Bob Merrill, Carlotta Monti (novel) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Rod Steiger ... W.C. Fields
Valerie Perrine ... Carlotta Monti
John Marley ... Studio Head Bannerman
Jack Cassidy ... John Barrymore
Bernadette Peters ... Melody
Dana Elcar ... Agent Dockstedter
Paul Stewart ... Florenz Ziegfeld
Billy Barty ... Ludwig
Allan Arbus ... Gregory LaCava
Milt Kamen Milt Kamen ... Dave Chasen
Louis Zorich ... Gene Fowler
Andrew Parks ... Claude Fields
Linda Purl ... Ingenue
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Storyline

W.C. Fields is an American original, the curmudgeonly master of wit and good, mean fun.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Even a man who hates children and dogs has to love someone. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

September 1976 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Frenesi de Glória See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When gossip columnist Rex Reed visited the set, he found leading lady Valerie Perrine morose in her trailer. "'Lenny' was a fun set. This one isn't. I wish I was back working again with Bobby (Fosse) and Dusty (Hoffman)." See more »

Goofs

The siren of the ambulance transporting W.C. Fields to the hospital is a modern electronic version, not the air driven type that would have been in use in the forties when he last lived. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Rocks the Movies: The 1970s (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the two panned-and-banished 1976 Universal star bios..worth another look.
18 November 2000 | by fs3See all my reviews

In 1976, Universal spent significant money to bring two golden-age Hollywood biopics to the screen: Gable and Lombard and W.C. Fields and Me. Both were panned, gave little return on the money spent, and have been relegated to rarely seen, not-on-video status. I haven't seen Gable since the year of its release, but caught up with W.C. on cable awhile back. It's imperfect, but certainly interesting, well-acted and worth another look. (I'd like to see Gable again, too, to see if it's worse or better than I remember.)

Steiger gives a good interpretation of Fields, though unable to channel the unique comic gifts that he possessed. It was always good to see Perrine onscreen in her too-few roles, and Jack Cassidy was effective in one of his last roles prior to his untimely death. The design and technical work result in a great look, unfortunately panned and scanned in the TV version that is seen today (when it's seen at all.)

Interestingly, the Fields portrayal can be traced back to the memorable serial killer Steiger portrayed in 1968's No Way To Treat A Lady, adapting several disguises and voices, one of which evoked Fields. Universal has been pretty good about releasing older films of theirs to DVD at a good price; how about a couple of widescreen editions of these flawed but interesting biopics?


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