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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:

On screen he played a child-hating, dog-kicking, acid-tongued old swindler, it was no act. 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

Part of a cycle of movies made during the mid-to-late 1970s about Tinseltown, Old Hollywood and its Golden Age including the Silent Film era. The pictures include Fedora (1978), Inserts (1975), Valentino (1977), Nickelodeon (1976), Silent Movie (1976), The Wild Party (1975), The Last Tycoon (1976), Hearts of the West (1975), The Day of the Locust (1975), The World's Greatest Lover (1977), Gable and Lombard (1976), Goodbye, Norma Jean (1976), Bud and Lou (1978), and W.C. Fields and Me (1976). Bogie (1980) and Mommie Dearest (1981) would soon follow as well. 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

 
Steiger and Hiller give W.C. an even break...
25 April 2009 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

Carlotta Monti, a would-be Hollywood hopeful in the 1930s, met rascally, alcoholic, volatile comedy actor W.C. Fields at a movie wrap-party and was later invited out to his spread, supposedly to talk about a part in his next picture; there wasn't one, but she spent the next fourteen years with him anyway, playing his loving--though seemingly platonic--mistress who also acted as Fields' personal stenographer, script girl, cook, maid, and mother-figure-cum-warden. Based on Monti's memoir, and with her advisory assistance, this biography of Fields seems pretty truthful and not a white-washed kiss-up job. Director Arthur Hiller and star Rod Steiger do not shy away from showing W.C. as an occasional heel, a heartless, self-confessed son-of-a-bitch. Yet, the movie's best moments are the quieter ones (Fields' brotherly relationship with a little person, his reunion with the son he hadn't seen in twenty years, his reaction after Carlotta discovers how lonely he is). Steiger, whose make-up job causes him to resemble a portly Van Johnson rather than Fields, is a bit shrill in places, and he gets off to a bad start; however, Steiger eases into the role with obvious relish, and his eagerness to showcase this incredible personality definitely comes through (his final scene in bed is a heartbreaker). Valerie Perrine as Carlotta is also too shrill (which can be blamed on Hiller's handling), but she matches up well with Steiger and doesn't take too much guff off him. The sequences set in and around the movie studio never quite achieve the magic we hope they'll reach (they're squashy and limp, due--partially at least--to David M. Walsh's terrible cinematography). However, the central relationship is nicely carried off, aided by a lovely Henry Mancini score and good character actors in support. A forgotten film--yet another sitting on the shelf down at Universal--but worth seeking out, especially to see Steiger's work. **1/2 from ****


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