I have an abiding fondness for a number of comedians from cinema’s infancy. Buster Keaton is a true daredevil and a genius, in my estimation. It never fails to make me laugh when Stan Laurel brings Oliver Hardy that bag of hard boiled eggs and nuts in the hospital. The Marx Brothers’ inspired anarchy is something I return to again and again. One man stands above them all, though, in my personal pantheon – W.C. Fields. To me, he is a titan, a curmudgeonly Colossus standing astride the harbor of comic film history. His It’s a Gift (1934), might be the most appropriately titled film that I know, as it has given me untold hours of pure delight over the years and that shows no signs of fading. Whenever I need a laugh, I know I can count on The Great Man.
What you’ll find in this episode: Carl LaFong, jugglers, hucksters, dreamers and Ericca laughs a whole bunch. Enjoy!
Links and Recommendations:
Check out It’s a Gift on IMDB.
Ericca’s further viewing pick of The Grapes of Wrath.
Cole’s further viewing pick of David Copperfield.
A brilliant example of Fields’ juggling from The Old Fashioned Way (with Baby Leroy and Tammany Young!).
A brief introduction to Yasujiro Ozu and his films available through The Criterion Collection.