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More W.C. Fields Films


eric21mar

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On the rare occaisions TCM shows W.C. Fields, it's either "The Bank Dick" or "My Little Chickadee". Don't get me wrong, those are fine films, but there are some real gems that he made at Paramount in the '30s. My personal favorites are "International House" (which had a great ensemble cast including Burns& Allen, Bela Lugosi, and Cab Calloway(!) among others), "It's a Gift", "Tillie and Gus", and "If I had A Million" (another ensemble piece), There are many others

I am a child of the ' 60s and originally saw these films in badly edited, commercial-filled versions on local TV late at night and they were hilarious. By today's standards, they were very un-P.C., but never (or rarely) maliciously so. Perhaps this is why they are not being shown. In any event, I'd like to see these classics again at some point. I've been watching TCM since 1996 (except for a two year period when I was hospitalized) and I have yet to see a Fields marathon or birthday tribute. How 'bout it? Is anybody with me?

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I believe that the rights to the majority of Mr. Fields' movies belong to Universal. David Copperfield would be an exception, as it was made by MGM. And of course, many wouldn't consider it a "W.C. Fields movie", though he was in it. If they belong to Universal, I imagine TCM would have to lease each film from them...

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Don't despair! A few years back TCM did show a whole bunch of Fields' films--IT'S A GIFT, INTERNATIONAL HOUSE, DAVID COPPERFIELD...plus some others I can't remember without digging out the video tape I made. It was a glorious month of laughter.

 

Request them...perhaps they can obtain the rights to showcase these films, like the did before.

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> {quote:title=Scottman wrote:}{quote}

> As much as I love Fields' films, I don't know how easy it will be to get TCM to show them, as his Paramount films are owned by Universal. I don't know if they have any agreement to show any of Universal's stuff. I hope that they are able to do so soon. There is lots of other Paramount/Universal pre-codes that I would love to see.

 

Since they've shown some Carole Lombard Paramount (and Universal) films this month, I wouldn't say it's impossible. The problem is that darn near everything Fields did was at those two studios which means that it's up to Universal. I want to see Million Dollar Legs, Tillie and Gus, Mississippi, and If I Had A Million. Mostly because they're not out on DVD (at least in America). As for another Fields set, I don't see any news of one coming out anytime soon, and all the titles I've mentioned above have been out in Region 2 for over a year in a big Fields box set which includes ALL his Paramount/Universal movies. That may give you an idea of what I think of Universal, a torrent of abuse I can't post here. I'd like someone somewhere to defend Universal's handling of their library. And "It could be worse" doesn't count as a defense.

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