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60 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars YES YES YES!!!! Finally!
It's been a long wait for the second installment in the Field's collections but FINALLY we have another, the choices are superb,excellent and I'm like a kid in a candy shop just waiting for the release!

Man On The Flying Trapeze, Old Fashioned Way and Poppy have never been officially released in any format before so this is just GREAT! All of these movies are...
Published on December 22, 2006 by Greg Horn

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Incomparable W.C. Fields!
W.C. Fields was an American original performer in many fields including juggling, comedy, acting, and writing. This second volume of his film collection is all black and white and treasures to be behold.

If love him, you'll love this collection of his five latter films with "Never Give A Sucker An Even Break" as his last film appearance and a Canadian...
Published on January 2, 2012 by Sylviastel


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60 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars YES YES YES!!!! Finally!, December 22, 2006
By 
Greg Horn "guildx700" (waterford, wisconsin USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: W.C. Fields Comedy Collection, Vol. 2 (The Man on the Flying Trapeze / Never Give A Sucker An Even Break / You're Telling Me! / The Old Fashioned Way / Poppy) (DVD)
It's been a long wait for the second installment in the Field's collections but FINALLY we have another, the choices are superb,excellent and I'm like a kid in a candy shop just waiting for the release!

Man On The Flying Trapeze, Old Fashioned Way and Poppy have never been officially released in any format before so this is just GREAT! All of these movies are superb, this is a MUST BUY for anyone with an interest in old classics (as was the first Field's collection). Some folks questioned the contents of the first collection. I personally liked the choices and now this second collection starts to fill things out very nicely.

Now comes the problem...we absolutely need a third collection, chances are if it happens it would be the last, so how to fill that out? PLEASE don't repeat what's available already, 6 Of a Kind, The Big Broadcast of 1938 and David Copperfield ARE avalable on DVD.

What we desperately need is Mississippi, Tillie And Gus, Her Majesty Love, Million Dollar Legs. I also think Tales Of Manhattan should be included as the VHS is now out of print and Fields part in there is superb. Also, If I Had a Million would be nice.

What else besides those becomes problematic. perhaps a 4th collection of silents, The Old Army Game, Sally Of The Sawdust(uncut)& Running Wild.

Then there's the remaining bit parts movies, I don't think we'll see these in a Fields collection so you hardcore fans will have to watch and see if they come out alone. Alice In Wonderland(1933)(never released), Song Of The Open Road(never released), Sensations Of 1945(available on VHS), Follow The Boys(available on VHS).

Strong sales of this may help a 3rd collection to happen, so buy 1 for yourself, and a few as gifts!
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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There is joy in Mudville! More of The Great Man, W.C.Fields, is coming!, January 4, 2007
By 
Henry Gross (www.henrygross.com) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: W.C. Fields Comedy Collection, Vol. 2 (The Man on the Flying Trapeze / Never Give A Sucker An Even Break / You're Telling Me! / The Old Fashioned Way / Poppy) (DVD)
It's about time these films are available on DVD. They are long overdue!

"The Old Fashioned Way" is as good a picture of the bygone days of Vaudeville as exists anywhere, to say nothing of being the only available footage of the great man's cigar box juggling routine. "Poppy" is a comedy milestone with Fields portraying Larson E. Whipsnade, the quintessential carny. The ping pong scene is timeless! "Never Give a Sucker An Even break" is packed with laughs and a great example of how Field's mind went beyond the ordinary bounds of comedies of his era to open the door for later films like "Being John Malkovitch". "You're telling me" has many memorable scenes bringing us to the main event: "Man On The Flying Trapeze". This is quite frankly the most underrated film of his career. I'll never forget The synopsized New York Times review of this film that appeared in the TV pages when I was a kid: "A man besieged and a man to remember!" The older I get the more I relate to Ambrose Woolfinger! The parking ticket scene is the definition of perfect. It still brings tears to my eyes. When he takes a swing at his mother in law, Mrs. Nestlerode, it's not for the faint of heart. A person could literally die laughing! As fate would have it, I happened to watch that film tonight, before I made my weekly check of websites to see if any more Fields was on the way and Lo and Behold I learned that March 20th 2007 is to be a day of celebration.

For far too long, much of Field's greatest work has been conspicuous in it's absence from the marketplace. It's nice to know more of these gems are finally on the way! Now, if we live long enough, we may yet see "Missisippi", "Tillie and Gus", "If I had a Million", "Million Dollar legs", The Old Army Game and "Six Of a Kind" (Though available on Burns & Allen Collections) & "The Big Broadcast of 1938" (Bob Hope Collection) as well as Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch", "Sensations" & other missing Fields films, available on future DVD collections as well.

Saving the world will take more than reversing global warming. It will take reversing mediocrity In art as well as politics! A good start is making available entertainment where wit, physical dexterity and clever use of language rules, as opposed to the overhyped tripe Hollywood routinely serves up to a mass audience it perceives, perhaps correctly, (Though I choose not to believe it), as being thick, uneducated and disinterested in anything filmed in glorious Black and White!

I say: "A thing worth having is worth waiting for! Hope springs eternal! Build it and they will come!"
These films are national treasures. Watch often, laugh hard and live longer!

Sincerely, Henry Gross
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Great Man Returns..., December 11, 2006
By 
D. James (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: W.C. Fields Comedy Collection, Vol. 2 (The Man on the Flying Trapeze / Never Give A Sucker An Even Break / You're Telling Me! / The Old Fashioned Way / Poppy) (DVD)
The Great Man is back with Volume Two of the fantastic W.C. Fields Comedy Collection. Titles included are:

THE MAN ON THE FLYING TRAPEZE (1935) -

Ambrose Wolfinger wants the afternoon off (his first in twenty-five years) to go to a wrestling match. He tells his boss that he must attend his mother-in-law's funeral. The afternoon is no joy. He tries to please a policeman, assist a chauffeur, chase a tire, and ends up getting hit by the body of a wrestler thrown from the ring. A series of mishaps leads his boss to send floral tributes to the house and notify the papers of the death (due to poisoned liquor). His shrewish wife, judgmental mother-in-law, and good-for-nothing brother-in-law add to his burdens. In the end he enjoys their fawning loyalty, a raise in pay, and his first vacation.

NEVER GIVE A SUCKER AN EVEN BREAK (1941) -

Fields wants to sell a film story to Esoteric Studios. On the way he gets insulted by little boys, beat up for ogling a woman, and abused by a waitress. He becomes his niece's guardian when her mother is killed in a trapeze fall during the making of a circus movie. He and his niece, who he finds at a shooting gallery, fly to Mexico to sell wooden nutmegs in a Russian colony. Trying to catch his bottle as it falls from the plane, he lands on a mountain peak where lives the man- eating Mrs. Hemogloben. When he gets to the Russian colony he finds Leon Errol (father of the insulting boys and owner of the shooting gallery) already selling wooden nutmegs. He decides to woo the wealthy Mrs. Hemogloben but when he gets there Errol has preceded him. The Mexican adventure is the story that Esoteric Studios would not buy.

YOU'RE TELLING ME (1934) -

Sam Bisbee is an inventor whose works (e.g., a keyhole finder for drunks) have brought him only poverty. His daughter is in love with the son of the town snob. Events conspire to ruin his bullet-proof tire just as success seems near. Another of his inventions prohibits him from committing suicide, so Sam decides to go on living..

THE OLD FASHIONED WAY (1934) -

The Great McGonigle's traveling theatrical troupe are staying at a boarding house. They are preparing to put on a production of "The Drunkard" (and do so during this movie). Cleopatra Pepperday puts up money for the show provided she can have a part ("Here comes the prince!"). Little Albert Wendelschaffer torments McGonigle all through lunch ("How can you hurt a watch by dipping it in molasses?"). In spite of being pursued by several sheriffs, McGonigle is able to keep going and see his daughter Betty happily married.

POPPY (1936) -

Poppy, daughter of carnival medicine salesman Professor McGargle, falls in love with the Mayor's son. Countess Maggie Tubbs DePuizzi is claimant to the Putnam estates, but McGargle and lawyer Wiffen plot to make Poppy claim the fortune. Wiffen and the Countess double-cross the Professor, but kindly Sarah Tucker notices a resemble between Poppy and the deceased Mrs. Putnam. It turns out that McGargle adopted the girl, she is the rightful heir, the purported Countess is only a showgirl, and every one has a happy ending.

This set is shaping up to be every bit as fine as first one released in 2004. Not expecting it to be heavily laden with extras, this is Universal we're dealing with. Likely to be superb prints but even Volume One only had trailers and a documentary.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yahoo!!!, February 14, 2007
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This review is from: W.C. Fields Comedy Collection, Vol. 2 (The Man on the Flying Trapeze / Never Give A Sucker An Even Break / You're Telling Me! / The Old Fashioned Way / Poppy) (DVD)
I was delighted to find this today on my Recommended list, as I had not heard anything about it. I was so excited when volume 1 was announced, primarily because there hadn't been a decent dvd copy of "It's a Gift", but also because I was hoping beyond hope that there would some day be a volume 2 that included TMOTFTrapeze, and The Old Fashioned Way. Trapeze, especially, is on my must see list, and almost instantly alienates me from the uninitiated of my generation. It usually takes some cajoling, but when I finally get friends to take time out to drink in a Field's picture, they usually get turned in the right direction permanently.

The scene where Fields trips, crashes through the door and down the cellar stairs, shoots himself in the posterior, pulls from under him a piece of wood with a ridiculously long nail in it, and utters "Drat", is usually enough to get the job done for good. Just thinking about it, I am having a difficult time restraining my laughter as I type.

The movie was never one of his most popular, but it is riddled with small and incredibly funny gags. His constant "brushing his teeth", the dialog with his shrew of a wife (hideously played by Kathleen Howard, in a role that she more or less reprised a few times with Fields) regarding a late night wrong number, Fields's comment on hearing burglars singing in his cellar ("Oh, what rotten voices"), his subsequent joining in with the singing burglars (one of them played by a very young Walter Brennan), and his following appearance in court are incredibly well crafted. I think that this flick may be the best example of the Fields wit, but you have to pay close attention to the movie to really pick up on it. His expressions and under-the-breath comments are truly one-of-a-kind, and turn him into more than just a cliche.

"The Old Fashioned Way" is another great example of a Fields vehicle that never quite got the attention it deserved. Probably most famous for a kick that the Great Man delivers to Baby LeRoy, it is also filled with great little scenes that show off W.C.'s versatility. The play, his juggling, his throw away lines all make this a very entertaining entry. Keep an eye open for a truly great supporting role by Jan Duggan as "Cleopatra Pepperday".

Never Give a Sucker an Even Break and You're Telling Me are both amusing,
but were never at the very top of my Fields list (although the scene in YTM where he shoots the tires on the police car is pretty darned funny).

Poppy is one that, I have a hard time believing myself, I've never seen. I've read some pretty good things about it, so I'm looking forward to the viewing.

All in all, I am much, much happier this afternoon than I was this morning, thanks to finding this announcement!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five comedy masterpieces by a true genius, April 13, 2007
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This review is from: W.C. Fields Comedy Collection, Vol. 2 (The Man on the Flying Trapeze / Never Give A Sucker An Even Break / You're Telling Me! / The Old Fashioned Way / Poppy) (DVD)
W.C. FIELDS COMEDY COLLECTION: VOLUME 2 is a DVD boxed set that should be an ideal introduction to younger audiences who do not know his work, and should delight his millions of avid fans around the world. An hour-length Canadian TV documentary exploring with generous clips why he is so funny and immortal is a most welcome bonus. It is "hiding" on disk five, not disk one. Five movies are on five disks on open-up cards in unusually high class packaging for Universal Home Video.

I love all five of these W.C.Fields movies, starting with YOU'RE TELLING ME! (1934). Henpecked husband and inventor Sam Bisbee has bad luck with inventions like a puncture-proof tire. On a train out of town, he is saved from suicide by a princess (Adrienne Ames in a lovely performance) who wants to be an ordinary person. So she inroduces herself to Sam as "Marie" and becomes his friend. Watch the reaction when Marie wants to meet Sam's family and town who hate him. And watch a hysterically funny golf game; it takes ten minutes with fussing around and a pesky caddy (Tammany Young) to leave the first hole. This is a 67 minute masterpiece.

THE OLD-FASHIONED WAY (1934) has Fields as The Great McGonigle, leader of a vaudeville troupe back in 1880's small town America. Much of the action takes place in a boarding house with unpaid bills (and includes memorable work by Baby LeRoy), and The Great McGonigle gets to swindle a lot of unsuspecting people at a carnival setting. Great fun.

These are short films, about 70 minutes each; I was double-billing them. MAN ON THE FLYING TRAPEZE(1935) is a 65 minute comedy masterpiece with Fields as henpecked (as always) Ambrose Wolfinger, a hardworking businessman. Poor W.C. lies about the death of a loathsome mother-in-law so that he can have a rare afternoon off to go to a big wrestling match. Before the day is over, he may wish said mother-in-law really WAS dead when the house is filled with condolence flowers. This is the movie where Ambrose manages to get FOUR traffic tickets simultaneously; you have to see it to believe it.

POPPY (1936) is a sweet and funny sound remake of a W.C. Fields silent gem called SALLY OF THE SAWDUST (1925). I like POPPY a bit more because Fields' Professor Eustace McGargle is nicer, and Rochelle Hudson is wonderful in a starring role as his daughter Poppy. McGargle is an epic con man and master card shark who wants to have Poppy marry a millionaire and be happy. There is a skillful dose of poignancy mixed in with humor here. It is a lovely and funny movie.

Finally, we have the incomparable NEVER GIVE A SUCKER AN EVEN BREAK (1941), with Fields playing himself and pretty ingenue actress Gloria Jean as herself and his niece. Fields has a looney screenplay he wants Franklin Pangborn (also playing himself) of Esoteric Studios to buy. As Pangborn reads the script in his office with Fields, we see the deranged comedy script dramatized--on an airplane with Gloria Jean, Fields jumps out a window to retrieve a whiskey bottle. He lands at a mountaintop estate of Margaret Dumont, a virgin daughter who wants to play "post office", and a pet gorilla. One look at Dumont sends Fields diving off a terrace and descending 2,000 feet in a basket. But Leon Errol, a Russian addicted to goat's milk, has stories of Dumont being a millionairess. So, to make Gloria Jean happy and wealthy, Fields decides to woo Dumont. The climax is one of the American sound cinema's greatest car chases. This surrealistic comedy is a neglected masterpiece that has improved with age.

If you love W.C. Fields, this second boxed set is better than the first, with true Fields movies and really good ones in crystal-clear knockout studio prints. If you are not familiar with his anti-social and henpecked con man persona, W.C. FIELDS COMEDY COLLECTION: VOLUME TWO is one you should add to your collection to get acquainted with the comedy master. Now if only we can have a Volume Three with some Fields silent films and the incomparable TILLIE AND GUS (1933). And more bonus material.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An effulgent agglomeration of facetiousness, December 20, 2007
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This review is from: W.C. Fields Comedy Collection, Vol. 2 (The Man on the Flying Trapeze / Never Give A Sucker An Even Break / You're Telling Me! / The Old Fashioned Way / Poppy) (DVD)
Ah yes.

My friends, It behooves me in the auspices of this regarded medium, to present for your consideration and edification, this treasured assemblage of veritable comedic virtuosity. The Great Man's unprecedented mythological persona and peerless powers of euphonious linguistics, flawless timing, sociological impossibilities, and acts of astonishing physical coordination, are magnificently ensconced in this sophomore offering of cinematic masterpieces.

Here we see the Great man's true essence in all its complexity and grandeur. What a cornucopia of idiosyncratic responses to the harsh realities of American life and the unfathomable moral paradoxes that inevitably arise. Witness, by way of example, "The Old Fashioned Way" wherein Mr. Fields, in the guise of the Great McGonigle, blusters his way through the plot with his usual braggadocio of larcenous chicanery. And in the end, in an incongruous act of unheralded clemency sacrifices his own contentment and felicity to insure the beatitude and plenteous prosperity of his daughter.

This is but a single citation from the convocation at hand, congregated and arrayed with all the gaudy trappings of pageantry.

My friends, methinks there is nary a single purchase you will make to grace your doubtless already palatial DVD collection more astutely and with more grandiosity than this resplendent aggregate. Witness my sincere injunction! I beseech you! Buy! Buy! My unborn children implore you, buy!

Ah yes. Yes indeed.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fields of dreams....., February 8, 2007
By 
Amazon Customer (Redondo Beach, CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: W.C. Fields Comedy Collection, Vol. 2 (The Man on the Flying Trapeze / Never Give A Sucker An Even Break / You're Telling Me! / The Old Fashioned Way / Poppy) (DVD)
I'd written a review of the first volume of Fields films and the gist was that MCA had packaged a good deal of previously released product. Now MCA has finally come clean. At last here are the true classics of the Great Man's film career. Eternal thanks for the Paramount selections....and Never Give a Sucker An Even Break ain't bad, either.

"It's a funny old world. A man's lucky to get out of it alive."
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "The Old Fashioned Way": Fields At His Finest, March 27, 2007
This review is from: W.C. Fields Comedy Collection, Vol. 2 (The Man on the Flying Trapeze / Never Give A Sucker An Even Break / You're Telling Me! / The Old Fashioned Way / Poppy) (DVD)
I am delighted that Universal has begun to get off its big, lazy corporate tush and FINALLY release some of the vintage Paramount features they've held hostage for so long.

Though all of the five Fields features showcased in this set are good 'uns, "The Old Fashioned Way," from 1934, is a godsend. Not only is this Fields' most heartfelt filmic effort, but this film has NEVER been commercially available on home video until now.

The print is in fine shape, complete with the original NRA logo preceding the Paramount logo. What a joy this film is! This is Fields at his most accessible AND most challenging. He draws out certain scenes to the point that they're guaranteed to tax someone's patience. But a certain brilliance occurs, as in the films of Jacques Tati, as a result of this protraction. Brilliant comic set-pieces permeate this film.

The finale contains an extended demonstration of Fields' juggling and sleight-of-hand. It is spellbinding. I'm amazed at how Fields works humor into these feats of co-ordination and eye/hand contact.

And then there's the extremely melancholy ending...I don't wish to spoil it for anyone who's not seen this remarkable movie.

It's nice to have the also-unreleased-on-video "Man On The Flying Trapeze" on DVD, plus the digital debuts of "Poppy," the terrific "You're Telling Me!" and Fields' swansong, the baroquely absurd "Never Give A Sucker An Even Break."

My only complaint: this should have been a two-disc set. These are short films. Three of them could have fit on one DVD, and two, plus the "vintage documentary," which I've not yet seen, could cozily sit on the other. It's wasteful to put a 70 minute film all by itself on a DVD.

This complaint goes for the prior volume. I think more people would buy these sets if they were less expensive. A $29.99 two-disc set would sell more copies than this overpriced, excessively-packaged five discer.

But the quality of the films can't be questioned. Aside from "It's A Gift" and "The Bank Dick," the first set is dross. The five films on this second set all have great merits. I can't stand "You Can't Cheat An Honest Man" and "My Little Chickadee," which pollute the first set. They are highly compromised by co-stars who antagonize Fields without complementing his comic wit. I find both films depressing, and a waste of Fields' gifts as a comedian and actor.

"International House," while a delightful '30s free-for-all, is not a Fields vehicle, per se. He's just one of an array of Paramount stars and vaudeville troupers who tromp through its paper-thin, absurd "plot."

This second volume, then, is an improvement over the first. I hope people won't be put off by the unnecessarily high price, and wasteful packaging. They will miss out on some of the most sublime moments of comedy in American films. W. C. Fields' humor is not for everyone. But for those who get it, it is, indeed, a gift, and one that keeps on giving, through the decades since its creation in the 1930s and '40s.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long live WC Fields memory and films!, February 22, 2007
This review is from: W.C. Fields Comedy Collection, Vol. 2 (The Man on the Flying Trapeze / Never Give A Sucker An Even Break / You're Telling Me! / The Old Fashioned Way / Poppy) (DVD)
So now we have vol 2 coming up. That's great! It still doesn't cover all of his films! What about "If I Had a Million"(1932),(never released on video!) or "Million Dollar Legs"(1932)?

I never understand the haphazard way in which classic films with big name stars are released/non-released. Who decides and how? Why would the current owners of these properties NOT release these films for DVD sale? If you owned a Garbo film, would you keep it in the can?! What good does it do there? At the current rate of release, we could see the majority of 1930's film production to be in full video release in about 15 years... Make sense to you? Not to me. This set consists of titles that should have been released YEARS ago on DVD.

There is no marketing plan in evidence for any classic film property. People love owning the rights to these films, but nobody seems to know how to peddle them to a new generation of viewers and consumers. Hence these films are primarily being bought by people who already know about them and purposely seek them out. Not a strategy for growth.

Buy this set. Vol 1 was good, and I'm sure vol 2 will be just as good. Those of us who love this stuff must support it with our dollars- otherwise the powers that be will be even more diffident about this material then they already are.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fields of Dreams!, February 22, 2008
This review is from: W.C. Fields Comedy Collection, Vol. 2 (The Man on the Flying Trapeze / Never Give A Sucker An Even Break / You're Telling Me! / The Old Fashioned Way / Poppy) (DVD)
If you love ol' W.C. this, and volume one, are must-haves! I guarantee you will laugh and marvel once again at the guy's genius, his delivery, timing, physical comedy, and daredevil political incorrectness. And if you want to turn your kids on to Fields, it's a sure shot- my son was laughing so hard we missed the next five lines of dialogue! Sure not every moment of every film is glowing. Unfortunately the studios seemed to have saddled W.C. with young starlets singing shmaltzy songs - but with the miracle of DVD you can just zip forward, or pick out the scenes that Fields is in from the menu. The films look and sound crisp, it's a great reissue, and most of these movies have been out of circulation for decades. So do yourself a favor and get a hold of these comedy treasures.
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