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The Bank Dick (The Criterion Collection) (1940)

W.C. Fields , Cora Witherspoon , Edward F. Cline  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

Price: $68.90 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: W.C. Fields, Cora Witherspoon, Una Merkel, Evelyn Del Rio, Jessie Ralph
  • Directors: Edward F. Cline
  • Format: Black & White, NTSC, Full Screen, Dolby
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: August 22, 2000
  • Run Time: 72 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004TX1R
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #232,764 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Bank Dick (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

W.C. Fields stars as an unemployed, henpecked drunk who spends most of his time at the Black Pussy Cat café. Things take a turn for the absurd when he unwittingly captures a bank robber and lands a job as a security guard. Written by Fields under the pseudonym Mahatma Kane Jeeves and featuring one of his most hilarious performances, The Bank Dick is an undisputed classic of American comedy. Criterion is proud to present Fields' last major film in a new digital transfer, with English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars FIELDS OF NIGHTMARES September 16, 2000
The world of W.C. FIELDS is a very peculiar one ; it is filled with clouds of smoke and empty bottles, with terrible children deserving to be lashed to blood and with nightmarish wives and mother-in-laws. Always ready to help his fellow companions, our poor hero must also cope with heartless bankers and dishonest crooks (yes, they exist ! ).
If you are a movie lover, this particular world deserves a royal place on your library's shelves, W.C. FIELDS playing, in my opinion, in the same league than Buster Keaton, Charles S. Chaplin, the Marx Brothers or Jerry Lewis. The League of the Champions of the Absurdness.
Nevertheless, the price of this Criterion release, without bonus features, except for english subtitles, could discourage the average amateur. THE BANK DICK lasts only 74 minutes but offers two or three scenes worthy to appear in an anthology of the best comic scenes ever filmed. I specially loved the car chase, involving three cars, a motorcycle and a W.C. FIELDS destructing his car while driving at 70 miles per hour. But dialogs are also extremely funny, completing the pleasure that you are certainly going to have with one of the Masters of comic movies.
A DVD dedicated to mother-in-laws.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NO synch problems on Criterion DVD September 9, 2000
By A Customer
First of all, this is one of the funniest movies ever made. There is not one scene that isn't hillarious. As for one reviewer's comment that the sound and picture are out of synch, this is almost certainly a problem with the player's DSP chip (see Sound & Vision magazine's article on this; Sony knows all about it).
The Bank Dick stands tall, even amongst Fields' other brilliant movies, You're Telling Me and the sensational Its A Gift. Our hero, Egbert Souse (pronounced "Sue-Say") has a Married With Children existence--until he accidentally foils a bank robbery.
The Bank Dick has my all time favorite Fields line: J. Frothingham Waterbury, a stock swindler, says "I want to show you I'm honest in the worst way!".
Fields also paints a less than flattering picture of miserly bankers, the rich, and people who only treat you well when you have money. What makes this so funny, of course, is, its mostly true!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential W.C. Fields DVD April 18, 2003
By A Customer
The Bank Dick is pure Fields and the best of his feature films (with My Little Chickadee a close second). The comedy is timeless; most of the jokes, although written 60 years ago , are relevant today. Supporting cast is brilliant. A must have for all classic comedy fans.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Criterion and Fields... A Match Made in Heaven January 12, 2002
Take a classic comedy and combine it with a company dedicated to bringing you the best quality products on the market and what you get is a DVD that is worth the money! If you want to really enjoy WC Fields in one of his last truly great films, get this version! The print is pristine and the sound is cleaner and clearer than I have ever heard it. It's a lot of money, but worth it for such a good movie.
This is not a review the movie itself in detail here. Most people know this classic, and a lot of people have done that already. This is for the DVD. I am dissapointed they couldn't of done a commentary track, but I will forgive them since it is such a nice print of the movie.
The Criterion edition is for movie lovers and lovers of WC Fields. I hate wasting money or spending extra when not needed, but this is worth it. It's quality.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
I've seen "The Bank Dick" so many times, it's a little hard to review it. It's been on TV for decades and was probably one of the first movies I ever saw. I think I like it so much because it, as well as its star, W.C. Fields, is quite atypical of the Hollywood of the time [1940]. Indeed, the very fact that Fields became a star who commanded a fortune is a happy anomaly in movie history. He had a bulbous nose, he was overweight, and he is reputed to have been drunk much of the time, both on the set and off. He didn't like children or dogs. He drove the Hayes office, the self-censorship arm of the industry at the time, mad with his double entendres and with his characters who lied, cheated stole, and, worst of all, almost never paid for their sins. There are several reasons he was so successful, I think. The primary one is that he was relentlessly funny. Another is that he was always honest because, in his poking fun at everyone, he never forgot to include himself. Finally, he appealed then, as he still does today, to those who love to see hypocrisy satirized.
Like all Fields movies, "The Bank Dick" barely has a plot at all. It simply careens from one improbably situation to the next. Fields is Egbert Souse of Lompoc, CA. He lives with his wife, mother-in-law and two daughters. They constantly henpeck and ridicule him. One day a movie company comes to town, and somehow Souse finds himself hired as the picture's director. This leads to his apprehending a bank robber, which, in turn, leads to his getting a job as a guard at the bank. Then, there is the character who comes along selling stock in a failed mine. One of the hapless buyers is souse's future son-in-law, who `borrows' the money from the bank for a few days, only to have a bank auditor show up moments later. You call this a plot?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Fields you can get June 25, 2002
I've always been a big fan of W.C. Fields and I've always been disappointed in the quality (and quantity) of his work that is available. With the 6 short films, Criterion is doing a great job of preserving W.C. Fields for future generations.
I wouldn't argue that some of his other films (such as "Never give a sucker...") are better than "The Bank Dick", but they're not available on DVD (let alone after being restored as this film has been).
I won't rehash the plot, except to say that the notion of a petty criminal always keeping one step ahead from being found out is continually repeated and nobody did it better than Fields. A big part of the enjoyment of watching Field's movies is to find out how he lands on his feet. Field's survives in his world like a cat; with grace and only barely acknowledging what has been going on around him.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars What can I say except this is my favorite Fields movie
What can I say except this is my favorite Fields movie. Grady Sutton who is in many
Fields movies is really good in this one. I especially like the ending, Great Movie.
Published 18 hours ago by John Sommers
3.0 out of 5 stars Iconic W. C. Fields film
I believe the funniest thing about this movie is that is was not as funny as I remember it. This is W. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Dr.L.
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Cinema
"The Bank Dick" (1940) remains among the all-time great comedies. W.C. Fields calls the shots as the immortal Egbert Sousé while pulling a fast one on the Hays Office. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Scott T. Rivers
5.0 out of 5 stars One of a Kind
I once met a man who didn't like W. C. Fields. He said he didn't think Fields was funny. Well, what did I learn from this--I learned to stay away from that man. Read more
Published on August 16, 2011 by A. Gaster
2.0 out of 5 stars Unfunny and overrated
The Bottom Line:

I walked into The Bank Dick knowing little about W.C. Fields and walked out very unimpressed by his style of comedy: the film wanders freely from one... Read more
Published on September 14, 2009 by One-Line Film Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Beer running over your Grandmother's paisley shawl
Field's diehard fans debate whether this film or It's A Gift was his greatest. I prefer It's A Gift, but I still love this film very much. Read more
Published on December 26, 2008 by Richard M. Rollo
5.0 out of 5 stars He was one of a kind, and this is one of his best. Lots of laughs
If you enjoy comedy films from this era, you need to see this one. Fields is at his best, screwing things up and trying to get them un-screwed up. Read more
Published on July 30, 2008 by Bookenator
5.0 out of 5 stars The Bank Dick
Though his work is not to every taste, I view Fields as a comic genius right alongside Chaplin and The Marx Brothers. Read more
Published on June 25, 2007 by John Farr
5.0 out of 5 stars Is that thing loaded???
Sure, its one of The Great Man's best movies, but wher are the Paramount classics, Man On The Flying Trapeze and The Old Fashioned Way?? Read more
Published on December 25, 2006 by Mr Muckle
4.0 out of 5 stars "I offer you a heart handclasp!"
The Bank Dick is the story of a drunken man who finds himself appointed to be the security guard of the bank after a robbery falsely paints him as a hero. Read more
Published on November 11, 2005 by Samantha Glasser
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