Rotten Tomatoes

Movies / TV

    Celebrity

      No Results Found

      View All
      Movies Tv shows Shop News Showtimes

      You Can't Cheat an Honest Man

      1939 1h 16m Comedy List
      Reviews 75% Audience Score 250+ Ratings Cheapskate circus owner Larson E. Whipsnade (W.C. Fields) has a habit of skipping out on his bills, with the result that he has an entire posse of sheriffs and bill collectors following him from town to town. When his beautiful daughter, Victoria (Constance Moore), visits her father's circus, she falls in love with ventriloquist "The Great Edgar" (Edgar Bergen), but her sense of duty to her father presses her to accept an engagement to stuffy rich boy Roger Bel-Goodie (James Bush). Read More Read Less

      Critics Reviews

      View All (2) Critics Reviews
      James Kendrick Q Network Film Desk The jokes are consistently effective, even as they veer wildly from slapstick to verbal wordplay Rated: 3/4 May 10, 2022 Full Review Fernando F. Croce CinePassion Not as undiluted as It's a Gift or The Bank Dick, but invaluable if only for Fields' flirtation with the resident ping-pong nympho Sep 25, 2009 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (18) audience reviews
      Josh G A whimsical comedy of error, it meanders from setup to setup and showcase talented performers but lacks a plot. It's funny but pointless. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 06/22/23 Full Review Audience Member This film is more of a vehicle for Edgar Bergen than Fields, and that's a problem because, despite their radio popularity, Bergen and his dummies are not funny in this film, at all. But W.C. Fields is in a class by himself, and although in the first part of the movie, the circus part, the laughs are intermittent, when Fields arrives at the tuxedoed wedding reception for his daughter, the hilarity never stops. A classic comedy scene if there ever was one. Not to be missed. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/04/23 Full Review dave s You Can't Cheat an Honest Man has some great bits from W.C. Fields, including the fantastic ping pong scene, but too often veers away from what Fields did best – humorous wordplay. The story is simplistic (Fields plays Larson E. Whipsnade, the owner of a circus who's trying to keep the business afloat while evading the law) and that's fine. Things tend to slide, however, with the introduction of ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his sidekick Charlie McCarthy, who provide nothing in the way of comedy, take screen time away from Fields, and serve as proof that ventriloquism has come a long way since 1939. The best way to watch this would be to fast-forward through the Bergen/McCarthy bits and enjoy a short film starring the great W.C. Fields. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Audience Member The best comedy movie ever made! Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/26/23 Full Review Audience Member Not many 80 year old comedies hold up as well as this one and few comedies ever are as rich with dialog. No comedian loved words more than Fields. Witness his use of the words perspicacity and cynosure in his jokes. Fields rambling incoherent songs or stories at the edge of the scene while other dialog is going on is comedy gold. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/03/23 Full Review john l Not his best, but among his better films. Teaming with Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy in a feature film was an excellent move. It takes some of the comedic burden off of Fields and provides a little more variety. The banter between Fields and McCarthy's irascible character is priceless. It gives a glimpse at why their running feud trading quips and insults on the Chase and Sanborn Hour radio program during the 1930's and 1940's was so popular. The two were a magnificent match for trading one-liners, and Bergen's comedic timing, like Fields', was superb. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      You Can't Cheat an Honest Man

      My Rating

      Read More Read Less POST RATING WRITE A REVIEW EDIT REVIEW

      Cast & Crew

      Movie Info

      Synopsis Cheapskate circus owner Larson E. Whipsnade (W.C. Fields) has a habit of skipping out on his bills, with the result that he has an entire posse of sheriffs and bill collectors following him from town to town. When his beautiful daughter, Victoria (Constance Moore), visits her father's circus, she falls in love with ventriloquist "The Great Edgar" (Edgar Bergen), but her sense of duty to her father presses her to accept an engagement to stuffy rich boy Roger Bel-Goodie (James Bush).
      Director
      George Marshall
      Producer
      Lester Cowan
      Screenwriter
      George Marion Jr., Richard Mack, Everett Freeman
      Production Co
      Universal/Universal Int, Universal Pictures
      Genre
      Comedy
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Jan 25, 2017
      Runtime
      1h 16m