You're Telling Me (Erle C. Kenton, 1934, USA)

You're Telling Me! is a 1934 comedy starring W.C. Fields and directed by Erle C. Kenton. The film is a remake of Fields' earlier silent film So's Your Old Man (1926), which in turn was adapted from Julian Leonard Street's story Mr. Bisbee's Princess. Erle C. Kenton was a prolific director, particularly in the horror genre, directing the classic Island of Lost Souls, as well as many installments of Universal's Dracula and Frankenstein franchises in the 1940s. 

The film tells the story of Fields as Sam Bisbee, a ne'er-do-well and henpecked husband who is also an inventor. He loves booze as well, as with most Fields characters. His main goal is to create a bulletproof tire. In one of the film's funniest scenes, he demonstrates the bulletproof tires by shooting them on a police car. This creates a problem, and Bisbee has to escape. Contemplating suicide, he meets a young princess played by Adrienne Aimes. She is in a similar situation as him, and he ends up talking her out of her depression as well as himself. It is interesting to see the normally humorous Fields take a serious turn in this film. 

There are a number of funny gags, such as when the princess tells Bisbee to get a bird to make amends with his wife. He ends up buying her an ostrich, and the image of Fields being pulled around by a giant bird is quite funny. Additionally, the film's most famous scene is probably the extended golf sequences, which was in fact adapted from a routine Fields had performed in an earlier film. There is a romantic subplot involving Bisbee's daughter wanting to get married to the son of a wealthy townsperson. Overall, You're Telling Me is enjoyable, although it seems to be largely forgotten in comparison to many other Fields films.



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