A true classic with W.C.Fields as Egbert Souse (pronounced: “Soo-Zay’). Look for Shemp Howard as bartender Joe Guelpe. Future “Racket Squad” host Reed Hadley appears as Francois. Una Merkel is Myrtle Souse. Cora Witherspoon is Agatha Souse. Character actor Franklin Pangborn appear as J.Pinkerton Snoopington and Grady Sutton is Og Oggilby. The script is by Fields using the name Mahatma Kane Jeeves.
Souse doesn’t have a real job. He supports his wife and daughters by entering puzzle contests. He spends most of his time at The Black Pussy Cat Saloon owned by bartender Joe Guelpe (Shemp Howard). He meets movie producer Mackley Q. Greene at the bar and tells him he used to direct all the great ones. Greene’s director is drunk as usual and Souse gets the job.
On the set some try and sober the real director up while Souse takes over. He meets the star Francoise (Reed Hadley) and the female lead. He uses a script he’s had hidden away which is some kind of football picture.
While he’s on the set two robbers are holding up the bank. They pull a gun on teller Og Ogilby (Grady Sutton) He’s also the fiance of Souse’s daughter Myrtle (Una Merkel). The two escape as Souse is just walking by. That leads to him accidentally capturing one of the men, Loudmouth McNasty. (The credits have the character listed as Filthy McNasty).
Souse is a hero. Bank president Mr.Skinner rewards him with a 1940 calender and a job as a bank dick. While in uniform he’s back at the bar and meets con man J. Frothingham Waterbury. He’s selling phony stock in a beefsteak mine. Souse tells him to stop by the bank.
Og is getting a five hundred dollar bonus in four days. Souse convinces him to buy the stock. Og embezzles the money figuring he can put it back when he gets his bonus. It’s bad timing as bank examiner J. Pinkerton Snoopington (Franklin Pangborn) shows up. Og is in a panic.
Souse takes Snoopington to the bar and signals Joe to give him a Mickey Finn. It doesn’t knock him out but he does get whoozy. Souse takes him back to the hotel and keeps making food references to make him sick. He fixes it up with the doctor to keep him there for four days.
Snoopington is dedicated to his job no matter what and shows up at the bank. Og faints. Elsewhere Waterbury reads in the paper that the mine struck ore and the stock is worth a lot of bucks. He’s goes back to Lompoc and to Og in the bank.
He offers to buy the stock back cheap and Og goes for it. Just them Souse sees the same newspaper story and stops the sale. Now the second robber pulls a gun on Og. While escaping he forces Souse to drive him out of town and a long car chase begins. Most of it is done with the actors sitting in front of a back screen but there are a number of stunt drivers tearing around the road.
This is a must see for anyone who likes comedy and will make you a Fields fan. Pangborn is more restrained here than in most of his movies. Shemp Howard plays it straight.