(USA/1940—directed by Edward Cline)
Henpecked husband and father Egbert Sousé (W.C. Fields) would rather hang out at Lompoc’s notorious Black Pussy Cat café (where the bartender is Shemp Howard) than spend time with his less-than-adorable family or – horrors! – get a job. But land a job her does when after unwittingly capturing a bank robber, he’s rewarded with a job as the bank’s new security guard. Uniquely unqualified for the position, Sousé nevertheless manages to circumvent an almost continual parade of near-disasters in what is unquestionably one of the best films of Fields’ career, and one of the most pleasurably laid-back of all American movie comedies. Written by Fields under the subtle pen name “Mahatma Kane Jeeves,” The Bank Dick’s hard-bitten, deliciously cynical portrait of small-town family life can’t conceal a heart of pure, gleaming, 24-karat comic gold. This is W.C. Fields at his peak. (72 min.)
Special funding provided by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
All screenings of the summer DFT 101 series will take place at 2:00 p.m. in the DIA’s Lecture Hall, located on the museum’s ground floor – use Woodward or Farnsworth for entry. Film admission to this series is included with the price of general DIA admission, and is free to DIA members as well.
The Café DIA, located just steps from the Lecture Hall, offers full food and beverage service and is open from 11:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. on Saturdays.