Number 3 from my recently acquired W.C. Fields Box set. I have over 30 movies in my DVD library that for one reason or another I have not watched yet, and that was before acquiring this collection. Throughout the year I want to watch and review all or most of them (“Mr. and Mrs. Smith” will not likely be watched and reviewed). I haven’t mentioned it earlier so let me explain why I’ve been watching these movies instead of all the other unwatched films. The first 3 W.C. Fields movies in the collection are each 67 minutes long. For any number of reasons I have been very busy this January so my free time is limited, and I prefer to use this free time to write or play video games more than watching movies. When a movie is only an hour long it is an easier prospect to get through in the limited time I have available. In February things should slow down again and then I can watch more substantial movies more frequently, though I want to get through this collection as well.
“You’re Telling Me” is actually a remake of a 1926 silent Fields film called “So’s Your Old Man” which unfortunately is not on this collection (I am a big fan of silent films as well). In the movie Fields plays an inventor (again) who has developed a puncture proof tire that is even resistant to bullets. Meanwhile Fields’ daughter has fallen in love with the boy from the wealthiest family in town, but after his mother meets Fields she doesn’t want her son to have anything to do with that family. Fields takes his car with the puncture proof tires to Detroit (I believe) to give a demonstration to a tire company so he can sell the patent. When he gets to the building he parks his car in a no parking area, the police come by and movie his car so they can park there (in a car that looks almost identical). When Fields give’s his demonstration he doesn’t realize that the car is a cop car and ends up puncturing their tires. He flees the scene and while on the train ride back home he tries to kill himself with iodine (not a method I’ve never heard of before) but because of the bumpy ride, and the other man in the room with him who is singing and shaving at the same time, he is unable to do so. He leave’s and by accident walks into the private room of a princess on a good will tour of the United States, she had just before cut herself while doing her nails and put iodine on the cut and left the bottle out, and when Fields sees the bottle he thinks that she is about to kill herself and he convinces her not to. They have a long conversation where he tells her of all his troubles. The following day the princess makes a surprise visit to Fields town, and tells the townsfolk how he saved her life, and makes him a highly respectable man of the town to return the favor. Fields get’s invited, along with the princess, to hit the first tee at the grand opening of the new country club, and does his bad caddy routine (which can also be seen, almost word for word and gag for gag , in the 1930 short “The Golf Specialist”). The men he had attempted to demonstrate his puncture proof tires to find Fields on the golf course, tells him they had found his car, tested the tires and are prepared to make him a sizable offer, but the princess counters the offer, making them raise their bids, until Fields is offered a million dollars for the patent. Throughout the second half of the movie, Fields is unaware that the Princess is a real princess, and believes that they are just tricking the town. At the end of the film Fields says to the princess: “Boy we really pulled one over on them with that princess stuff.” To which the princess replies (of course): “You’re telling me.”
As you can see from the summery, this film has a lot more plot in it then the first two, though it is still exactly the same length. It’s not quite as funny as some of his other films, but still pretty good, and what it lacks in comedy it makes up for in story. The Princess in the movie is a truly good soul, while Fields (for all his downfalls) is still at heart just trying to do right by his family and give them a better life. This movie, unlike any other W.C. Fields film I’ve seen so far, truly goes to show the warm side mankind and the positive effect that people are able to have one on another. A message that is unfortunately somewhat forgotten in today’s world.