TILLIE AND GUS - Content
TILLIE AND GUS
For Hicksflicks.com, Sept. 13, 2013
W.C. Fields has been woefully neglected in the age of DVDs. Oddly, his work was better represented, which is to say, more readily available, on VHS.
His silent short films are in the public domain and have been around forever on various DVD labels and the Criterion Collection issued "The Bank Dick" in 2000. But
no real DVD sampling of Fields' comedy came until the 2004 release of "W.C. Fields Comedy Collection," which has five films (including "The Bank Dick"), followed in 2007 by "W.C. Fields Comedy Collection, Volume 2," with another five titles.
When Universal announced the June release of a 10-film set, "W.C. Fields Comedy Favorites Collection," I was very excited to think that 10 more Fields films would be available, especially since his classics "Tillie and Gus," "Six of a Kind," "The Old Fashioned Way" and "Mississippi" have never been on DVD, along with a few others in which he appears but doesn't star.
But alas, although this one is considerably cheaper than the two earlier sets — it's a duplicate. The same 10 titles: "The Bank Dick," "My Little Chickadee," "You Can't Cheat an Honest Man," "It's a Gift," "International House," "You're Telling Me," "Man On the Flying Trapeze," "Poppy" and "Never Give a Sucker an Even Break."
But now "Tillie and Gus" has arrived on Universal's manufacture-on-demand Vault Series, so perhaps the others will soon follow.
"Tillie and Gus" is one of Fields' best, a riotous farce about a pair of con artists who find themselves involved in a riverboat race … but forget the plot. In fact, plot hardly ever matters in a Fields film. Just enjoy the gags, which are fast and furious, and Fields has great chemistry with his leading lady, Alison Skipworth.