starring W.C. Fields and Mary Brian
PICTURE PLAY MAGAZINE
The best picture of W.C. Fields
is found in his latest, "Running Wild." At that, the
story is nothing to rave about, but it is made the most of by
the clever direction of Gregory La Cava, and Fields is in his
element as Elmer Finch, a downtrodden husband and father who has
worked in the same office for twenty years without a raise. He
comes into his own, however, when he runs out upon a vaudeville
stage where a hypnotist is doing his act, and Elmer is made to
believe that he is a lion. After that he conquers all he surveys.
The picture has a human quality that raises it above the ordinary screen farce of the worm who turns, and Fields is unique in the portrayal of this sort of character. Mary Brian, with little to do, is the heroine.
Starring W.C. Fields and Mary Brian
MOTION PICTURE MAGAZINE
This one pleased the majority of the reviewers who saw in it one of the most laughable pictures of the screen. "Probably it is not the best film every made in the world (as we at fist decided); it may not even be the best comedy, since belated second thoughts recalled Charlie Chaplin. But certainly," says the World, "not for many film seasons has a picture arrived with the shrewdness, the genuine characterization and the irresistible hilarity that Mr. Fields brings to 'Running Wild.' . . . The picture belong with 'A Dog's Life,' Will Rogers' 'One Glorious Day' and a few others surviving in the list of only too rare masterpieces of film comedy." Through shrewd direction and competent acting, the picture becomes not only amusing, but even a little heart-warming, in the opinion of the Herald-Tribune, which goes on to say that "as the turning worm, W.C. Fields is excellent, giving one of the most satisfactory performances of his screen career." Wilella Waldorf, in the Post, says that at last somebody has supplied Fields with a film story in which all of his old "Follies" skits are conspicuously absent. "It is ridiculous, impossible, nonsensical," writes Irene Thirer in The Daily News, "and, of course, it is laughable. In fact, the . . . presentation seen in the projection room by the 'higher-ups,' netted W.C. Fields a brand new starring contract. His antics aren't nearly as vaudevillish . . . as . . . heretofore. Director La Cava has fashioned any number of new gags, which always are mirth-provoking and sometimes really funny." "Fields is the whole show," says Herbert Cruikshank in The Morning Telegraph, "and carries his burden without effort, breezing through each bit of business with the deftness which has given him fame . . . 'Running Wild' keeps laughter rippling."
Video source: Movies Unlimited, Critic's Choice
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