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You Can't Cheat an Honest Man

USA, 1939, George Marshall, Edward F. Cline

Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque (Peter B. Lewis Theater)

  • Date Saturday, August 06, 2022
  • Time 5:00PM
Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque (Peter B. Lewis Theater)

Face masks are still required for all moviegoers. In addition to in-person screenings, a selection of new releases can be watched online 24/7. Visit our “Virtual Cinema” page for current offerings. Streaming any online movie thru our custom link supports... more

W.C. Fields plays a debt-ridden carnival proprietor who tries to break up his daughter’s romance with one of his employees, ventriloquist Edgar Bergen. If Bergen became his son-in-law, Bergen’s wooden dummy Charlie McCarthy (Fields’ arch nemesis) would also enter the family. DCP. 79 min.

Fields Days,” a two-month film series consisting of seven comedy features and six short films starring the great W.C. Fields, will show between July 2 and August 28 at the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque. Each of the nine programs will show twice in the Peter B. Lewis Theater of the Cleveland Institute of Art, 11610 Euclid Avenue. Admission to each program is $10; $7 for Cinematheque members, Cleveland Institute of Art and Cleveland State University I.D. holders, and those age 25 & under. Cinematheque moviegoers are still required to wear face masks for the duration of their visit.

The screen’s foremost misanthrope, W.C. Fields (1880-1946) is an American comedy icon known for his bulbous nose, curmudgeonly demeanor, and crack comic timing. Born William Claude Dukenfield in Philadelphia, Fields survived a hardscrabble childhood to become a world-famous juggler, a vaudeville headliner, and a Broadway star. Though he began his film career during the silent era, the apogee of his success came during the 1930s, when sound allowed him to exploit his raspy voice, deadpan wisecracks, and love of consonants.

“Can 2022 America still laugh at a man who drinks too much, belittles family members, bucks authority, and hates dogs, young children, and ventriloquists’ dummies?” asks Cinematheque Director John Ewing. “I think so,” he answers. “Though Fields’ screen persona can be mean, rude, and shifty, he remains a sympathetic character.; his anti-social antics provide vicarious release for pent-up frustrations of put-upon people everywhere.”

Free parking for filmgoers is available in Lot 73 and in the Institute’s annex lot, both located off of E. 117th Street south of Euclid Avenue. Entrance to the building is through Entrance C, off Lot 73. For further information or film images, call 216.421.7450, visit cia.edu/cinematheque, or send an email to cinema@cia.edu.

You Can't Cheat an Honest Man


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