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Never Give a Sucker an Even Break

Never Give a Sucker an Even Break(1941)


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At Esoteric Picture's West Coast studio, aspiring actress Gloria Jean tells her mother that she is more worried about her uncle than her first rehearsal, because she knows that if he sells his script, he will be able to support the whole family. Meanwhile, on his way to a script conference, W. C. "Uncle Bill" Fields stops at a café for breakfast and ends up spending the morning trading wisecracks with the overweight waitress. In a rehearsal hall, Gloria, meanwhile, practices her song under the personal supervision of producer Franklin Pangborn, who spends more time arguing with the crew than rehearsing Gloria. Outside the studio, W. C. runs into his niece, who offers him words of encouragement while two young boys, Butch and Buddy, torment him. While meeting with Pangborn, W. C. tries read his new script aloud, but is constantly interrupted by a cleaning woman. When the producer's wife hears how W. C. has written her part, she leaves in a huff. Pangborn then takes the script and begins to read it aloud himself. In the script, W. C. and Gloria are on a plane trip when W. C., after numerous misadventures with his fellow passengers, falls out of the plane's observation deck and lands on a bed in the courtyard of a mountain-top mansion. There, he meets the beautiful Ouilotta Hemogloben, who has never seen a man before. W. C. introduces her to "squidgilum," a kissing game, but when her mother, the matronly Mrs. Hemogloben, appears and wants to play as well, W. C. jumps into a basket and careens down the mountain. Pangborn, upset at the script's implausibility, stops reading, but W. C. convinces him to continue. Now in a gypsy village near the mountain, W. C. learns that Hemogloben is worth millions. As he prepares to court his future wife, Leon Errol, W. C.'s rival, climbs the mountain, only to be met near the top by a love-sick gorilla. Beating Leon to the top, W. C. and company prepare his wedding to Mrs. Hemogloben. When Leon finally does arrive, W. C. discreetly pushes him off the mountain. As the ceremony is about to begin, Gloria convinces her uncle not to marry Mrs. Hemogloben for her money, and the two make a hasty retreat to the basket and down the mountain. With that, Pangborn has had enough and fires W. C., ordering him to never step foot on the studio again. Later, while shopping with Gloria, W. C. irritates some policemen investigating a bank robbery, then mistakes another matronly woman for a pregnant one, taking her on a mad automobile ride to the maternity hospital and crashing his car just outside its entrance. As Gloria arrives by taxi and sees what her uncle has done, she looks into the camera and states, "That's my Uncle Bill...but I still love him."