Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Bank Dick (1940)

Egbert Souse' (pronounced Sau-SAY with the accent grave over the E) is a disappointment to his non-loving family. When a film producer complains about his drunken director while in the bar that Egbert frequents, he talks up himself as having worked in Hollywood. So, the producer offers him the job of finishing the film. You know, because that happens.

When two bank thieves scuffle and Egbert is credited with stopped them, he is offered the job as a bank detective (or "DICK" in the vernacular of the time). Why he drops the lucrative Hollywood gig to work in a bank is a mystery.

The next story element I am obliged to tell you about is when Egbert's daughter's boyfriend invests bank funds on a fraudulent mine, they have to keep the bank auditor away until the money can be replaced. Written by Fields, the screenplay is credited to "Mahatma Kane Jeeves", one of his little jokes. My hat, my cane, Jeeves.

The Bank Dick is not completely without laughs, but it isn't chuck full of them. Not painful to watch, but much of the humor doesn't translate. Shemp Howard was wasted as the bartender, given nothing funny to say or do. AMRU 3.
"I'm very fond of children. Girl children, around eighteen and twenty."

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