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SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.33:1 Standard
  • English Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • 6 Short Films

W.C. Fields: 6 Short Films


Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Edwin Middleton, Monte Brice, Leslie Pearce, Clyde Bruckman, Arthur Ripley
Starring: W.C. Fields
2000 | 120 Minutes | Licensor: Janus Films

Release Information
DVD | MSRP: $29.95 | Series: The Criterion Collection | Edition: #79 | Out of print
RLJ Entertainment

Release Date: August 15, 2000
Review Date: July 20, 2008

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SYNOPSIS

W. C. Fields' prolific career placed him at the forefront of slapstick comedy. Gathered here are six gems that feature the comic genius at his peak: The Golf Specialist, Pool Sharks (silent), The Pharmacist, The Fatal Glass of Beer, The Barber Shop, and, of course, the notorious The Dentist. This unique collection will delight new generations of viewers with Fields' hilariously sardonic routines.

Forum members rate this film 6.9/10

 

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PICTURE

Released along with The Bank Dick, Criterion presents 6 of W.C. Fieldsí short films, including Pool Sharks, The Golf Specialist, The Barber Shop, The Dentist, The Fatal Glass of Beer, and The Pharmacist, all in the aspect ratio of 1.33:1 over this dual-layered disc. The image is a disaster.

The print for all six films vary, possibly Pool Sharks looking the worst, loaded with debris, scratches, marks, tears and everything else. No clean up looks to have been done. Blacks and whites are at least decent. The image all throughout is soft and fuzzy, never looking sharp.

To add insult to injury, though, the transfers for all six films are interlaced, and itís a mess, presenting all sorts of artifacts, ghosting and jagged edges being the most noticeable. It looks absolutely terrible, almost as bad as Salo, the only reason this one looking better, for me, is because the gray levels are good. Horrendously awful.

1/10

All DVD screen captures are presented in their original size from the source disc. Images have been compressed slightly to conserve space. While they are not exact representations they should offer a general idea of overall video quality.

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AUDIO

All audio is presented in Dolby Digital 1.0 mono and isnít much better than the image. Pool Sharks is a silent film and presents a score that sounds to have been recorded recently, so it sounds the best of the bunch. The Golf Specialist might sound the worst, horrendously scratchy and distorted (the opening music sounds absolutely terrible.) The rest all varies. Dialogue sounds edgy and hallow for the most part, and the tracks all have a hiss in the background. Not the most pleasant set of tracks to listen to.

2/10

SUPPLEMENTS

No supplements to speak of, just the six short films and an insert with an essay on Fields and the films by Dennis Perrin. Along with The Bank Dick Criterion missed a great opportunity to offer some insight into the career of Fields. This only makes the release that much worse.

1/10

CLOSING

A rather terrible release, might even be worse than Salo. The transfer is absolutely atrocious, an absolute mess visually, with shoddy audio. The lack of supplements also doesnít help and makes this one of Criterionís most disappointing releases. Even if youíre a fan of Fields I would strongly suggest to pass on it.


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