The Barber Shop

1933

Comedy / Short

185
IMDb Rating 6.7 10 609

Synopsis


Downloaded times
June 15, 2020

Director

Cast

Billy Bletcher as Steam Room Victim - After
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
199.42 MB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
21 min
P/S N/A / N/A
370.19 MB
1920×1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
21 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by wmorrow59 8 / 10 / 10

Fields mellows out in the role of small-town barber

Although he usually gets high marks for being funny, W.C. Fields seldom gets credit for versatility. Even people familiar with his work tend to define his screen persona narrowly as a cantankerous, lecherous old blow-hard who hates kids and dogs, and is usually drunk. This image was firmly ingrained in the public imagination during the late 1930's and '40s through his radio work and most of his later movie appearances, but a look back at the films he made in the early to mid-'30s reveals distinct variations in his roles. He was capable of a surprising range of nuance, and was not at all a Johnny One Note who could only play "W.C. Fields" over and over. As evidence of this, consider the four short films Fields made for producer Mack Sennett during the 1932-33 season. Three of the four bear certain similarities, each presenting our hero in the role of middle-class professional man: dentist, pharmacist, and barber. Each character lives over his place of business, and each has difficulties with his family and his customers, but beyond the superficial similarities there are decided shades of difference in Fields's portrayals. In The Dentist he is ornery, mean to his daughter, and openly contemptuous towards his patients. In The Pharmacist he's once more a petty tyrant when dealing with his family, but on the job he's ridiculously agreeable and positively masochistic in his desire to please his customers. In The Barber Shop, his last Sennett comedy, Fields is downright mellow, and the atmosphere is more laid-back and whimsical than in the other films. Fields plays Cornelius O'Hare, barber of Felton City. ("Felton" was the maiden name of Fields' mother, and it's said that his mumbling delivery of wisecracks, as demonstrated in the opening scene, owed a lot to his mother's personal style.) O'Hare likes to hang out in front of his shop and shoot the breeze. His business is struggling and his wife is a nag, but his life has its compensations: he has a friendly relationship with his son, who likes to tell riddles, and gets to flirt with an attractive young manicurist named Hortense who works in his shop and seems to like him. During the course of the film we follow O'Hare through his dealings with difficult customers and various passersby. We learn that O'Hare is not a very good barber -- to put it politely -- but he seems to be a decent enough guy. And when his day ends in a humiliating encounter with a bank robber, we feel a little sorry for him. The Barber Shop may not be the funniest short Fields ever made, but there are laughs throughout, and you'll seldom find him as sympathetic as he is here. I especially enjoy the surreal touches, such as the steam room that reduces an obese man to a skinny one in a matter of minutes, and the climactic gag involving O'Hare's bass fiddle. These wacky gags, in combination with Fields' more benign persona, make this one of The Great Man's most pleasant comedies, one that might win over non-fans who are put off by his nastier characterizations in other movies. Released during the Depression summer of 1933, The Barber Shop holds a melancholy place in Hollywood history: according to Simon Louvish's biography of Mack Sennett, this was the last film put out by Sennett's studio before it went into bankruptcy and was forcibly closed. Sennett had been in business as a producer since he founded Keystone in 1912, and although he managed to limp along with minor projects for another year or two this pretty much marked the end of the line for him. Sad, but at least Mack was able to finish his career on a high note, thanks to Mr. Fields.

Reviewed by zetes 8 / 10 / 10

One of the best of W.C. Fields' short films

Personally, I like Fields' features much more than the few short films he made. The Bank Dick, You Can't Cheat an Honest Man, You're Telling Me, The Old-Fashioned Way, It's a Gift, Never Give a Sucker an Even Break, and The Man on the Flying Trapeze are some of the funniest films you're ever likely to see. But most of his shorts are somewhat lame. My favorite is The Golf Specialist, which is nothing more - nor should it be - than Fields' infamous vaudeville routine. The Dentist is famous for its sexual innuendo of the woman wrapping her legs around Fields while he pulls a tooth, but it's not very funny after that. The Barber Shop is the second funniest of these shorts. Fields is very funny in it, and so are the supporting cast members. Here Fields is in henpecked husband mode, taking it from his evil vegetarian wife. His little son likes to tell him the lamest riddles in history. The slight plot is a prelude to The Bank Dick, with a criminal on the run and Fields bragging that he'd throttle him good if he got a hold of him. A lot of good jokes here. See it on the Criterion disc of his short films. 8/10.

Reviewed by MartinHafer 8 / 10 / 10

W. C. Fields and he does NOT hate his kids!!

This is one of the oddest films I've seen of W. C. Fields because he seems to genuinely like his son! The young boy loves to tell really lame riddles and W. C. encourages him and acts pretty tenderly towards the kid (at least compared to the usual fare from this comedian). Children are either just tolerated or hated in his films. A good example was his famous line "Of course I love kids,....boiled". For whatever reason, this film is unusual in this respect. Now as for the film itself, this one is very similar to THE PHARMACIST in that it is a very slow slice of life short, though it does have more gags and a more "Fields-like" ending. Don't expect the craziness of Fields shorts like THE DENTIST or THE FATAL GLASS OF BEER, but this isn't a positive or negative thing--I like both styles of his work. Funny, well-paced and cute--this is an excellent Fields short.

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