Six of a Kind (1934): Leo McCarey’s Slapstick Comedy,

Leo McCarey directed Six of a Kind, a slapstick comedy, enriched by the appearances of some of the era’s best comedic talents, such as W.C. Fields, George Burns, and Char;es Ruggles.

The Premise:

When a respectable middle-class couple take a cross-country trip by car, they share expenses with a decidedly oddball couple, none of whom know that the car carries embezzled funds.

Narrative Structure:

The Whinneys share expenses for their trip to Hollywood with George and Gracie and their Great Dane.

A clerk in Whinney’s bank has put $50,000 in a suitcase, hoping to rob Whinney on the road, but instead Whinney takes another road and he is arrested in Nevada.

The Fields pool playing routine, which is priceless, its inserted into this tale without reference to other elements, and it’s effective because there is a watcher in the frame, a deadpan face.

One of over 700 Paramount Pictures productions, made between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for TV distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal.

McCarey has taken three comedy teams, which represent different types of humor, and thus enrich the tale.

Lines to Remember:

Dr. Busby: Looking at John’s warped pool cue: It’s seems crooked, isn’t it?
Nuggetville Sheriff ‘Honest John’ Hoxley: I’d like to see something in this joint that isn’t crooked!

Cast:

Charles Ruggles … J. Pinkham Whinney (as Charlie Ruggles)
Mary Boland … Flora Whinney
W.C. Fields … Sheriff John Hoxley
George Burns … George Edward
Gracie Allen… Gracie Devore
Alison Skipworth … Mrs. K. Rumford
Bradley Page … Ferguson
Grace Bradley … Goldie
William J. Kelly… Gillette
Phil Tead … Clerk in Newspaper Office

Credits:

Director: Leo McCarey
Writers: Keene Thompson (story), Douglas MacLean (story) | 2 more credits »