Man on the Flying Trapeze

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Movie Info

W.C. Fields plays Ambrose Wolfinger, the henpecked husband to end all henpecked husbands. A widower, Ambrose married a second time only to provide a mother for his pretty daughter (Mary Brian). What he got was an overbearing harpy of a wife (Kathleen Howard), a fussy and imperious mother-in-law (Vera Lewis) and a shiftless brother-in-law (Grady Sutton). Ambrose plans to attend a much-awaited wrestling match, but can't get the day off of work. He lies for the first time in his life, telling his boss that his mother-in-law has died. En route to the wrestling meet, Ambrose suffers one mishap after another, from a string of traffic tickets to an encounter with a runaway tire. He gets to the match just in time to miss the whole thing, and ends up bruised and battered on the sidewalk. Meanwhile, his home is being deluged with flowers, offered in sympathy for his "dead" mother-in-law who is very much alive but not amused. When his boss discovers the deception, he fires Ambrose. The poor man returns home to face the cold stares of his wife's family. They goad and harass him until he can stand no more: when brother-in-law insults his daughter, Ambrose punches him out (a scene that always results in audience cheers) and tells everyone else where to go. Soon after, his anxious ex-boss calls up; only Ambrose can decipher the important messages left behind on his cluttered desk, and would Ambrose like to come back to work? His loyal and loving daughter negotiates a hefty salary hike for Ambrose, and the film ends with Our Hero assuming his proper role as head of the household, with his obnoxious in-laws literally left out in the rain. An uproarious "worm turns" farce, Man on the Flying Trapeze was an expanded version of 1932 Mack Sennett two-reeler, Too Many Highballs, and a partial remake of Fields' own silent feature Running Wild (27).


W.C. Fields
as Ambrose Wolfinger
Mary Brian
as Hope Wolfinger
Kathleen Howard
as Leona Wolfinger
Walter Brennan
as "Legs" Garnett
Grady Sutton
as Claude Neselrode
Vera Lewis
as Mrs. Cordelia Neselrode
Lucien Littlefield
as Mr. Peabody
Oscar Apfel
as President Malloy
Lew Kelly
as Adolph Berg
Tammany Young
as `Willie' the Weasel
Arthur Ayleswofth
as Night Court Judge
Harry Ekezian
as Hookallockah Mishabbob
David Clyde
as J. Farnsworth Wallaby
James Flavin
as Henry, the Chauffeur
Sarah Edwards
as Car Owner
Carlotta Monti
as Ambrose's Secretary
Sam Lufkin
as Ticket Taker
Helen Dickson
as Miss Dickson
James Burke
as Patrolman
Lorin Raker
as Ring Announcer
Heinie Conklin
as Street Cleaner
Michael Visaroff
as Homicidal Maniac
Harry C. Bradley
as Peeved Driver
Rosemary Theby
as Helpful Pedestrian
Jack Baxley
as Night Court Officer
Billy Bletcher
as Timekeeper
Robert Littlefield
as Neighbor with Correct Time
Minerva Urecal
as Italian Woman in Ambulance
Mickey Bennett
as Office Employee
Dorothy Thompson
as Information Girl
Eddie Sturgis
as Bystander at Arena Gate
Pat O'Malley
as Officer
Keith Daniels
as Ticket Seller
Joe Sawyer
as Ambulance Driver
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