The Old Fashioned Way

Director: William Beaudine
Year Released: 1934
Rating: 2.5

Skinflint Fields - the eccentric leader of a ragtag theatrical troupe - rides into a new town to put on his show, but unpaid debts and bad karma creep up on him. Spends too much of its limited running time on the rather unfunny play-within-a-film ("The Drunkard") as well as the bland courtship of Fields' on-screen daughter (Judith Allen) and her love-interest (Joe Morrison) and not enough on Fields-being-Fields, though the two choice bits with Fields trying to eat dinner next to Baby LeRoy and Fields' solo act as a juggler are definitely memorable. His formidable hand-eye coordination and stage-presence are what originally made Fields famous - most viewers (I'm including myself here) are mostly familiar with his on-film reputation as a grumbling, paunchy, drink-sodden miser.