With Charles Ruggles, Mary Boland, W. C. Fields, George Burns, Gracie Allen, Alison Skipworth
Directed by Leo McCarey
Black and White
Reviewed by JB

     Yet another All-Star comedy from Paramount, this one featuring three well-known movies pairs of the early 1930s (Ruggles and Boland, Burns and Allen, Fields and Skipworth) in a wacky farce about a second honeymoon gone wrong.  Despite of the star power of W. C. Fields and the vaudeville tested schtick of Burns and Allen, the most amusing and endearing couple of SIX OF A KIND is Charles Ruggles and Mary Boland, whose opening moments in the film rivals Fields' pool table routine as the movie's funniest.  Ruggles and Boland worked marvelously together, and are aided by some wonderful dialogue as they pack for their upcoming romantic trip to Hollywood.  George Burns and Gracie Allen show up as a couple answering the honeymooners' advertisement for traveling companions, and when they all get to California, they meet hotel matron Alison Skipworth and Sheriff W. C. Fields to complete the film's title hand.

     A genial, amusing movie that would be funnier if they had made Gracie Allen's character sweeter and less of an idiot.  I love The Burns and Allen Show and Gracie Allen has always been a favorite of mine.  Nobody could combine a bottomless sweetness and lack of guile with an equally bottomless lack of brain power, but here, her illogical antics are too over the top and too often harmful to other characters.  She is still funny, but she is more often an irritant than an asset to the film.  Still, she has her moments, such as when she thinks her niece now has three feet because she received a letter from a brother telling her that she has grown another foot.

    Fields walks away with the film as small town Nevada Sheriff "Honest" John (Alison Skipworth seems to be in the movie only to complete the final coupling). After his movie-stealing turn in INTERNATIONAL HOUSE, you have to wonder why Paramount could not see what they had in Fields, but SIX OF A KIND must have finally convinced them. His next film, YOU"RE TELLING ME, could be classified as the first real W. C. Fields sound film, and with the exception of THE BIG BROADCAST OF 1938, he would not appear in another All-Star film for Paramount again. 3 - JB

W. C. Fields    Other Silent Clowns    The Age of Comedy


"I always talk loud!  I'm a sheriff!"