With Bing Crosby, W.C. Fields, Joan Bennett, Gail Patrick, Queenie Smith, Claude Gillingwater
Directed by A. Edard Sutherland (and Wesley Ruggles, uncredited)
Black and White
Reviewed by JB

      An enjoyable, high-class Paramount confection, MISSISSIPPI teams the studio's most popular comedian, W. C. Fields with its most popular singer, Bing Crosby in a story about the Old South.  Fields plays a showboat captain who hires pacifist crooner Bing and promotes him, in typical blustery fashion, as "The Singing Killer".  Fields gets a handful of good comedy scenes to perform while Crosby gets a fistful of lovely Rodgers and Hart songs to sing, including one of biggest hits of the period, "It's Easy to Remember But So Hard to Forget".  He also croons a beautiful version of Stephen Foster's "The Old Folks at Home", better known as "Swanee River". (Fields dismisses this timeless and unforgettable song early in the film as "No good - people can't remember the tune!" before wandering away humming it himself).  

    Bing Crosby handles most of the story (his true love wants nothing to do with him until he proves his courage) while Fields handles the comedy relief, and both men work together extremely well, especially in an amusing scene in which Fields teaches Crosby how to act tough.  It may not be the perfect vehicle for Fields, or for Crosby, but their individual and combined talents can't help but make a good film, one that tries to have something for everybody (comedy, romance, action, music and a love story) and actually succeeds. 4 - JB

W. C. Fields     The Age of Comedy


"What happened to the goat?"
"He was very good with mustard!"