W.C. Fields Brings Laughs to the Academy â€œThe Old Fashioned Wayâ€
Beverly Hills, CA,(rushprnews) April 23, 2007 â€” A unique panel of co-stars, family members and friends will recount the humorous off-screen and on-screen antics of W.C. Fields in an evening celebrating the comedic icon on Friday, May 11, at 7:30 p.m. at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.
Hosted by film critic Leonard Maltin, the panel discussion will include grandson Ron Fields, historian Joe Adamson, writer Hal Kanter, and Fieldsâ€™s co-stars Jean Rouverol Butler (â€œItâ€™s a Giftâ€), Gloria Jean (â€œNever Give a Sucker an Even Breakâ€), Delmar Watson (â€œYou Canâ€™t Cheat an Honest Manâ€) and Jane Withers (â€œItâ€™s a Giftâ€).
The discussion will be followed by a screening of a new print of the 1934 comedy â€œThe Old Fashioned Way,â€ directed by William Beaudine and written by Garnett Weston and Jack Cunningham from a story by Charles Bogle (a Fields pseudonym). The film stars Fields as The Great McGonigle, the manager of a 19th century theatrical troupe, who secures financing for his staging of â€œThe Drunkardâ€ by manipulating a wealthy stagestruck widow. The film also stars Joe Morrison, Baby LeRoy, Judith Allen, Jan Duggan, Nora Cecil and Jack Mulhall.
Ticketholders will be able to take advantage of special viewing hours for the Academyâ€™s Fourth Floor Gallery exhibition, â€œThe Peregrinations & Pettifoggery of W.C. Fields,â€ immediately following the screening. â€œPeregrinations & Pettifoggeryâ€ is a historical, biographical and geographical survey of Fieldsâ€™s career that includes personal memorabilia and items never before seen outside the Fields family. Regular viewing hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. This exhibition will close on Sunday, May 13.
The panel discussion and screening are presented under the banner of the Academyâ€™s Jack Oakie Celebration of Comedy in Film, which provides an opportunity for established filmmakers and historians to share their experiences and to discuss the specific challenges and delights of the comedy film genre. The program is named in memory of character actor Jack Oakie, whose career encompassed vaudeville, Broadway musicals and 87 motion pictures, most of them comedies or musical comedies, including such favorites as â€œOnce in a Lifetime,â€ â€œMillion Dollar Legsâ€ (with frequent co-star Fields) and â€œIt Happened Tomorrow.â€ Oakie received an Academy AwardÂ® nomination for his portrayal of a Mussolini-like head of state in â€œThe Great Dictatorâ€ (1940).
Tickets to the W.C. Fields celebration are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID. Doors open at 7 p.m. Seats are unreserved. The Samuel Goldwyn Theater is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. Free parking is provided in the garages located at 8920 and 9025 Wilshire Boulevard. For additional information, call (310) 247-3600.
Editors: Please note that downloadable images are available at http://photos.oscars.org/.
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Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
8949 Wilshire Boulevard Beverly Hills, CA 90211-1972
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