Too Many Highballs (1933)

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Originally intended as a vehicle for master comedian W.C. Fields, Too Many Highballs was the last two-reel comedy writer/director Clyde Bruckman made for producer Mack Sennett. Fields and Bruckman were the uncredited co-authors of the original script, which they would expand a few years later into Fields' classic Paramount feature Man on the Flying Trapeze, which Bruckman also directed. But Sennett's script changes enraged Fields, who walked off the production and was replaced by Lloyd Hamilton. As in Man on the Flying Trapeze, Henry Hobbs (Hamilton) lives with his wife and her tiresome mother and brother, and sneaks off to the fights while his boss believes that Hobbs is away mourning a death in the family. But he's delayed by traffic police and misses the bout. Unlike Trapeze (because of Sennett), the alleged corpse is the brother-in-law, who actually does become sick because Hobbs has spiked his whiskey with castor oil. When Hobbs returns home, he admits to the prank and his in-laws depart, leaving him happy with his wife.