Six of a Kind (1934)

Genres - Comedy  |   Run Time - 62 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

Six of a Kind has all the ingredients for a classic comedy -- six comedic actors of considerable repute, a director (Leo McCarey) who helmed a number of laugh-out-loud films, and a premise that is ripe for mining laughs. Unfortunately, the results, while amusing, are also rather disappointing. A large portion of the blame rests with George Burns and Gracie Allen. Although this famous team was much beloved on radio and TV, their motion picture appearances were a variable lot -- and this is not one of their better jobs. Partially, it's the jokes, which are not as funny as they need to be, but a greater problem is that the two aren't framed properly, especially Allen, and so end up being more often annoying than amusing. The episodic script also is not as sharp as it needs to be, and McCarey's direction is a bit off. Fortunately, Six does have one true classic routine, W.C. Fields' incredible pool routine, one of the finest bits of comedy ever put on film. Fields is in fine form throughout, as is the ever-enjoyable Alison Skipworth as his partner. And Mary Boland and Charlie Ruggles are as delightful as always, which is saying quite a bit. These four help lift Six out of its rut; if they can't get it to soar, they at least keep it moving along enjoyably.