The Fatal Glass of Beer--a 20-minute cinema comedy masterpiece--was the demented concoction of stage and screen comic W.C. Fields. It was released in 1933. , and predates by about 40 years the parodic absurdity of Monty Python's Flying Circus.
A misunderstood classic
Author: George R. Willeman
from Dayton, Ohio
When this film was released in 1933, the majority of reviews were negative and even hostile. The film was hated and vilified; audiences and theatre owners found it tacky and cheap. They missed the whole point. The film is a sharp satire of both the Mellerdrammers of the early twentieth century and of studio filmmaking. Fields and Bruckman were too incisive as comics not to have done everything in this film very deliberately. From the overly obvious sets to the absolute WORST background projection ever seen, the film is a sly poke in Hollywood's eye and that's where its humor comes from. I just about wet myself the first time I saw Fields go out to "milk the elk". He stands in front of a background projection of elk in the snow and begins calling to them. When they start to run, they grow larger and larger, dwarfing the non-plussed Fields. Sadly, since this is a public domain title, it's hard to find a good copy of it. About the best I've seen is on the "6 Films by W.C. Fields" LD or DVD
I'm so glad some preserve this classic beer film. I'm going to have to get some Alaskan Amber Ale to sip while enjoying this flick.