Released – August, 1935
Directed By – Clyde Bruckman
Starring – W.C. Fields (Ambrose Wolfinger), Mary Brian (Hope Wolfinger), Kathleen Howard (Leona Wolfinger), Grady Sutton (Claude Nelelrode).
Description – Manufacturing company employee Ambrose Wolfinger works as a “memory expert” for the company president. His job is to see to it that the president is never embarrassed by not remembering something related to business or his business relationships.
No one works harder than Ambrose as he has to provide for a large family. There’s his bad-tempered and nagging wife Leona, his loving daughter (from a previous marriage) Hope, his freeloading brother-in-law Claude, and his insulting mother-in-law Cordelia. It’s not easy.
Ambrose, who hasn’t had a day off in twenty-five years, needs a break. He decides to take an afternoon off to go to a wrestling match, but he needs a good excuse. He decides to tell his boss that he has to attend the funeral of his mother-in-law who has died from poison liquor.
The excuse works, and Ambrose finally has some time for himself. Or so he thinks. His boss turns out to be very sympathetic to the death in Ambrose’s family and has his other employees notified of the tragedy so that they can pay their respects. He also places the death notice in the newspaper.
This is just the beginning of what will be one of the worst days off in anyone’s work history. The problems for Ambrose begin to mount with a ticket-happy policeman, a tire chase along railroad tracks that his him dodging trains, and when he does finally get to the wrestling match, being flattened by a wrestler thrown out of the ring.
Think that’s bad? Wait until he gets home…his wife and mother-in-law have just read the premature obituary, and are receiving flowers, sympathy cards, and funeral wreaths.
NOTABLE: In the film, Ambrose’s secretary is played by Carlotta Monti who was the real life mistress of W.C. Fields.
Although Clyde Bruckman is credited as the director, the film was actually directed by W.C. Fields after Bruckman left early into the production as a result of his alcoholism. This was Bruckman’s last picture.