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W. C. Fields by Himself: His Intended Autobiography [Hardcover]

W. C. Fields , Ronald J. Fields
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 510 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 1st edition (Jun 1973)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0139444629
  • ISBN-13: 978-0139444623
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 14.7 x 5.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 439,249 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars book , 25 Sep 2011
By Nicky
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
a grea read to find out more about the man and the comic wc fields , well worth a read , and this is a first edition , 1973 ,
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.4 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finally--a firsthand glimpse 19 Sep 2001
By Gregg Long - Published on
It's not hard, even with the most cursory of examinations, to see why researchers have had such a tough time catching glimpses into the Great One's true nature--Fields took pains to keep his public persona at the front of his popular perception. Ronald Fields perhaps had an unfair advantage over other researchers, having access to the family holdings and all, but nevertheless, this is as close as anyone will ever get to words from the horse's mouth (with the exception of Fields for President, of course). The sketches are a riot to read, and the extended sequences from the movies, even the ones you may not have seen, are side-splittingly funny. I particularly enjoyed the glimpse into Fields' vaudeville days--it's not a subject that seems to interest many people, perhaps because the entire idea of "vaudeville" is somewhat dated today. The book also has the most comprehensive collection of photographs and sketches I've ever seen--these in themselves come close to telling the story.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of self annecdotes, photo's, insight into W.C. Fields. 23 Sep 1999
By A Customer - Published on
This work was compiled by W.C.'s grandson after years that his work had been locked up in a basement room. The fact that much of it is made up of sketches, photo's, stories/annecdotes, performance materials, letters between W.C. and his family/others, makes this invaluable to theatre enthusiasts/historians and W.C. cultists. Without a doubt a must for any library.
Rocky J. Nickel 1242 S. Market Wichita KS, 67211
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A BUPKE... 7 Feb 2010
By Jeff Woodman - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book was a real disappointment. The vaudeville and "Follies" sketches reproduced here do not translate, as they were meant to be seen, not read. Ditto the endless treatments for proposed films. The radio scripts fare best, as they were written in dialogue form without stage directions, and if one has any familiarity with Fields and Edgar Bergen/Charlie McCarthy it's easy to imagine them giving voice to the material.

The correspondence is of some interest, though the first letters section (1880 - 1929) seems to be composed primarily of responses to his wife's constant requests for money, which quickly become tedious.

None of this material was created for an "intended autobiography," it's just a bunch of debris found in a basement and capitalized upon by Fields' heirs. Aside from being addressed by him in letters, Fields' contemporaries (Will Rogers, Florenz Ziegfeld, Eddie Cantor, Gregory Lacava, Jack Benny, John Barrymore) are all noticeably absent.

Field's companion/mistress for the last 14 years of his life, Carlotta Monti, is given particularly short shrift here. Her book, W.C. Fields and Me, BTW, while padded, is far superior to this effort, and paints a far more vivid portrait of Fields. (And I use the word effort loosely, as very little of it seems to have gone into assembling this mess.)

W. C. Fields & Me
4.0 out of 5 stars A famous Philadelphian! 9 Dec 2013
By sandra hewlett - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
An intimate look at the early life of this notable entertainer, including family photographs from his early years in Philadelphia.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not worth effort to publish sad to say 21 Oct 2012
By Camille - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book appears to me to be an effort to publish info not worth publishing working off the great name of the enigma that was W.C. Fields. Very thin in content and disappointing.
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