The Bank Dick, originally released theatrically in 1940, stars W.C. Fields, Shemp Howard, and Grady Sutton. Fields also wrote the screenplay under the pseudonym Mahatma Kane Jeeves.
Egbert Souse (Fields), the town drunk, spends most of his days at his favorite saloon, the Black Pussy Cat Café, in order to avoid his family and spend time with his friend Joe (Howard), the bartender. On his way home after one such outing, he inadvertently captures a bank robber. To show his appreciation for Souse's bravery, the President of the bank offers him a job as a bank dick, which he accepts. One afternoon at the Black Pussy Cat Café, Souse encounters a man selling stock in Beefsteak Mines. Convinced this is the opportunity of a lifetime, Souse has his daughter's boyfriend, Og (Sutton), a bank teller, borrow the necessary $500 from the bank in order to buy the stocks. Og intends to pay back the $500 as soon as he receives his bonus in four days; however, when the Bank Examiner comes to check the books, Souse has to find a way to distract him until Og can get the money.
I found The Bank Dick to have lots of funny moments as Souse bumbles through the town; however, there wasn't a lot of plot holding these moments together. The movie also seemed to be a bit on the short side, with a running time of only 72 minutes. The actors all do a terrific job with their roles, especially W.C. Fields.
The Bank Dick is presented in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.33:1. The picture contains a few marks and blemishes on the print, but compares favorably to many other movies from its time. There is also a slight flickering at the beginning of the film.
The Bank Dick is presented in Dolby Mono 1.0. For the most part, the sound is crisp, clean, and devoid of pops or hiss. Occasionally, however, some of the dialogue is briefly muffled.
Extras include optional English subtitles, the standard color bars, and a liner essay.
Although Criterion has come up a bit short on the disc with only average picture and sound quality along with virtually no extras, The Bank Dick is recommended for fans of classic comedy movies and fans of W.C. Field's terrific performances.