Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

The Bank Dick (1940)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

The Bank Dick (1940)

In one of W.C. Fields' classic comedies:

  • to escape from his family in Lompoc, who were complaining: "House just smells of liquor and smoke," lush Egbert Souse (pronounced Soo-say) (W.C. Fields) often snuck out to the Black Pussy Cat Cafe, where he often performed a drinking routine in front of bar proprietor Joe Guelpe (Shemp Howard, one of the replacement Three Stooges) - he dipped his fingers in a glass of water, dried them with a paper napkin that he crumpled and rolled into a ball, then tossed it into the air over his shoulder and neatly kicked it away with the heel of his shoe, followed by a burb and cough
  • the sequence of Egbert's opportunity to direct a movie in town (to replace drunken director A. Pismo Clam (Jack Norton)) - to his family's astonishment - his cranky mother-in-law Mrs. Hermisillo Brunch (Jessie Ralph), his younger daughter Elsie Mae Adele Brunch Souse (Evelyn Del Rio), and his wife Agatha Sousé (Cora Witherspoon); after his chair toppled backwards off his majestic perch on the platform, Elsie Mae approached, pulled on his coat tails, and demanded a part in the picture: "I wanna be in the picture (he deferred her request by patting her on the head)...What's the matter, Pop? Don't ya love me?"; when Egbert went to slug her, Cora threatened: "Don't you dare strike that child!" - to which Egbert replied: "She's not gonna tell me I don't love her!"
  • to be rewarded for allegedly capturing Loudmouth McNasty (George Moran), one of two bank robbers with the money, Egbert met with the pompous but grateful Lompoc State Bank president Mr. Skinner (Pierre Watkin) to be congratulated on his daring, gallant deed: "And I wish to personally give you a hearty handclasp"; Skinner avoided shaking Sousè's outstretched limp-wristed hand, barely touching the tips of his fingers to his palm
  • the scenes of Egbert's ill-advised embezzlement plan (with the complicity of his future son-in-law Og Oggilby (Grady Sutton), the fiancee of his oldest daughter Myrtle (Una Merkel)) to temporarily steal $500 from the bank (until he can repay the money with Og's bonus due in a few days) to invest in stock in the questionable Beefsteak Mining Company - offered by charlatan J. Frothingham Waterbury (Russell Hicks); to convince Og, Egbert told him: "Surely, don't be a luddie-duddie, don't be a moon-calf, don't be a jabbernow, you're not those, are you?"
  • the scene after Egbert was hired as a vigilant bank security dick - he choked a young boy in a cowboy outfit waving a toy gun - believing that he was a holdup man - as the bratty boy walked out of the bank, he ridiculed the guard's shiny, bulbous red nose: "Mommy, doesn't that man have a funny nose?" His mother chided him for making fun: "You mustn't make fun of the gentleman, Clifford. You'd like to have a nose like that full of nickels, wouldn't you?"
  • Souse's use of knock-out Mickey Finn drinks to hold off effeminate, inquisitive and persistent bank examiner/auditor J. Pinkerton Snoopington (Franklin Pangborn) - who was suspicious of Egbert's financial dealings
Getaway Car Chase
  • and his memorable, zany, slapstick getaway car chase scene as a "hostage" with the second uncaught bank robber Repulsive Rogan (Al Hill) in the back seat - it was a superbly-timed chase amongst multiple cars (Souse's car was followed by the local police, the bank president, and a representative from the movie company) zoomed and circled around, barely avoiding crashing into each other or other obstacles in the path - the getaway car careened through streets, over ditches (over the heads of ditchdiggers), around curves and up a mountainside, missing collisions at every turn with the pursuit vehicles. When asked by the thug in the back seat to give him the wheel, Egbert matter-of-factly pulled it off the steering column and gave it to him; when the robber was struck unconscious and apprehended, Sousè was an unlikely hero once again for thwarting another heist

Egbert's Drinking Routine at The Black Pussy Cat Cafe

Egbert Substituting For Drunken Movie Director

Egbert's Astonished Family

Elsie Mae Demanding a Part in the Movie

Egbert's "Hearty Handclasp" With the Bank President

Egbert to Og: "Don't be a luddy-duddy. Don't be a moon calf..."

Egbert (Bank Dick) Fighting with Young Boy in the Bank

Meeting the Suspicious Bank Examiner J. Pinkerton Snoopington


Greatest Scenes: Intro | What Makes a Great Scene? | Scenes: Quiz
Scenes: Film Titles A - H | Scenes: Film Titles I - R | Scenes: Film Titles S - Z