A scene from THE GOLF SPECIALIST, directed by Monte Brice for RKO Radio Pictures.

The Golf Specialist (1930, Monte Brice)

The Golf Specialist has a very odd beginning. W.C. Fields doesn’t even show up for almost three minutes (significant in a twenty minute short); instead the film follows Shirley Grey as the house detective’s wandering wife. It’s a set-up for later, but it’s an odd way to start. The short’s only got two sets—a hotel lobby and a golf tee (with some great rear screen projection adding the background).

Eventually, Fields shows up and ends up out on the course with Grey and Al Wood as his loopy caddy. At that point, Golf becomes about Fields just trying to tee off. So it’s a comedy of errors in this sequence (which lasts until the end). The beginning only follows through to this sequence when it becomes clear the short needs to end.

It’s often very funny—and Brice directs well—but it’s quite disjointed. It could’ve been split.

2/3Recommended

CREDITS

Directed by Monte Brice; written by W.C. Fields; director of photography, Frank Zucker; edited by Russell G. Shields; produced by Lou Brock; released by RKO Radio Pictures.

Starring W.C. Fields (J. Effingham Bellweather), Shirley Grey (House Detective’s Wife), Al Wood (The Caddy), John Dunsmuir (House Detective), Johnny Kane (Walter, The Desk Clerk) and Naomi Casey (Little Girl).

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