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The Peregrinations & Pettifoggery of W. C. Fields


The life and work of one of America’s great cultural figures is presented in bounteous and munificent detail this summer. On display in the Library's Vincent Astor Gallery is a unique exhibition organized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Beverly Hills. It features posters, photographs, correspondence, and a trove of memorabilia from the Fields family. The exhibition draws on a remarkable trove of personal memorabilia, donated to the Academy’s Margaret Herrick Library. Visitors will be able to discover Fields's amazing juggling and billiards acts, view his drawing of colleagues, and hear his distinctive voice by listening to his radio broadcasts. On Tuesday afternoons in June and July, LPA will present It's a Gift: W. C. Fields in the Movies, featuring his silent and sound films (see below for schedule).

William Claude Dukenfield rose to vaudeville stardom as a comic juggler, reaching the Ziegfeld Follies and Frolics, and touring around the world. He was both a superb physical comic, with a successful career in silent film, and a great verbal comedian, with a radio and sound film career lasting into the 1940s. Augmented by numerous film clips and audio recordings, Peregrinations & Pettifoggery sheds new light on the many dimensions of Fields’ talents – from his amazing displays of physical dexterity in pool, juggling and golf, to his cartoons and writings – and offers all who see it fresh insight into his comic genius.For additional information on this larger-than-life character and his memorable characterizations, visit    

For additional information on Fields, please see













Tuesdays at 2:30 p.m. in the Bruno Walter Auditorium
June 1
Sally of the Sawdust
1925, 113 minutes
Directed by D. W. Griffith
Silent film with music score
June 8
Pool Sharks
1915, 15 minutes
Directed by Edwin Middleton
So’s Your Old Man
1926, 67 minutes
Directed by Gregory La Cava
Silent films with musical accompaniment by Ben Model
The Golf Specialist
1930, 20 minutes
Directed by Monte Brice
Running Wild
1927, 68 minutes
Directed by Gregory La Cava
Silent film with music score
The Dentist
1932, 21 minutes
Directed by Leslie Pearce
You’re Telling Me
1934, 66 minutes
Directed by Erle C. Kenton
It’s a Gift
1934, 68 minutes
Directed by Norman Z. McLeod
The Fatal Glass of Beer
1933, 21 minutes
Directed by Clyde Bruckman
The Bank Dick
1940, 72 minutes
Directed by Edward F. Cline