The Dentist (1932 film)

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The Dentist
Directed by Leslie Pearce
Produced by Mack Sennett
Written by W. C. Fields
Starring W. C. Fields
Babe Kane
Elise Cavanna
Dorothy Granger
Cinematography John W. Boyle
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
  • September 9, 1932 (1932-09-09)
Running time
22 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Dentist is a 1932 American Pre-Code comedy short, starring W. C. Fields. The film is one of four short films Fields made with the "king of comedy," Mack Sennett, at Paramount. Although Sennett was near the end of his career, he found good use of the new medium of talking pictures for comedy, as the film demonstrates. It was directed by Leslie Pearce from a script by Fields himself. The film has been released on VHS and DVD.


Fields plays a dentist whose daughter desires to marry an ice-delivery man. He disapproves of this match, especially after she attempts to elope with her lover. Fields locks her up in an upstairs room, above his dental office, where she proceeds to stamp her feet, causing plaster chunks to fall as he attempts to treat his patients. Various patients with unusual physical traits (a tall "horse"-faced woman, a tiny, heavily bearded man) arrive at the office, and he attempts to use his dental drill on them without any apparent pain killer. With one of his patients (Elise Cavanna), he engages in an intimate wrestling match as he attempts to extract a painful tooth.


  • Some of Fields' comments are salty; it is clear that the studio deleted some of it because there are pauses in the soundtrack.[1]
  • Early in the short, Fields utilizes elements of the golf routine he developed for the Ziegfeld Follies, filmed on location at a Los Angeles golf course, and ending with Fields, after repeated failure to achieve a very difficult hole, throws the golf club, the golf bag and the caddy into the lake.
  • The Dentist is one of three W. C. Fields short films that fell into the public domain after the copyright lapsed in the 1960s (the other two being The Golf Specialist and The Fatal Glass of Beer). As such, these three films frequently appear on inexpensive video or DVD compilations.[2]



  • Deschner, Donald, The Films of W. C. Fields (New York: The Citadel Press, 1966)


  1. ^,%20The.htm
  2. ^ DVD writeup

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