Poor W.C. Fields has to share screentime with an unfunny Edgar Bergen in the masterfully titled but ultimately lame You Can't Cheat an Honest Man, one of his least successful films. (At least artistically.) Bergen is given an absurd amount of time to do his tired ventriloquist act, which detracts from the only reason someone would want to watch this movie (wherein Fields plays a debt-laden circus owner who's constantly getting into trouble -- what else?). With Fields in such short supply here, it's hard to really get into the big guy's funnier set pieces, and even those often come up lame, like a bit where a woman faints if snakes are mentioned in conversation. Where's the whiskey?
James Thurber hated this adaptation of his short story, and I'm no huge fan of it, either. Danny Kaye is frenetically interested as Walter Mitty, a man so bored with his job and his life that he daydreams himself into fantastic situations (thug, gambler, wild west outlaw, and so on), with hilarious results. Well, not that hilarious... the film is repetitious to a fault, with Kaye alternately convincing himself he's dreaming his situations and sure they're all legit. It all gets old after half an hour, and you've got 80 minutes to go.