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Man on the Flying Trapeze (1935)
Man on the Flying Trapeze is a 1935 comedy film starring W. C. Fields as a henpecked husband. As with his other roles of this nature, Fields is put-upon throughout the film, but triumphs in the end. Ambrose Wolfinger works as a "memory expert" for a manufacturing company's president; he keeps files of details about all the people President Malloy meets with, so that Malloy will never be embarrassed about not remembering things when meeting with them. Ambrose supports himself, his shrewish wife Leona, his loving daughter Hope (from a previous marriage), his freeloading brother-in-law Claude, and his abusive mother-in-law Cordelia. At the start of the film, two burglars break into Ambrose's cellar late at night, get drunk on his homemade applejack, and start singing "On the Banks of the Wabash"; Ambrose is forced to handle the situation, and he winds up being arrested for distilling liquor without a license. The next day, Ambrose (falsely) tells Malloy that Cordelia had died from drinking poisoned liquor, and asks for the afternoon off to attend the funeral; in fact, he wants to go to see the big wrestling match.