"The Bank Dick" Is Released

The Bank Dick (released as The Bank Detective in the United Kingdom) is a 1940 comedy film.

(At the time, dick was common USA slang for detective.) W. C. Fields plays a character named Egbert Sousé who trips a bank robber and ends up a security guard as a result. The character is a drunk who must repeatedly remind people in exasperation that his name is pronounced "Sousé – accent grave [sic] over the 'e'!", because people keep calling him "Souse" (slang for drunkard). In addition to bank and family scenes, it features Fields pretending to be a film director and ends in a chaotic car chase. The Bank Dick is considered a classic of his work, incorporating his usual persona as a drunken henpecked husband with a shrewish wife, disapproving mother-in-law, and savage children.

W.C. Fields plays Egbert Souse, a bibulous denizen of Lompoc who supports his family by winning radio contests. When a fleeing bank robber is knocked cold upon tripping over the park bench where Egbert sits, Souse is hailed as a hero and offered the job of bank guard. The next day, he is approached by one J. Frothingham Waterbury (Russell Hicks), who offers to sell Egbert shares in the Beefsteak Mines. Souse raises the necessary money by convincing bank clerk Og Oggilby (Grady Sutton), the fiance of Egbert's daughter Myrtle (Una Merkel), to "borrow" some funds from the bank; it isn't really embezzling, explains Egbert, because the mine is bound to pay off. Unfortunately, bank examiner J. Pinkerton Snoopington (Franklin Pangborn) comes calling, spelling possible trouble for Souse. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide