The Bank Dick

The Bank Dick

The Bank Dick, released as The Bank Detective in the United Kingdom, is a 1940 comedy film starring W.C. Fields. Set in Lompoc, California, Fields plays Egbert Sousé who accidentally thwarts a bank robbery and ends up a bank 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 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.


Hard-drinking family man Egbert Sousé (W.C. Fields) has strained relations with his wife (Cora Witherspoon) and mother-in-law (Jessie Ralph) over his drinking, smoking, and taking money out of the piggy bank of his younger daughter Elsie Mae (Evelyn Del Rio) and replacing it with IOUs. When he tries to hit his younger daughter with a concrete urn, he is interrupted by his older daughter Myrtle (Una Merkel) introducing him to her fiancé, Og Oggilby (Grady Sutton).