Community Events

Double Feature: Never Give a Sucker an Even Break / Cobra Woman

When: March 30-31

If you find yourself in need of an adult break after you’ve found all the eggs and disposed of the black jellybeans, you may note the relative dearth of concerts on Easter — but never fear. The Belcourt continues their series celebrating Universal Studios’ centennial with this double feature, starting with one of W.C. Fields’ final screen roles in Never Give a Sucker an Even Break. Fields, who portrays himself, attempts to hustle a script to the producers at Esoteric Studios. The film-within-the-film, composed of vignettes from said script, sees Fields conning his curmudgeonly way cross-country, dogged by everyone from little boys to the Marx Brothers’ great straight woman, Margaret Dumont. In the influential, deliciously camp-laden second half of the bill, “Queen of Technicolor” Maria Montez stars as distressed damsel Tollea, as well as her evil twin Naja, the titular Cobra Woman. On the day Tollea is to wed Ramu (Montez’s frequent screen opposite Jon Hall), her snake-worshipping royal family kidnaps her in hopes that she can end her wicked priestess sister’s reign of terror. Armed with a conflicted Ramu (Naja has her eye on him, too), his comic-relief sidekick, Kado, and Koko the monkey, will she escape the ultimate sacrifice — in the volcano?

Stephen Trageser

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