A small country on the verge of bankruptcy is persuaded to enter the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics as a means of raising money. Either a masterpiece of absurdity or a triumph of satire, ... See full summary »
Tillie and Augustus Winterbottom are thought to be missionaries when they arrive to find Phineas Pratt trying cheat the Sheridans out of her father's inheritance, including a ferry ... See full summary »
A young pacifist after refusing on principle to defend her sweetheart's honor and being banished in disgrace, joins a riverboat troupe as a singer, acquires a reputation as a crackshot ... See full summary »
A surrealistic documentary portrait of the region of Las Hurdes, a remote region of Spain where civilisation has barely developed, showing how the local peasants try to survive without even the most basic utilities and skills.
The owner of a general store (Harold Bisonette) is hounded by his status-anxious wife ("That's 'Bee-soh-nay'" and "I have no maid you know"). To get some sleep he goes out on the porch where he is tormented by a little boy from the floor above (Baby Dunk) and an insurance salesman down below ("LaFong. Capital L, small a..."). He uses an inheritance to buy an orange ranch through the mail, then drives off with his family for California. The orange grove consists of a withered tree, the ranch house is but a shack, and the car falls to pieces. But a racetrack operator wants the land, so all ends happily. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »
When Bissonette is opening the can of tomatoes with an ax you can tell that the splash of tomato juice is coming off-screen and not from the can. See more »
[after being struck on the nose by a cluster of grapes dropped by Baby Dunk]
Shades of Bacchus!
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The confrontation between W.C. Fields and Baby LeRoy was such a popular success that for this rematch the title card includes "with Baby LeRoy" as if the infant had second billing. See more »
IT'S A GIFT is generally cited as W.C. Fields' best comedy. For me, it is a nonstop funfest. Unlike some comedies which think they need to have love interest to be popular, Fields makes us laught at him for 73 minutes non-stop. A true genius. This work is not typical of its time, however. In a time when most film comedies were either witty romantic, Lubitsch-esque films, or wild madcap Marx Bros.-style films, IT'S A GIFT stands alone as a piece of physical sight-gag humor. However, there are no impossible sight-gags, little actual slapstick, but enough laughs for five films. This goes on par with DUCK SOUP, TROUBLE IN PARADISE, MODERN TIMES, and A NIGHT AT THE OPERA as one of the finest comedy films of all time.
Interestingly enough, IT'S A GIFT was recently voted to be one of the top 100 funniest films ever made by the American Film Institute. However, a film like this doesn't need any awards to prove its greatness. Regardless of the critics, IT'S A GIFT will surely remain a genuine masterpiece of cinema and of W.C. Fields in particular.
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