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It's a Gift (1934)

Passed  -  Comedy  -  30 November 1934 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 3,355 users  
Reviews: 56 user | 21 critic

A henpecked New Jersey grocer makes plans to move to California to grow oranges, despite the resistance of his overbearing wife.

Director:

(as Norman McLeod)

Writers:

(screen play), (from "The Comic Supplement" by), 9 more credits »
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Title: It's a Gift (1934)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Kathleen Howard ...
Jean Rouverol ...
Julian Madison ...
John Durston
Tommy Bupp ...
Norman Bissonette (as Tom Bupp)
Baby LeRoy ...
Baby Dunk
Tammany Young ...
Everett Ricks
Morgan Wallace ...
James Fitchmueller
Charles Sellon ...
Mr. Muckle
Josephine Whittell ...
Mrs. Dunk
...
Insurance Salesman
Diana Lewis ...
Miss Dunk
Spencer Charters ...
Gate Guard
Guy Usher ...
Harry Payne Bosterly
Dell Henderson ...
Mr. Abernathy (as Del Henderson)
Edit

Storyline

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 <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

LOOK THIS GIFT IN THE FACE IF YOU WANT A BIG HORSE-LAUGH (original herald - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 November 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Che bel regalo  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Insurance Salesman: Do you know a man by the name of LaFong? Carl LaFong? Capital L, small a, Capital F, small o, small n, small g. LaFong. Carl LaFong.
Harold: No, I don't know Carl LaFong - capital L, small a, capital F, small o, small n, small g. And if I did know Carl LaFong, I wouldn't admit it!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood: The Gift of Laughter (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

California, Here I Come
(1924) (uncredited)
Music by Joseph Meyer
Played during opening and end credits, as well as on a record
See more »

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User Reviews

 
W.C. Fields Best Comedy
16 June 2000 | by (Baltimore, Maryland) – See all my reviews

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.


17 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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