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S. Sylvan Simon
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 <email@example.com>
As close to a perfect film as have ever been made. Running a fat free 62 minutes, not a second is wasted. Several of the ten minute scenes were released by Castle films as mini-masterpieces. Each of them can stand alone but are greater as part of the whole. W.C. Fields wrote one of his funniest, and easily most sympathetic role as the loving husband and father who dreams of escaping his life as a Eastern shopkeeper and traveling to sunny California where he can own an orange grove. He wrote wonderful supporting roles including the blind man, Mr. Muckle, and the irritating man looking for Carl LaFong. He stoicly suffers the barbs of his wife, the indifference of his children, the incompetence of his hired help and the wrath of his customers. When he reaches California and when his dreams appeared dashed, he triumphs at last. The everyman rewarded after suffering the slings and errors of outrageous fortune. It belongs with Homer, with Shakespeare, with Mark Twain. It is perfection.
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