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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 3,251 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:
...
Harold Bissonette
Kathleen Howard ...
Amelia Bissonette
Jean Rouverol ...
Mildred Bissonette
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
T. Roy Barnes ...
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:

California or Bust! And what they don't burn, they practically wreck...just as they will wreck you with laughter in this coast-to-coast joy-ride! See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 November 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

It's a Gift  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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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 Harold is sitting on the back porch at the dilapidated orange ranch., the amount and angle of the sunlight varies from scene to scene. See more »

Quotes

[at breakfast, Norman takes the plate of bacon before Harold can get it]
Harold: Hey, put it down!
Norman: What's the matter, Pop? Don'tcha love me anymore?
Harold: [he raises his hand to hit Norman] Certainly I love you.
Amelia: Don't you strike that child!
Harold: Well, he's not gonna tell me I don't love him.
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

Referenced in CEO Temp (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away
(1897) (uncredited)
Written by Paul Dresser
Performed by Chill Wills and The Avalon Boys
See more »

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User Reviews

 
W.C. Fields as everyman seeking his dreams.
12 July 2000 | by (NYC) – See all my reviews

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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