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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 3,257 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:

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:

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The portrait of the late Uncle Bean is the same portrait of actor Donald Meek seen in Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch (1934) filmed. In this film the portrait has a mustache drawn on it. 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

Amelia: Seems pretty strange someone would call you from a maternity hospital in the middle of the night.
Harold: They didn't call me from a maternity hospital. They called thinking this was the maternity hospital.
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 The Sopranos: Long Term Parking (2004) 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

Superlatives Abound!
29 June 2004 | by (Las Vegas, NV) – See all my reviews

"It's a Gift" is one of Fields' best! Though W.C Fields is rarely thought of as a physical comedian, his performance is as graceful and athletic as you're likely to see. Sharp, biting dialogue and timeless comedic elements (like the universally recognized nagging wife, pesky kids, delivery people, and, [horrors] even the "visually impaired") get the Fields treatment. Like most of Fields' work "It's a Gift" centers, not on the drinking that would become his caricature (though he does "tip a few" in the film), but on the "little guy." Fields is once again in the familiar role of "down-trodden little man" just trying to make it in an increasingly crazy and, sometimes, cruel world. "It's a Gift" is wonderful theatre; brilliantly executed by one of America's comic masters.


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