Larson E. Whipsnade runs a seedy circus which is perpetually in debt. His performers give him nothing but trouble, especially Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy. Meanwhile, Whipsnade's son ... See full summary »
Edward F. Cline
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>
The final scene, on Bissonette's "orange ranch", was filmed at the house and property W.C. Fields was living in at the time of the filming. For his entire life, Fields rented living quarters, adamantly refusing to buy a house or land. See more »
The way Harold lands after tripping on the skate changes. See more »
Seems pretty strange someone would call you from a maternity hospital in the middle of the night.
They didn't call me from a maternity hospital. They called thinking this was the maternity hospital.
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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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