7.4/10
3,896
61 user 23 critic

It's a Gift (1934)

Passed | | Comedy | 30 November 1934 (USA)
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) | 1 more credit »
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On Disc

at Amazon

1 win. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Jean Rouverol ...
Julian Madison ...
John Durston
...
Norman Bissonette (as Tom Bupp)
...
Baby Dunk
Tammany Young ...
Everett Ricks
...
James Fitchmueller
...
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)
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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:

 »
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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  »
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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

During the "back porch" scene, Harold notices a pair of large bloomers come into view against the porch column. In the next shot, there is a distant view of the entire back of that same building. None of the laundry is visible and there was not sufficient time for the neighbor to remove it. See more »

Quotes

Amelia: As I was saying - are you listening to me?
Harold: Eh, yes dear, yes dear, yes dear.
Amelia: For twenty years, I've struggled to make a home for you and the children.
Harold: That's right dear.
Amelia: Slaving day-in, day-out, to make both ends meet. Sometimes I don't know which way to turn.
Harold: Eh, turn over on your right side, dear. Sleeping on your left side's bad for the heart.
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

Version of It's the Old Army Game (1926) 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

Sit Down, Mr. Muckle!
3 December 2001 | by (West Virginia) – See all my reviews

If you can spell Carl LaFong, you can spell laugh....that's capital "L', small "a", small "u", small "g", small "h"!!! And Carl LaFong is only one of many bits that will have you weeping with laughter. This is, without a doubt, the best of Fields and it is more than 70 years old!! Watch some of the old comedies of the early 30's and be bored to death; very few stand the test of time as this one does. The story is simple - man inherits money, buys his dream, the dream turns bad, and then turns good, end of story. Fields' movies don't need much story; only something to frame his talents and the talents of his supporting players who are all spot-on in this film. The picnic scene will have you rolling in the aisles (or off the couch), the aforementioned Carl LaFong scene (in fact, the whole porch scene) and "Sit down, Mr. Muckle,honey" is a riot. Almost every set piece in "It's a Gift" will evoke laughter and as usual, the names of the characters are pure Fields madness. I give this classic a 10 and recommend it to all those comedy buffs who think that all humor has to have sexual or political content to succeed.


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