7.5/10
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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:
...
Kathleen Howard ...
Jean Rouverol ...
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
...
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:

 »
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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

Harold Bissonette's grocery store sells actual brand-name products of the period, including Kellogg's Corn Flakes and 3-in-1 Oil. This was highly unusual in 1934; most movies avoided showing real products because the studios didn't want to give their manufacturers free advertising. See more »

Goofs

The earphone that the old blind man has disappears from his hand when he falls into the boxes. See more »

Quotes

Amelia: The only real money you'll ever have and you throw it away before you get your hands on a penny of it! What are you lying there for?
Harold: I'm tired.
Amelia: Why don't you go to bed?
Harold: I thought I'd lie down and take a little nap first.
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 Rich Hall's California Stars (2014) 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

 
Peerless Comedy!
11 June 2004 | by (Topeka, KS) – See all my reviews

As was my habit as a teenager, I often would stay up late at night watching old movies (which were just about the only things broadcast after midnight back then). One night, I turned on the tube and a W. C. Fields movie had just started. It wasn't long before I found myself laughing. My father, for some reason unable to sleep, got up to join me. Soon he was laughing out loud too, and he wasn't one who laughed at just anything. When the scene came in which Fields tries to take a little nap alfresco--both of us began laughing uncontrollably. If someone could have seen us through a sound proof window, I'm sure they would have thought we were having seizures. NO scene in ANY of the great comedies exceeds this one in hilarity, and few even approach it. Not the seduction/dance scene in "Some Like It Hot," not the hitchhiking, not the "piggy-back" scenes from "It Happened One Night," not the "water-in-the-face" scene in "City Lights"--no scene from "Tootsie," no scene from "The Miracle of Morgan's Creek," not any of the zany scenes from "The Court Jester," or "A Night At The Opera"--none of these beat Fields' pitiful attempt at catching a little shut-eye. And this is just one sequence in a film filled with wet-your-pants laughing.

W. C. Fields was one of the screen's greatest comedians. His bumbling, surly, dipsomaniac is a creation right up there with Chaplin's Little Tramp. As a gift from the gods of comedy, Fields was given an APPEARANCE of a bungler, but he was, in fact, physically adroit to a level most athletes could only dream of. Thus, he could get away with doing things SO bungling--like accidentally putting his hat on his walking stick (resting on his shoulder) instead of his head, and then not be able to find it, or trying to walk out the wrong side of the door--that if someone else tried them, they'd only look ridiculous. Fields makes you think these things could actually, comically, happen. He was truly a comedic genius.

One of cinema's greatest comedians, in one of cinema's funniest films: Do yourself a favor--wear a diaper and SEE THIS MOVIE!


48 of 54 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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