7.4/10
4,386
65 user 21 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:

Norman Z. McLeod (as Norman McLeod)

Writers:

Jack Cunningham (screen play), J.P. McEvoy (from "The Comic Supplement" by) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

1 win. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

The Bank Dick (1940)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Henpecked Egbert Sousé has comic adventures as a substitute film director and unlikely bank guard.

Director: Edward F. Cline
Stars: W.C. Fields, Cora Witherspoon, Una Merkel
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Fields wants to sell a film story to Esoteric Studios. On the way he gets insulted by little boys, beat up for ogling a woman, and abused by a waitress. He becomes his niece's guardian when... See full summary »

Director: Edward F. Cline
Stars: W.C. Fields, Gloria Jean, Leon Errol
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A small country on the verge of bankruptcy is persuaded to enter the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics as a means of raising money. Either a masterpiece of absurdity or a triumph of satire, ... See full summary »

Director: Edward F. Cline
Stars: Jack Oakie, W.C. Fields, Andy Clyde
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Hard-working, henpecked Ambrose Wolfinger takes off from work to go to a wrestling match with catastrophic consequences.

Directors: Clyde Bruckman, W.C. Fields
Stars: W.C. Fields, Mary Brian, Kathleen Howard
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

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 »

Directors: George Marshall, Edward F. Cline
Stars: W.C. Fields, Edgar Bergen, Charlie McCarthy
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Assorted wacky characters converge on a Chinese hotel to bid on a new invention, television.

Director: A. Edward Sutherland
Stars: W.C. Fields, Peggy Hopkins Joyce, Rudy Vallee
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The Great McGonigle and his troupe of third-rate vaudevillians manage to stay one step ahead of the bill collectors and the sheriff.

Director: William Beaudine
Stars: W.C. Fields, Joe Morrison, Baby LeRoy
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A hard-drinking, socially-awkward inventor wrecks his daughter's chances of marriage into a rich family and bungles his own chances of success by selling one of his more practical inventions.

Director: Erle C. Kenton
Stars: W.C. Fields, Joan Marsh, Buster Crabbe
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Rightly suspected of illicit relations with the Masked Bandit, Flower Belle Lee is run out of Little Bend. On the train she meets con man Cuthbert J. Twillie and pretends to marry him for "... See full summary »

Director: Edward F. Cline
Stars: Mae West, W.C. Fields, Joseph Calleia
Poppy (1936)
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Carny con artist and snake-oil salesman Eustace McGargle tries to stay one step ahead of the sheriff but is completely devoted to his beloved daughter Poppy.

Director: A. Edward Sutherland
Stars: W.C. Fields, Rochelle Hudson, Richard Cromwell
The Dentist (1932)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An unconventional dentist deals with a variety of eccentric and difficult patients in slapstick fashion.

Director: Leslie Pearce
Stars: W.C. Fields, Marjorie Kane, Arnold Gray
Certificate: Passed Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The prodigal son of a Yukon prospector comes home on a night that "ain't fit for man nor beast."

Director: Clyde Bruckman
Stars: W.C. Fields, Rosemary Theby, George Chandler
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
W.C. Fields ... Harold Bissonette
Kathleen Howard ... Amelia Bissonette
Jean Rouverol ... Mildred Bissonette
Julian Madison Julian Madison ... John Durston
Tommy Bupp ... Norman Bissonette (as Tom Bupp)
Baby LeRoy ... Baby Dunk
Tammany Young 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 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:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 November 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Back Porch See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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

The way Harold lands after tripping on the skate changes. See more »

Quotes

Mother: Just use your own judgment.
Daughter: You tell me where to go.
Harold: [muttering] I'd like to tell you both where to go.
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 These Amazing Shadows (2011) 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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
W.C. Fields Best Comedy
16 June 2000 | by CHARLIE-89See all my reviews

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.


24 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 65 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Comedy Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular comedy titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed