7.4/10
4,266
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 »
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at Amazon

1 win. See more awards »

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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)
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 November 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Che bel regalo 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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Chill Wills. 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

Norman: Hey Pop, who ya think is dying?
Harold: Dying what?
Norman: Uncle Bean is dying!
Harold: Well you don't have to spit in my eye do ya?
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

Referenced in Crossing Jordan: For Harry, with Love & Squalor (2002) 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

Sit Down, Mr. Muckle!
3 December 2001 | by Bucs1960See 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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