Movies visit the Family Entertainment Center for more entertainment resources
Browse by Title
Browse by Release Date

It's a Gift (1934)

Rating:No Rating
Genre:Comedy
Release Date:November 17, 1934
Running time:73 minutes
Cast:W.C. Fields, Kathleen Howard, Jean Rouverol, Julian Madison
Director:Norman Z. McLeod
Writer:Jack Cunningham

Description: W.C. Fields is in fine fettle as small-town grocer Harold Bissonette (pronounced Biss-o-NAY). Harold dreams of becoming a California orange farmer, but his gorgon wife (Kathleen Howard) will have none of it. After a grueling day at the store, during which his electric light stock is destroyed by a cane-wielding blind man (Charles Sellon), and his floor is flooded with molasses by the impish Baby LeRoy, Harold announces that he's sold the store and bought an orange grove. Seeking to escape his wife's nagging, Harold tries to sleep on his porch, which proves impossible thanks to innumerable interruptions--not least of which is an insurance salesman (T. Roy Barnes) loudly asking for Karl LaFong (capital L, small A, capital F, small O, small N, small G!) The next day, Harold packs his family into the car and heads off for California. Once there, the little band of pilgrims drives onto the property of a wealthy man, assuming that it's a public park. They make a shambles of the grounds while trying to have a picnic, whereupon they are chased off the land by the scowling owner (Guy Usher). Finally, Harold arrives at his vast orange grove--consisting of a tumbledown shack and one scrawny tree. Harold sits silently ruminating over his bad luck until his new neighbor informs him that a wealthy land developer wishes to buy Harold's property to build a stadium. Don't let them bluff you, advises the neighbor. You can get any price. The potential buyer turns out to be the same fellow whose property had been invaded by Bissonette the day before, but business is business. The buyer offers several insulting sums, but Harold, fortified by a flask of gin, holds firm. You're drunk! the buyer shouts. And you're crazy, responds Harold. But tomorrow I'll be sober, and you'll always be crazy. Harold's stubbornness saves the day, and we fade on the satisfying sight of the Bissonette family living in luxury on the huge orange grove of Harold's dreams. A remake of Fields' silent It's the Old Army Game, It's a Gift was written by J.P. McEvoy and one Charles Bogle--and there isn't a Fields fancier alive who doesn't know who Charles Bogle really is. Downplayed by detractors as being merely three two-reelers strung together, It's a Gift has survived such piddling criticism to emerge as one of W.C. Fields' funniest efforts, as well as a comedy classic by any standards.~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

Movie summaries and listings powered by Cinema-Source

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

3 Fun Thanksgiving Games for Kids
Looking for some great Thanksgiving games to play with your kids? Print our free Pin the Feathers on the Turkey game, Pin the Hat on the Pilgrim game, and Thanksgiving Parade Bingo game for loads of laughs this Turkey Day!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Top Family Movies in Theaters for the Holidays
Taking the kids to the movies is a special family treat for the holidays! Don't miss 2014's best family films in theaters from Thanksgiving through Christmas.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!