Thursday, November 17, 2011

It's a Gift (1934)

Harold Bissonette (W.C. Fields) is a hen-pecked grocery store owner who aspires to own an orange grove in California. He gets that opportunity when a rich relative dies.

That's all we need about the story. Mostly, it's a vehicle for Fields' comedy and the story is secondary. Considered to be his best movie, I have to say that fact doesn't motivate me to seek out much more of his work. What was funny, was funny, but the bits that failed, were tedious. In one scene Fields' character is trying to get some sleep on a porch swing and is constantly interrupted by neighbors, milk men, insurance salesmen, and Baby LeRoy. That's a scene that could have been shortened by about a century.

Speaking of LeRoy, how did this three year old get star billing? Who's idea was that? Hard times indeed when you are washed up in Hollywood by age four. I didn't expect Fields to be dominated by an overbearing wife. That wasn't my image of him. Well, I'm not going to spend a lot of time with this one. I liked the parts I liked and it was nice to see a W.C. Fields movie, but overall, AMRU 2.5.
Norman: What's the matter, Pop? Don'tcha love me anymore?
Harold: [he raises his hand to hit Norman] Certainly I love you.
Amelia: Don't you strike that child!
Harold: Well, he's not gonna tell me I don't love him.

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