It’s a Gift

Movie Information

In Brief: Generally considered — along with The Bank Dick (1940) — the best of W.C. Fields' movies, It's a Gift (1934) presents the Great Man as Harold Bissonette (pronounced Biss-o-nay), the owner of a small grocery store in Wappinger Falls, N.J. His great dream is to own an "orange ranch" in California, something that comes to fruition with an inheritance from an uncle. Much to the distress of his wife (Kathleen Howard) and daughter (Jean Rouverol), he proceeds to sell the grocery store and pursue this dream. The plot is nothing much, and a great deal of the film's comedy has little, if any, bearing on the slender story. That's actually in its favor, since Fields is at his best in digressions and tangents — which is mostly what we have here, and it pays off in comedy gold. Once you've seen it, you'll never have to worry about knowing how to spell Carl LaFong's name again. I promise.
Genre: Comedy
Director: Norman McLeod (Horse Feathers)
Starring: W.C. Fields, Kathleen Howard, Jean Rouverol, Julian Madison, Tommy Bupp
Rated: NR

The Asheville Film Society will screen It’s a Gift Tuesday, Feb. 9, at 8 p.m. in Theater Six at The Carolina Asheville, hosted by Xpress movie critic Ken Hanke.

About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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