It’s a Gift #MovieReview

Film 288 in the ‘1001 Films to See Before You Die’ challenge is 1934’s “It’s a Gift”. Directed by Norman Z. McLeod and staring W.C. Fields, this comedy film is about a henpecked New Jersey grocer who makes plans to move to California to grow oranges, despite the resistance of his overbearing wife. Was the goal of this film to annoy me? Was it to give me a headache? Well it accomplished both. No one in this film is likeable. WC Fields comes across as a dumbass, his wife is annoying, the little boy has a screechy voice that makes my ears bleed and the daughter…. didn’t do a whole lot. There were scenes that just went on and on to the point where I found Newcastle United signing Andros Townsend for £12 million more interesting than this. One scene that defiantly went on too long was the patio scene. We get it, you have noisy neighbours who think leaving their baby outside overnight with an icepick is a good idea. I was asking so many questions throughout this film but rather than the film answer them, it just sweeps them under the carpet and moves on. Why was the boy wearing roller skates throughout the film? Why is Harold determined to buy this orange ranch? Why is Harold’s wife annoying? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Also, for a comedy film I didn’t laugh at one thing. Was it because I was annoyed throughout? Or is it because the comedy is outdated or, in one case, a little offensive? What I mean by that is, the blind man in the shop. How do we show he’s blind; waves a stick, black tinted sunglasses, walks/falls into things and can somehow avoid being hit by a parade of firetrucks. Overall, this film annoyed me and left me with a headache that’s going to take more than paracetamols to cure.  Fun Fact – Despite two of his films making it on this list (this and The Bank Dick), none of his movies was ever nominated for an Academy Award. If you have seen this film then let me know what you thought of it in the comments. Here is what I had to say while watching 1934’s ‘It’s a Gift’

Film – It’s a Gift
Year – 1934
Director – Norman Z. McLeod
Written by – Jack Cunningham, J.P. McEvoy
Staring – W.C. Fields, Kathleen Howard, Jean Rouverol
IMDb Rating – 7.5/10
My Rating – 1.5/10
Length – 68 min (1h 8min)
Genre – Comedy

We open with a family driving in a car

How dare you roller skate in the hallways

SHUT UP NORMAN!!! – Wow this child actor is annoying

Do you mind? I’m trying to shave

Don’t you hate it when you have to share the same mirror in the bathroom

Who knew you could turn shaving into a dance

No breakfast is complete without falling over your childs skates and a cigar

So… His uncle is dying and decides to respect his life by starting an orange ranch

WOW This wife is annoying


What’s the point in changing hats if they are identical to one another

I saw him falling into that pile of boxes coming from a mile away

Also… A blind man who also death…. And this is comedy!??!


And the blind man walks across the road somehow avoiding 20 or so firetrucks

Harold’s daughter’s boyfriends tells her that the orange ranch is useless

Who rides a bike in a store?

Just leave and go to another store… Or just steal them

Turns out Uncle Bean has died from eating an orange

Wait… You don’t have any kumquats?!? So why have you kept them here

Is every character in this film meant to give me a headache

Don’t you hate it when you and your friend wear the same clothes

Why do you need to wear a fur coat to get meat?

Also, who lets their employees babysit a child while they’re at work

Don’t you hate it when your floor gets covered in molasses?

Turns out Harold’s paid for the entire orange ranch in California for $5000

And he’s sold the grocery store!

Wait… If they’re married then why do they sleep in separate beds?

‘Sleeping on your left side is bad for your heart’ – Is it?

Don’t you hate it when the phone rings before you go to bed?

How can anyone sleep with her booming voice REFUSING TO SHUT UP

Don’t you hate it when you sit on the patio and it breaks

What milkman delivers milk, coconuts and corn flakes at 2am?

And now for the coconut to start moving all by itself

Thanks for spelling his last name for no reason

What salesman tries to sell insurance at 3am?

Who leaves their baby outside overnight

I wanna switch this off but it’s an hour long! I’m close to doing it

Just go and spend the night in a hotel Harold

This scene has gone on for far too long


Time for Harold and the family to leave for the orange ranch in California

Have these two never heard of writing letters to stay in touch?

Don’t you hate it when your car stalls in front of a crowd of people

Remember how I said the last scene was dragging… Well…


If you can’t fix it… BURN IT

Let me guess… They’ve driven onto someone’s property

Eventually they get kicked out

Now they’ve made it to the ranch… and… It’s a dump

Again… If she and the kids were objecting to moving then why did they come with Harold

And they’ve left


Now the car’s broken

Wait… Where did the dog come from?

Now Harold gets told that his ranch has been sold to become a race track

So… He’s sold the ranch for a better ranch and $44,000

So Harold got his ranch and he got some money



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