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It's a Gift

USA 1934
produced by
William LeBaron, Emanuel Cohen (executive) for Paramount
directed by Norman Z. McLeod
starring W.C. Fields, Kathleen Howard, Jean Rouverol, Julian Madison, Tommy Bupp, Baby LeRoy, Tammany Young, Morgan Wallace, Charles Sellon, Josephine Whittell, T.Roy Barnes, Diana Lewis, Spencer Charters, Guy Usher, Dell Henderson
screenplay by Jack Cunningham, based on the play The Comic Supplement by W.C. Fields, J.P. McElvoy, music by John Leipold

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Available on DVD !

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Harold Bissonette (W.C. Fields) runs a small neighbourhood grocery store, and rather unsuccessfully too. Then though he inheriots a large chunk of money, and instead of putting the money into his store or improving his home, he buys an orange farm in California - much to the shock of his always nagging wife (Kathleen Howard) and his daughter Mildred (Jean Rouverol), whose boyfriend John (Julian Madison) has actually sold him the orange farm.

Thing is, since John has sold Bissonette the farm, he has found out it's just a worthless piece of land, and he is willing and able to buy it back out of honesty ... but that puts Bissonette on alarm, as he figures John must know something he doesn't, and if he could have been talked out of the farm before, now he wouldn't sell it for the world.

Eventually, Bissonette really drives his family out to California - to find a shack on a worthless piece of land on which oranges won't grow in a thousand years. His wife and family leave him out of protest, his car breaks down, his shack will with the next windstorm - in a word, he has lost everything ... until two carrace promoters stop by and are desperate to buy his land which they need for their new racetrack - and Bissonette is clever enough to not sell until he gets a real orange farm and a neat sum of money out of them.

 

Pretty much a remake of Fields' earlier (silent) It's the Old Army Game, this shows Fields at the top of his game as the hen-pecked husband who slides from one hilarious situation into the next - and the situations as such are so funny that the (somewhat clichéed) story takes backseat here, it's sequences like Fields' attempt to sleep on his porch being constantly sabotaged by streetnoise or his trying to serve a blind man in his shop or unfolding a folding chair or trying to get a shave when his daughter takes possession of the bathroom mirror that really make the film.

A comedy classic.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD