It's a Gift

Director: Norman Z. McLeod
Year Released: 1934
Rating: 2.5

Grocery store owner W.C. Fields buys an orange grove out west, further annoying his perennially irate wife and not exactly winning the hearts of his children (all of whom think he's an utter buffoon). This is the set-up for a slew of Fieldsian moments where everything that can get screwed up does (typically at the hands of other people), only for the Mahatma himself to get blamed. While some of these sketches are cleverly constructed, their effectiveness is often compromised - a few are drawn out too long, whereas others start off great but not played out long enough. The centerpiece of the picture, a lengthy sequence with Fields trying to get some rest on a cot outside, is justly famous even though it is such a standout it interrupts the works.