It's a Gift
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It's a Gift (1934) dir. Norman Z. McLeod

It's a Gift exists somewhere between silent comedy and modern sitcoms.  It's the first W. C. Fields film I've seen, and I very much enjoyed it.

The plot isn't of much importance  - the set pieces barely hang onto it.  The first is a largely silent bit, with Fields trying to shave in the mirror.  He dances around contorts absurdly.  The grocery store scene uses yelling to great effect - "About my kumquats!" - and the audio contributes to the comedic mayhem.

Fields' attempt at sleeping on the porch relies primarily on sound.  Every second of silence is quickly interrupted by one sound or another, and the gag just keeps running and running and running.

His interaction with his family and his wife take on a more modern approach to comedy.  Carroll O'Connor almost certainly used Fields as a model for Archie Bunker.  The mumble is unmistakable.

It's a Gift is #443 on the Top 1000 Films list I’m working on.  I’ve now seen 383.