By Wook Kim
Updated March 27, 2007 at 02:00 PM EDT

Yesterday, editor-at-large Ken Tucker enthusiastically recommended a new collection of DVDs featuring the comic brilliance of W.C. Fields. One of the very few performers who made the transition from vaudeville to silent films to “talkies,” Fields (born William Claude Dukenfield) initially made his name playing long-suffering — and usually drunken — misanthropes. Nobody has ever done a slow burn quite like him. Here are two clips, both from the 1934 classic It’s a Gift.