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Miss Brewster's Millions (1926)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  22 March 1926 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 7 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 1 critic

Polly Brewster, a penniless Hollywood model/movie extra inherits one million dollars. But her new lawyer, Tom Hancock, informs her that she has to spend it all within 30 days to inherit $5 ... See full summary »

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Title: Miss Brewster's Millions (1926)

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Polly Brewster
...
Thomas B. Hancock Jr
Ford Sterling ...
Ned Brewster
George Beranger ...
Mr. Brent (as André de Beranger)
Miss Beresford ...
Landlady
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Storyline

Polly Brewster, a penniless Hollywood model/movie extra inherits one million dollars. But her new lawyer, Tom Hancock, informs her that she has to spend it all within 30 days to inherit $5 million more from her spiteful Uncle Ned Brewster who tries to prevent it from happening. Written by Matthew Patay

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Comedy | Drama

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22 March 1926 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Im Taumel der Millionen  »

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1.33 : 1
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Version of Brewster's Millions (1914) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Bebe Daniels, Richard Pryor and Roscoe Arbuckle.
28 February 2006 | by (Minffordd, North Wales) – See all my reviews

George Barr McCutcheon's novel "Brewster's Millions" had a brilliant premise. An impecunious young man named Brewster unexpectedly inherits a fortune, on condition that he must squander all of it on foolish pursuits within a brief period. If he blows the lot, he then inherits a much larger sum which he may treat as he pleases. If he fails to squander the entire original inheritance -- if, for example, he decides to invest it sensibly, or to save it -- he forfeits all of it. His late benefactor has dictated these terms to ensure that Brewster, forced to squander a large amount of money quickly, will lose his taste for spendthrift behaviour and -- if he receives the larger inheritance -- will properly appreciate the money.

McCutcheon's novel became a hit play, which -- over the course of several decades -- was filmed several times in America and Britain, starring a very wide range of actors as the several Brewsters. In 1985, shortly after Richard Pryor had starred in the latest version of 'Brewster's Millions', I had a conversation with an obnoxious young man who sneered at my fondness for silent films starring actors who are now totally forgotten. With a smirk on his face, this young man (a Pryor fan) told me that Richard Pryor was much funnier than any of 'those old guys like Fatty Arbuckle'. I'll never forget the look of astonishment on that idiot's face when I told him that his beloved Richard Pryor's latest film -- 'Brewster's Millions' -- was a remake of a Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle film from 1921! (And even that one wasn't the first film version!)

'Miss Brewster's Millions' is the same chestnut yet again, sex-changed to give the lead role to a woman, Bebe Daniels. This actress has proved her deft comedic talents in other roles, but somehow the formula doesn't work this time. Possibly the notion of a woman squandering huge quantities of money she hasn't earned is just not nearly so funny as a man doing the same thing. Or am I being sexist? Anyway, it isn't funny to ME.

In this version, the impoverished (Miss) Brewster is a would-be movie actress, so we get a few Hollywood gags plus a bright performance from Andre de Beranger as a pompous movie director. There's also good work by Ford Sterling in a villainous turn, as Miss Brewster's scheming uncle who tries to foil her spending spree so that he will inherit the boodle himself.

The funniest scene in this version occurs when Miss Brewster meets some crackpot inventors who want her to invest in their elaborate Heath Robinson contraptions. One of them has built a ludicrous dishwasher, another has created a gizmo to protect jaywalkers. Naturally, the machines malfunction in laughable ways ... laughable, but unfortunately not hilarious.

I'm prejudiced in favour of Bebe Daniels, as she and her husband Ben Lyon chose to stay in London during the Blitz. I'm being generous when I rate this movie 6 out of 10, and at least one of those points is for Ford Sterling's performance. The talkie remake starring Dennis O'Keefe, and an English version cried 'Three on a Spree', are much funnier than this version of 'Brewster's Millions'.


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