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The Millionaire (1931)

A millionaire automaker retires upon the advice of his doctor, but becomes so bored he buys half interest in a gas station and works it on the sly.

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(based on "Idle Hands"), (dialogue) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Florence Arliss ...
Mrs. Laura Alden
...
Bill Merrick
...
Barbara Alden
...
Schofield
...
Carter Andrews
...
Peterson
...
Davis (as Ivan Simpson)
J.C. Nugent ...
Dr. Harvey
...
McCoy
...
Dan Lewis
...
Ed Powers (as Charles Grapewin)
Charles E. Evans ...
The Gardener
...
Briggs
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Storyline

Automaker James Alden is told to retire by his doctors and does so in deference to his wife Laura and daughter 'Babs.' He is not only bored after six months, but is told by a life insurance salesman that retired men are bad risks. So James secretly responds to an ad in the newspaper about a garage being for sale, but he (using the alias Charlie Miller) buys only half of the garage, since the other half was already sold to Bill Merrick, who becomes his partner. The ex-owner, Peterson, was dishonest in not revealing he was opening a new gas station near the new highway a mile down the road where most of the traffic will be. Not willing to be slickered by anybody, Charlie and Bill buy and elegantly rebuild a decrepit building across the street from Peterson's new station and compete handily with the charlatan. James uses a pretense to get away every day, but wonders how long he can keep up his double life. Written by Arthur Hausner <genart@volcano.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Comedy

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

1 May 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le millionnaire  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Brunswick Radios Used Exclusively)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It was James Cagney's small role (as a fast-talking insurance salesman) in this film that made William A. Wellman decide to cast him in the lead role of Tom Powers in The Public Enemy (1931). He had initially been cast as Matt Doyle, with Edward Woods playing Tom, but Wellman was so impressed by Cagney that he reversed the roles. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Beer and Blood: Enemies of the Public (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Auld Lang Syne
(uncredited)
Scottish traditional Music
Played in background when Alden retires
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User Reviews

 
A very enjoyable comedy of deception with George Arliss in top form.
11 February 1999 | by (Pine Grove, California) – See all my reviews

George Arliss does it again! I recently saw "The Working Man (1933)" and loved it because the audience is let in on a deception that few of the cast know about. This is another film in the same vein. It makes for some very funny situations. The funniest scene happens when Arliss' wife, Florence Arliss (his real-life wife too), also comes around for some gas, but you have to see the film for that. By the way, the remake "That Way with Women (1947)" is pretty much a turkey; Arliss makes all the difference.

The supporting cast includes James Cagney (a standout) in his fourth film as an insurance agent convincing Arliss to get some work because retired men are poor life insurance risks. Also good is Noah Beery as the owner of the gas station.


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