The Millionaire (1931)

 |  Drama, Comedy  |  1 May 1931 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 228 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 5 critic

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.



(based on "Idle Hands"), (dialogue), 2 more credits »
0Check in
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Lou Ricarno is a smart guy. His plan is to organize the various gangs in Chicago so that the mugs will not liquidate each other. WIth the success of his leadership, Louie prospers, marries ... See full summary »

Director: Archie Mayo
Stars: Lew Ayres, James Cagney, Charles Judels
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Events take an unhappy turn for two Bill and Jack, two locomotive engineers, after Bill is attracted to his best friend's wife.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Grant Withers, Mary Astor, Regis Toomey
Smart Money (1931)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Immigrant Greek barber has uncommon skills in playing poker and soon rises in the seedy world of illegal gambling, but pretty blondes remain his Achilles' heel.

Director: Alfred E. Green
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, James Cagney, Evalyn Knapp
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Young boxer Jim Kane, resting at a New Mexico "health ranch," meets and falls for Peggy Harmon, former nightclub table singer...who needs $600 more for her sickly son to stay in the place. ... See full summary »

Director: Roy Del Ruth
Stars: James Cagney, Marian Nixon, Guy Kibbee
Blonde Crazy (1931)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Adventures of a cocky con man and his glamorous accomplice.

Director: Roy Del Ruth
Stars: James Cagney, Joan Blondell, Louis Calhern
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Small time con artist Lefty Merrill has co-organized a crooked dance marathon and set-up his girlfriend to win the prize money. When his partner disappears with money before the contest is ... See full summary »

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: James Cagney, Mary Brian, Allen Jenkins
Lady Killer (1933)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A former gangster makes it big in Hollywood, but his old life catches up with him.

Director: Roy Del Ruth
Stars: James Cagney, Mae Clarke, Margaret Lindsay
Taxi! (1932)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Independent cab drivers struggling against a taxi company consortium find a leader in Matt Nolan.

Director: Roy Del Ruth
Stars: James Cagney, Loretta Young, George E. Stone
Crime | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Cagney is Danny Kenny, a truck driver who enters "the fight game" and Sheridan plays his girlfriend, Peggy. Danny realizes success in the ring and uses his income to pay for his brother ... See full summary »

Directors: Anatole Litvak, Jean Negulesco
Stars: James Cagney, Ann Sheridan, Frank Craven
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Five members of a teen-age gang, including leader Jimmy Smith, are sent to the State Reformatory, presided over by the melodramatically callous Thompson. Soon, Patsy Gargan, a former ... See full summary »

Directors: Archie Mayo, Michael Curtiz
Stars: James Cagney, Madge Evans, Arthur Byron
Drama | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Famous motor-racing champion Joe Greer returns to his hometown to compete in a local race. He discovers his younger brother has aspirations to become a racing champion and during the race ... See full summary »

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: James Cagney, Joan Blondell, Ann Dvorak
Certificate: Passed Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Ma Delano (La Verne) runs a boardwalk penny arcade, living upstairs with her sons (Cagney and Gallagher) and daughter (Knapp). Story involves rum running, accidental murder and a frame-up.

Director: John G. Adolfi
Stars: Grant Withers, Lucille La Verne, Warren Hymer


Complete credited cast:
Florence Arliss ...
Mrs. Laura Alden
David Manners ...
Evalyn Knapp ...
Barbara Alden
Bramwell Fletcher ...
Carter Andrews
Ivan F. Simpson ...
Davis (as Ivan Simpson)
J.C. Nugent ...
Dr. Harvey
Sam Hardy ...
J. Farrell MacDonald ...
Dan Lewis
Ed Powers (as Charles Grapewin)
Charles E. Evans ...
The Gardener


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Comedy





Release Date:

1 May 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le millionnaire  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Brunswick Radios Used Exclusively)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


Version of The Ruling Passion (1922) See more »


Auld Lang Syne
Scottish traditional Music
Played in background when Alden retires
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
I can't find this Leftylikesmovies
Discuss The Millionaire (1931) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: