IMDb > The Millionaire (1931)
The Millionaire
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The Millionaire (1931) More at IMDbPro »

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User Rating:
7.3/10   290 votes »
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Down 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Earl Derr Biggers (based on "Idle Hands")
Booth Tarkington (dialogue)
View company contact information for The Millionaire on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1 May 1931 (USA) See more »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Charming See more (11 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

George Arliss ... James Alden
Florence Arliss ... Mrs. Laura Alden

David Manners ... Bill Merrick

Evalyn Knapp ... Barbara Alden

James Cagney ... Schofield

Bramwell Fletcher ... Carter Andrews

Noah Beery ... Peterson
Ivan F. Simpson ... Davis (as Ivan Simpson)
J.C. Nugent ... Dr. Harvey

Sam Hardy ... McCoy

J. Farrell MacDonald ... Dan Lewis

Charley Grapewin ... Ed Powers (as Charles Grapewin)
Charles E. Evans ... The Gardener

Tully Marshall ... Briggs
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Ethel Griffies ... Mrs. Andrews (uncredited)
Ben Hall ... Al (uncredited)

Directed by
John G. Adolfi 
Writing credits
Earl Derr Biggers (based on "Idle Hands")

Booth Tarkington (dialogue)

Julien Josephson (screen play) (as Julian Josephson)

Maude T. Howell  screen play (uncredited)

Produced by
John G. Adolfi .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Alois Reiser (foreign version) (uncredited)
Cinematography by
James Van Trees (photographed by)
Film Editing by
Owen Marks (edited by)
Art Direction by
Esdras Hartley 
Costume Design by
Edward Stevenson (uncredited)
Makeup Department
Perc Westmore .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Earl Luick .... wardrobe
Music Department
Leo F. Forbstein .... conductor: Vitaphone Orchestra
Crew verified as complete

Production Companies
  • Warner Bros. (presents) (as a Warner Bros Vitaphone Talking Picture)

Additional Details

Also Known As:
80 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Brunswick Radios Used Exclusively)

Did You Know?

The $2,500 Jim pays for the half interest in the gas station would be worth almost $40,000 in 2016.See more »
Movie Connections:
Auld Lang SyneSee more »


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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful.
Charming, 17 July 2006
Author: B24 from Arizona

The gentle humor of this film is balanced by a certain amount of social conscience, making it even as a dated story something moderately charming. Set in California during the Great Depression, it is pure fantasy of the kind much needed in movie-houses during those dark days. Although it is now rare in our decadent corporate epoch to find a happy and generous -- not to say intelligent -- millionaire free of the desire to line his own pockets at the expense of his employees, the character as played by George Arliss transcends mere capitalism and inspires us to higher purposes.

Cameos by James Cagney and Wallace Beery provide some historical flavor for film buffs, as do some truly grand vintage automobiles going in and out of the service stations central to the story. Though that story remains thin and improbable, it is fast-paced and directed with élan. My own appreciation was enhanced by noting at the outset the name of Booth Trarkington as one of the writers. He was without a doubt one of the finest popular novelists of the early twentieth century, now largely forgotten. The playful tone he employed in the "Penrod" stories is much evident here.

A very fine production for 1931.

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