MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 9,343 this week

If I Had a Million (1932)

Passed  -  Comedy | Drama  -  2 December 1932 (USA)
7.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,015 users  
Reviews: 33 user | 6 critic

A dying tycoon gives million-dollar windfalls to eight people picked from the city directory.

Directors:

(uncredited) , (uncredited) , 6 more credits »

Writers:

(based on a story by), , 23 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Exclusive Trailer

View the Foxcatcher Exclusive trailer with Steve Carell and Channing Tatum


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 07 Sep 2011
 
a list of 106 titles
created 27 Apr 2012
 
a list of 113 titles
created 25 Jun 2012
 
list image
a list of 47 titles
created 08 Feb 2013
 
a list of 57 titles
created 1 month ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: If I Had a Million (1932)

If I Had a Million (1932) on IMDb 7.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of If I Had a Million.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Against her better judgement, happily married Jill Baker is persuaded to see a popular psychoanalyst about her psychosomatic hiccups. Soon, she's disillusioned about husband Larry; and one ... See full summary »

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Merle Oberon, Melvyn Douglas, Burgess Meredith
Cluny Brown (1946)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Amateur plumber Cluny Brown gets sent off by her uncle to work as a servant at an English country estate. While there, she becomes friendly with Adam Belinski, a charming Czech refugee. She... See full summary »

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Charles Boyer, Jennifer Jones, Peter Lawford
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Hard-working, henpecked Ambrose Ambrose Wolfinger takes off from work to go to a wrestling match with catastrophic consequences.

Directors: Clyde Bruckman, W.C. Fields
Stars: W.C. Fields, Kathleen Howard, Mary Brian
Monte Carlo (1930)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Minutes before her wedding to Duke Otto Von Seibenheim, Countess Helene Mara flees, on a whim, to Monte Carlo, where she hopes her luck will save her poor financial state. There, Count ... See full summary »

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Jeanette MacDonald, Jack Buchanan, Claud Allister
Six of a Kind (1934)
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When a respectable middle-class couple take a cross-country trip by auto, they share expenses with a decidedly oddball couple, none of whom know the car carries embezzled funds.

Director: Leo McCarey
Stars: Charles Ruggles, Mary Boland, W.C. Fields
Certificate: Passed Musical | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The small kingdom of Marshovia has a little problem. The main tax-payer, the wealthy widow Sonia (who pays 52 0f the taxes) has left for Paris So Count Danilo is sent to Paris, to stop her ... See full summary »

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Edward Everett Horton
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The Great McGonigle and his troupe of third-rate vaudevillians manage to stay one step ahead of the bill collectors and the sheriff.

Director: William Beaudine
Stars: W.C. Fields, Joe Morrison, Baby LeRoy
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In 19th century Russia,the idealistic officer Chernov is appointed chief of the Imperial Guard by the Empress Catherine the Great and navigates between the diplomacy of Grand Chancellor Nicolai Liyitch and the plots of the generals.

Directors: Otto Preminger, Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Tallulah Bankhead, Charles Coburn, Anne Baxter
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Larson E. Whipsnade runs a seedy circus which is perpetually in debt. His performers give him nothing but trouble, especially Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy. Meanwhile, Whipsnade's son ... See full summary »

Directors: George Marshall, Edward F. Cline
Stars: W.C. Fields, Edgar Bergen, Charlie McCarthy
Mississippi (1935)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A young pacifist after refusing on principle to defend her sweetheart's honor and being banished in disgrace, joins a riverboat troupe as a singer, acquires a reputation as a crackshot ... See full summary »

Directors: A. Edward Sutherland, Wesley Ruggles
Stars: Bing Crosby, W.C. Fields, Joan Bennett
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Tillie and Augustus Winterbottom are thought to be missionaries when they arrive to find Phineas Pratt trying cheat the Sheridans out of her father's inheritance, including a ferry ... See full summary »

Director: Francis Martin
Stars: W.C. Fields, Alison Skipworth, Baby LeRoy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Marcel Vallée
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Steve Gallagher
...
Phineas V. Lambert
...
Eddie Jackson
Jack Oakie ...
Private Mulligan
Richard Bennett ...
John Glidden
...
Henry Peabody (as Charlie Ruggles)
Alison Skipworth ...
Emily La Rue
...
Rollo La Rue
...
Mrs. Peabody
...
Private O'Brien
...
Mrs. Mary Walker
Edit

Storyline

Tycoon John Glidden, dying though still vigorous, is so dissatisfied with his relatives and associates that, rather than will his money to any of them, he decides to give it away in million-dollar amounts to strangers picked from the city directory. He picks a meek china salesman; a prostitute; a forger; two ex-vaudevilleans who hate road hogs; a condemned man; a mild-mannered clerk; a boisterous marine; and an oppressed inmate of an old ladies' home. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 December 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

China Shop  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (USA) (DVD release)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Gail Patrick's film debut. See more »

Goofs

The La Rues purchase 9 vehicles from the used car lot and drive out in one car followed by 8 other vehicles. At the end of the day when they are down to one car, they only pay off 6 drivers. See more »

Quotes

John Wallace: I don't want my soul saved! I want to live!
See more »

Connections

Followed by The Millionaire (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

Sobre las olas (Over the Waves)
(uncredited)
Music by Juventino Rosas
Played during the carnival sequence
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Something for everyone: comedy, melodrama, a hint of sex and several car crashes
28 November 2005 | by (Westchester County, NY) – See all my reviews

I love this movie, it's a special favorite of mine, and the memory of my first viewing of it thirty-some years ago is so pleasant that it's hard for me to be objective about its merits. That said, after seeing it again recently I'm more convinced than ever that If I Had a Million is one of the most underrated films of the '30s. As far as I'm concerned this is a movie that has it all: comedy, pathos, irony, melodrama, a hint of sex, several car crashes, and a cast boasting some of the greatest character actors of all time. Maybe it isn't perfect, maybe the tone is erratic and a couple of segments are a bit weak, but taken as a whole it's as entertaining as any film of its era.

The story concerns millionaire industrialist John Glidden, who is ill and believed to be dying. Sick he may be, but Glidden is nevertheless energized by the contempt he feels for the greedy relatives who have gathered to await his death -- and to collect whatever monies they might inherit, of course. Glidden is so infuriated by this hypocrisy that his anger gives him a new lease on life, and it inspires an idea that fills him with glee: he decides to leave his fortune to total strangers, one million dollars at a time. At first the plan is driven by spite, but as it unfolds Glidden becomes increasingly interested in the people who receive his bequest, in how they react to their unexpected luck and what impact the money has on their lives.

Made in 1932 in the depths of the Great Depression, If I had a Million surely must have represented a mouth-watering wish-fulfillment fantasy at the time of its release, when even a hundred dollars would have amounted to an amazing windfall for many viewers. The cast of familiar faces in cameo roles was a strong selling point in the wake of Grand Hotel and other star-studded extravaganzas, and naturally it's fun to see Gary Cooper, W.C. Fields, Charles Laughton, etc., among the players, but watching the film again today I am especially struck by the performance of Richard Bennett as millionaire John Glidden. Bennett (father of Joan and Constance) was a veteran stage actor who recognized this role for the plum assignment it was, and threw himself into it with gusto. His exuberant performance really drives the opening scenes and gives the story the strong presence needed to link the segments in a satisfying way. Bennett, wild-eyed and giddy, kicks off the show with all stops out, and this not only grabs our attention immediately but also serves to sharpen the contrast with the more subdued Glidden who returns at intervals throughout.

Reviewers commenting on this film tend to single out the comedy segments featuring Laughton, Fields, and Charles Ruggles, and they're all terrific -- although Laughton's scene is best recalled for its extreme brevity and resounding punchline -- but some of the dramatic vignettes of If I had a Million are equally notable. Wynne Gibson is poignant as the waterfront prostitute who can't believe Glidden is on the level, while George Raft, never the most nuanced of actors, is surprisingly effective as the small-time crook who comes to realize that his ostensible good fortune is not a blessing but a curse. The maudlin Death Row sequence featuring Gene Raymond has never been anyone's favorite, but at least it's brief. Two older actresses, Alison Skipworth and May Robson, each make a strong impression in separate segments. Skipworth is a joy as an aging vaudevillian settling into retirement, and she more than holds her own alongside W.C. Fields in the crowd-pleasing "road hog" sequence. Robson is gallant and deeply sympathetic in the final vignette, set in a home for old ladies, where she serves as a fierce advocate for the women against the home's repressive, tyrannical director. This last sequence is the longest in the film and teeters on the brink of sentimentality, but ultimately leaves us with the most satisfying denouement of them all.

As I noted up top my first viewing of this movie was a very pleasant one. In the summer of 1970 I rented a 16mm print of If I had a Million to show at a party, and it scored a big hit. The kids loved the car crashes, Charlie Ruggles' plate-smashing spree, and Laughton's Bronx cheer, while the grown-ups appreciated the clothing, slang, automobiles and general trappings of the early '30s, a period they remembered first-hand. In later years I found that broadcasts of the film on TV usually lacked the sequences featuring Wynne Gibson and Gene Raymond, and still later I found that the movie itself had become scarce, rarely shown anywhere and never officially offered in a home-viewable format. This limbo is apparently due to legal issues involving copyrights, but I do hope the matter will be resolved eventually. If I had a Million is a delightful film that richly deserves rediscovery by a new generation!


33 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Is this film available on DVD or video? robertadamallan
George Raft francesandmew
Bullwinkle and Peabody human37
Pre-Production Code turtletommy
for old car buffs wmav01
names snitched from this movie for TV ksf-2
Discuss If I Had a Million (1932) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?