33 user 6 critic

If I Had a Million (1932)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama | 22 February 1933 (Sweden)
A dying tycoon gives million-dollar windfalls to eight people picked from the city directory.


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


(based on a story by) (as Robert D. Andrews), | 14 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Steve Gallagher
Phineas V. Lambert
Eddie Jackson
Private Mulligan
John Glidden
Henry Peabody (as Charlie Ruggles)
Emily La Rue
Rollo La Rue
Mrs. Peabody
Private O'Brien
Mrs. Mary Walker


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


Comedy | Drama


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

22 February 1933 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

China Shop  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


| (USA) (DVD release)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film takes place from March to April 1932. See more »


Discovering he's about to die, millionaire Glidden decides to leave his money to names he's randomly selected from the phone book. But when first name he chooses turns out to be John D. Rockefeller, he flips a few pages further into directory and selects someone named Peabody - a name that would actually have appeared in the book before Rockefeller. See more »


Eddie Jackson: Listen, I'm going off my nut. I ain't eaten. I ain't slept. The cops have got a plant on my place, and I'm walking around without a dime with THIS is in my pocket. I can't even buy a cup of coffee. I'm going crazy, I tell ya.
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Referenced in Shadows of Suspense (2006) See more »


Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen
Traditional Negro spiritual
Sung by Clarence Muse
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

3 March 2000 | by (Baltimore, Maryland) – See all my reviews

This is one of those films that exists in a cinematic no-man's land, because it is in a legal copyright tangle. That is very unfortunate, because IF I HAD A MILLION is one of the finest of the early talkies. The story has a dying millionaire who doesn't want to see his fortune go to greedy relatives. Instead, he selects some names at random from the city directory and decides to give them each a million dollars. First, he gives the money to Charles Ruggles, a henpecked husband who is always having his salary deducted when he accidentally breaks china at the china shop that he works at. His nagging wife won't let him be. So, to get revenge, he takes his million to the store and breaks every piece of china in the place. Wynne Gibson as Violet is the next to get her million. She is a prostitute at a local bar, and she takes her money to rent a private hotel room for the night, to sleep alone. Gangster George Raft is unable to cash the check because he's been arrested for forgery. Next, three marines believe the check to be a fake and give it to a friend, who finds its true worth and spends it on himself. Convict Gene Raymond learns of his new-found fortune as he is being led to the electric chair. Office clerk Charles Laughton takes his money and tells off his boss. And in GRANDMA, kindly old May Robson uses the money to spruce up the old ladies home, Idyllwood. But the highlight is the W.C. Fields sequence, in which he, fed up with road hogs, buys a whole lot of used cars to use as an army against the oncoming traffic. All in all, IF I HAD A MILLION remains a true classic.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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