A small country on the verge of bankruptcy is persuaded to enter the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics as a means of raising money. Either a masterpiece of absurdity or a triumph of satire, ... See full summary »
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Gregory La Cava
Charles 'Buddy' Rogers
The wealthy von Wellingens are shocked when the father of their son Fred's fiancée Lia juggles desserts at a formal dinner. They encourage Fred to break the engagement. Lia goes to Berlin ... See full summary »
When a hot young prosecutor learns that a man he got convicted and executed was in fact innocent, he quits his DA job and becomes a defense attorney. He grows rich and powerful defending ... See full summary »
A small country on the verge of bankruptcy is persuaded to enter the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics as a means of raising money. Either a masterpiece of absurdity or a triumph of satire, depending on your mood, but it's quite possibly the funniest movie ever made, and becomes even funnier with subsequent viewings. Written by
There is room among movie aficionados to do a full study about "Ruritanian" Romances and films. Besides THE PRISONER OF ZENDA the number of films dealing with fictitious foreign states include musicals, comedies, and even straight political dramas. While all the studios put them out, Paramount certainly seemed to do more of them than the others. Look at THE LOVE PARADE, THE MERRY WIDOW, DUCK SOUP, and the present film, MILLION DOLLAR LEGS. Basically these countries have very poor populations ("Klopstokia" in MILLION DOLLAR LEGS is said to be basically made of nuts and goats; "Marshovia" in THE MERRY WIDOW, and "Freedonia" in DUCK SOUP depend on the largess of one rich woman in each country). The politics are not really democratic. "Sylvania" in THE LOVE PARADE is a monarchy, and has a particularly ruthless (if hapless) ambassador at work for it in DUCK SOUP. "Freedonia" in DUCK SOUP gives up democracy to satisfy a condition for a loan, and adopts an eccentric dictator (although a sharp one). And, although "Klopstokia" has a President, the election is based on physical strength - not on actual popular demand. Moreover W.C.Fields is as capricious in his way as Groucho Marx was in DUCK SOUP. Witness how Fields imagines a General he is dictating a letter to has insulted him, and breaks him to the rank of private.
It is a land of intrigue - for some incomprehensible reason Ben Turpin keeps turning up as a spy on the goings on of Fields and everyone else. The Vice President (Hugh Herbert - not quite so silly in this film as in others) keeps looking for ways of turning out the President either legally or by underhanded ways. When Klopstokia sends a large team of splendid athletes to the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics, Herbert hires the world's greatest vamp/spy - Mata Machree (Lyda Roberti) to demoralize and split up the team (and so discredit the President).
Fields is forced to rely on Migg Sweeney, a brush salesman (Jack Oakie) who is romancing Fields' daughter Angela (Susan Fleming) by singing the national love song, "Woof Blugle Gif" which is based on the tune of "One Hour With Your" from the Paramount film of the same name. He fortunately never gets to sing the entire song in the movie - he does play it on his ukulele. Migg manages, despite his fear for his safety from his prospective father-in-law, does do the best he can to keep the team in tack, and to try to bring it to Olympic gold.
The film is fast, as well as funny. I would give it an 8 out of 10.
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