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Whoops! Here's another movie that had three different titles in its day. I'm reviewing it here as "If I Were Rich," which is the title on the DVD I bought. The IMDb listing has it as "For Love of Money," which is probably the title it went under when it was first released in England. But, it also went under the title "Cash," according to the billing here. Why they can't stick with one title, I'll never know.
Well, by whatever name, this is a delicious comedy that has some top British actors of the day although most of them would not be well known in the States for a time. The big exception, of course, is Edmund Gwenn who was known then and would become very well known in later years for his roles in a number of American-made movies. He won an Oscar for his 1948 role in "Miracle on 34th Street." In this film, Gwenn is riotously funny as a flimflam man, Edmund Gilbert. All of the cast excel in their roles in this film. Robert Donat plays Paul Martin. He also won an Oscar for his later role in "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" (1940).
Donat is another one of those great actors whose life was cut short. He died at age 53 of a chronic asthma attack. Movie buffs will know him from some outstanding films in which he had starring roles. Among them were: "The Count of Monte Cristo" in 1934, "The 39 Steps" in 1935, "The Citadel" in 1938, "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" in 1939, "The Adventures of Tartu" in 1943, "The Magic Box" in 1951, "Lease of Life" in 1954, and "The Inn of the Sixth Happiness" in 1958.
Others have noted the fine roles by the supporting cast in this film. Some of the lines are hilarious. The electric supervisor says to Martin: "Now then, Mr. Upper Class. I'm going to leave you here for a bit while I go out to make a few more calls. I'll meet you around the corner in 10 minutes." Then, looking at Lilian Gilbert, played by Wendy Barrie, he says, "Yes, and not so much of your sex appeal. Oh, she may be Greeta Garbo or Marjoreen Deetrich (sic), but you cut off her lights, you see what I mean?"
Later, Gilbert says to Martin, "You're not going to take that money with you on the street?" Martin replies, "Oh, I can take care of it." Gilbert: "But you might lose it. I say, why not put it in the safe? You can take away the key." Martin: "Suppose I lose the key?" Gilbert: "Well, I've got another." Martin: "No! As a working man to a business man, I prefer to take the money."
This is a very good British comedy. Unfortunately, the film quality is very poor. But don't let that stop you from getting or watching this wonderful film.
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