IMDb > The Richest Girl in the World (1934)

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Release Date:
21 September 1934 (USA) See more »
Dorothy Hunter is an heiress of untold wealth. She believes no one will love her for herself and not for her money... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Oscar. See more »
User Reviews:
Faded Lightweight Comedy See more (13 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Miriam Hopkins ... Dorothy

Joel McCrea ... Tony

Fay Wray ... Sylvia
Henry Stephenson ... Connors

Reginald Denny ... Phillip
Beryl Mercer ... Marie
George Meeker ... Donald
Wade Boteler ... Franey
Herbert Bunston ... Cavandish
Burr McIntosh ... David Preston
Edgar Norton ... The Butler
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Charles Coleman ... (scenes deleted)
Harry Bowen ... Pinky (uncredited)
William Burress ... Haley's Editor (uncredited)
Edward Cooper ... Jones - Butler (uncredited)
Bess Flowers ... Dance Extra (uncredited)
William Gould ... Second Trustee (uncredited)
Fred Howard ... Haley - Reporter (uncredited)
Olaf Hytten ... Valet (uncredited)
Selmer Jackson ... Dr. Harvey (uncredited)
Mike Lally ... Elevator Starter (uncredited)
John Marshall ... (uncredited)
Buddy Roosevelt ... Dance Extra (uncredited)
Dale Van Sickel ... Dance Extra (uncredited)
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Directed by
William A. Seiter 
Writing credits
Norman Krasna (story and screenplay)

Leona D'Ambry  contributor to adaptation and continuity (uncredited)
Jerry Hutchinson  contributor to continuity (uncredited)
Glenn Tryon  contributor to comedy construction (uncredited)

Produced by
Pandro S. Berman .... producer (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Nicholas Musuraca (photographed by) (as Nick Musuraca)
Film Editing by
George Crone (edited by)
Art Direction by
Charles M. Kirk  (as Charles Kirk)
Van Nest Polglase 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Rex Bailey .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
John E. Tribby .... recordist
Special Effects by
Harry Redmond Sr. .... special effects supervisor (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Louie Anderson .... grip (uncredited)
Ernest Bachrach .... still photographer (uncredited)
Music Department
Max Steiner .... musical director
Max Steiner .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
76 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Victor System)
Australia:G | USA:Approved (PCA #164) | USA:TV-G (TV rating)

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Movie Connections:
Remade as Verdens rigeste pige (1958)See more »


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11 out of 18 people found the following review useful.
Faded Lightweight Comedy, 10 September 2004
Author: James Hitchcock from Tunbridge Wells, England

Mistaken identity has always been a classic theme of comedy; many comic characters in Shakespeare or Moliere, for example, disguise themselves as somebody else, but the device is even older, dating back at least to the days of the Greek and Roman theatre. The advantage of this device is that it enables the dramatist to make the most of the ensuing confusion for humorous purposes.

The plot of 'The Richest Girl in the World' is one with which classical dramatists would have felt at home. The central character is Dorothy Hunter, the heiress to a large fortune. (The similarity of surnames suggests that the model for Dorothy may have been the Woolworths heiress Barbara Hutton). She is worried that potential suitors will love her for her money and not for herself. She therefore changes places with her attractive secretary Sylvia. If any man shows an interest in the supposed 'Sylvia' (who is really Dorothy in disguise), she suggests to him that the supposed 'Dorothy' (really Sylvia in disguise) has fallen in love with him and would welcome a proposal of marriage. The real Sylvia is happily married and has no interest in any of Dorothy's suitors; the point of this charade is that if the man shows any interest in the fake 'Dorothy' he has thereby failed the test and proved himself unworthy of the real Dorothy's hand. The film chronicles Dorothy's attempts to play this trick on her latest beau, Tony.

This plot could have been the basis of an intriguing comedy, but it is not really developed well enough. This is less the fault of the actors than of the script. In this age of the turgid three-hour blockbuster it seems strange to criticise a film for being too short, but an hour and ten minutes were not sufficient to bring out all the comic possibilities of the situation, and the conclusion of the film is both rushed and muddled. (Perhaps the film was originally the B-movie in a double bill with a set, and limited, running-time, which would explain the scriptwriter's haste to get everything tidied up as soon as possible.) Dorothy's elderly guardian, Jonathan, does suggest that she may be guilty of psychological cruelty in pushing her deception of Tony so far, but the film makes no attempt to explore the deeper implications of her behaviour. Her wealth is, after all, an important part of her identity, so by posing as her own secretary she has effectively persuaded Tony to fall in love with her under false pretences. The film, however, prefers to ignore the philosophical implications of this deception.

Like many comedies of the period, this is a light film, in the sense that it is lighthearted but also in the sense that it is lightweight. Even in the era when it was made, it was probably seen as no more than an amusing trifle. It has not stood the test of time well, and today comes across as trivial and faded. 5/10

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