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The Milky Way (1936)

Passed  -  Comedy  -  7 February 1936 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 1,042 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 12 critic

Timid milkman, Burleigh Sullivan (Lloyd), somehow knocks out a boxing champ in a brawl. The fighter's manager decides to build up the milkman's reputation in a series of fixed fights and ... See full summary »


, (uncredited) , 1 more credit »


(screen play), (screen play), 5 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Verree Teasdale ...
Helen Mack ...
William Gargan ...
George Barbier ...
Dorothy Wilson ...
Marjorie Gateson ...


Timid milkman, Burleigh Sullivan (Lloyd), somehow knocks out a boxing champ in a brawl. The fighter's manager decides to build up the milkman's reputation in a series of fixed fights and then have the champ beat him to regain his title. Written by Herman Seifer <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

7 February 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aivotärähdys  »

Box Office


$1,032,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (TV)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The original play opened at the Cort Theatre in New York on 8 May 1934 and closed in July 1934 after 63 performances. Burleigh Sullivan was played by Hugh O'Connell and Speed McFarland by Brian Donlevy. Another version opened in 1943 but lasted only 16 performances. See more »


As Ann Westley says, "This program is coming to you through the courtesy of Amalgamated Gas,", the word "amalgamated" does not match her lip movements and is clearly spoken by different voice. (approx. 24:55 into the film, NTSC) See more »

Crazy Credits

After the paramount logo is seen, a cow's head is superimposed on the logo. The cow then moos in what appears to be a parody of the MGM Lion's roar. See more »


Featured in Funny Side of Life (1963) See more »


The Milky Way
(1935) (uncredited)
Words by Tot Seymour
Music by Vee Lawnhurst
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

THE MILKY WAY (Leo McCarey and, uncredited, Norman Z. McLeod, 1936) ***
18 December 2006 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

This is one of two latter-day Harold Lloyd vehicles directed by award-winning comedy experts - the other being his swansong, THE SIN OF HAROLD DIDDLEBOCK (1947), written and directed by Preston Sturges (with which I hope to re-acquaint myself later on in the month via a Cable TV recording, in direct anticipation of 3 more of Sturges' own films I own on DVD).

I've watched all but a couple of Lloyd's Talkies (WELCOME DANGER [1929] and PROFESSOR BEWARE [1938]): while his transition to the new medium was certainly not as disastrous as Buster Keaton's, I still feel that Lloyd's brand of comedy wasn't particularly suited to Sound; as a matter of fact, the film depends a good deal on dialogue for laughs - and most of the best lines are not even delivered by the star! McCarey himself (reportedly, he fell ill during production of THE MILKY WAY and some scenes were actually directed by Norman Z. McLeod) had been a practitioner of Silent comedies for Laurel & Hardy but, when Sound came in, proceeded to work with practically all the major Talkie star comedians - Eddie Cantor, The Marx Bros., W.C. Fields, Mae West, and even Cary Grant. In any case, the milkman-turned-boxer plot line provides plenty of uproarious situations - and it was eventually revamped as a musical vehicle for Danny Kaye called THE KID FROM BROOKLYN (1946; I watched this as a kid and, if I have the time, I may check it out again as well) which, incidentally, was directed by Norman Z. McLeod!

Still, like I said, Lloyd is somewhat upstaged by his fellow actors in this one: Adolphe Menjou as the smart boxing manager (of two rival prizefighters!) and Lionel Stander as his burly but dim-witted hood/assistant; but the women are strong characters as well, particularly Verree Teasdale as Menjou's cynical girl (incidentally, the couple were married in real-life!) and Helen Mack as Lloyd's brave but apprehensive younger sister (conveniently engaged off by Menjou to the current boxing champ - whom Lloyd had ostensibly knocked out in a fit of rage and who would like to get his prestige back). The ending, however, is a bit abrupt - especially since the women (including Lloyd's love interest, played by Dorothy Wilson) are kind of is a newborn pony which has followed Lloyd into the boxing arena! Unfortunately, I experienced some freezing issues around the 27-minute mark but, when I played the scene back, the glitch was thankfully not repeated.

P.S. According to the IMDb, there are at least 11 movies made between 1917 and 2006 entitled THE MILKY WAY but, apart from the Lloyd/McCarey picture, the most notable are certainly the Oscar-winning 1940 animated short and Luis Bunuel's wickedly funny 1969 treatise on Catholic dogma.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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