One in a Million (1936)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Musical, Romance  |  1 January 1937 (USA)
Your rating:
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 187 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 6 critic

American theatrical manager (Menjou) discovers Henie preparing for the Olympics in Switzerland and brings her to Madison Square Garden.



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tad Spencer
Heinrich Muller
Ned Sparks ...
Danny Simpson
Bob Harris
The Ritz Brothers ...
Billie Spencer
Borrah Minevitch ...
Borrah Minevitch and His Harmonica Rascals ...
Harmonica Ensemble (as Borrah Minevitch and His Rascals)
Dixie Dunbar ...
Leah Ray ...
Girl in Band
Shirley Deane ...
Girl in Band
Albert Conti ...
Hotel Manager
Julius Tannen ...
June Gale ...
Girl in Band


American theatrical manager (Menjou) discovers Henie preparing for the Olympics in Switzerland and brings her to Madison Square Garden.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 January 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tourbillon blanc  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


USA Film debut of Sonja Henie. See more »


La Marseillaise
Written by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
Played at the Olympics when the French flag is raised
See more »

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User Reviews

Don't judge Henie by this debut movie...awfully dull script...
5 December 2005 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

SONJA HENIE made a few very dazzling skating films but this is not one of them. The only saving grace for watching this is to see DON AMECHE as her singing co-star who does nicely with an uninspired song number and gives his usual charming and natural performance.

Unfortunately, surrounding Henie with a talented supporting cast did not work in this case. THE RITZ BROS. routines wear thin pretty fast and carry on for much too lengthy a time. The Harmonica Gang is a clever act but, again, too much footage devoted to their antics which, I believe, were shown to better advantage later on by The Ed Sullivan Show TV appearances.

The thin story is loosely based on Henie's own beginning as an Olympic Champion but is strictly formulaic in the telling. Henie's skating routines are hardly the best she ever offered on film. Indeed, one has to sit through long stretches of film dominated by the supporting actors in order to see even a glimpse of her on ice.

Adolphe Menjou must have thought the microphones weren't carrying his voice properly. He shouts all of his lines in what has to be one of his poorest performances in a comedy role. Arline Judge has some snappy one-liners to throw at him, but most of them are so mild that they fall flat. Fortunately, Jean Hersholt gives a nice, low-key performance as Sonja's caring dad.

Sorry to be so negative, but I did look forward to seeing Sonja in her American debut on film. She was later given much better material in her subsequent films--especially in SUN VALLEY SERENADE and WINTERTIME.

Her camera style had not yet been developed. The make-up artist has given her an unflattering hairdo (the plastered down curls in typical '30s style) and the cameraman did not capture the Henie personality as was done in all of her later films. Zanuck obviously decided to keep her lines to a minimum and throw most of the story and routines to the supporting cast. It doesn't work.

Strictly thumbs down on this one. Thankfully, there were better films in her future.

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